I remember sitting at the ILA conference (then it was IRA) in 2009, listening to Douglas Reeves talk about literacy research findings. He got all excited and leaned forward, looking right into the faces of the crowd of participants, and said, “[after years of research]…do you know what we found?”
We all looked at one another, and then fixed our eyes back on him. We wanted to know! He gave us the results: “The more you read, the better reader you become.” We looked at each other again. I said out loud, “That’s it? We knew that!”
In my opinion, many people, even in the field of education, do not seem to know that yet. It’s always been a wonder to me that a literacy focus in high-achieving schools allows students to have a better grasp, a better focus, higher achievement, than those schools who don’t offer wide reading opportunities. I read quite a bit, and I still struggle with vocabulary and fluency, so I cannot imagine how awful it would be for struggling readers who don’t have the skills needed to succeed.
As I plan for next school year, I renew my pledge to read in class every day, and allow my students to read, too. I don’t mean teach a lesson on comprehension strategies or give a list of vocabulary words for the week. I mean READ. Every. Day. That’s what students need. Students want to read. Students want to learn. Students want to succeed. And they can, IF they are provided every opportunity to read, learn, and succeed.
Read. Every Day. It’s that simple.
“The more that you read, the more things you’ll know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss
June 14, 2016 at 9:01 PM
I made a vow to read aloud to my students EVERY SINGLE DAY during my second year of teaching (after hearing some research about why it matters so much). And you know what? I did it. Even if it was a field trip day. I always got read aloud in from that day onward.
And you will too!
June 14, 2016 at 9:49 PM
A colleague and I had this very conversation after school today. We need to preach the word.
June 14, 2016 at 10:06 PM
Totally agree with you. I’m really struggling at my school to convince teachers how incredibly important this is!
June 14, 2016 at 10:45 PM
A worthy, wonderful goal. I worry at how fragmented the school day is – reading time reduces that frenzy.
June 14, 2016 at 10:48 PM
Scary that we need to say this!
So important that we DO say this!
June 14, 2016 at 10:58 PM
Yes, yes, yes! It makes me sad to know there are teachers who don’t really believe it.
June 15, 2016 at 5:10 AM
My students were so amazed perusing the list of books we shared this year. It is also amazing to me how many of them in third grade are not read to regularly at home. Keep preaching.
June 15, 2016 at 8:42 AM
I just have to say I love that quote from “I Can Read with my Eyes Shut.” It was my oldest daughter’s favorite book and we could read it with our eyes shut because we read it every night! Yes, yes, yes to your pledge. I’m all in!
June 15, 2016 at 3:31 PM
Volume matters when it comes to growth and reading. When will administrators recognize that students reading is engagement? Go forth, and READ!
June 21, 2016 at 2:54 PM
Wait. If I read more, I get better at it? And researchers were paid to find this out?? I’m in the wrong line of work! 🙂
Thank you for the great slice about what we knew is true, and keeping it real for all of us! Sometimes, it’s easy to say, “we are too busy”, but in the end, are we? We don’t have 5 minutes to spare for a read aloud or free reading time?
I think we can collectively do better. 🙂