Blog Series: All Kinds of Readers

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Day Four: Ignite the Passion for Reading with Access to Books

If students don’t have books to read, they cannot read books. I’m going to take this opportunity to promote Game Changer! Book Access for All Kids by Donalyn Miller and Colby Sharp. This title helps teachers learn why they should and how they can provide books to students.

I started with the school library (when I was a student and again when I became a teacher). Students can use the library to check out books — read, return, repeat — during the school year. School libraries usually partner with the larger community public libraries, as well. There are summer reading programs for kids in most communities. Also remember to mark the school book fair dates on your calendar. Check out the local yard sales (My mom is always shopping for books for me and my students). Some cities have teacher stores that include books to give away to students. These are just a few ideas to get started.

Once kids have access, they have ways to read. They can find themselves lost in the pages of a book, and find the passion for reading.

(Don’t forget to look for audio books, too. Use those earbuds for a good reason!)

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This blog series, All Kinds of Readers, addresses ways teachers cope with the “I-don’t-like-to-read” readers. I have struggled with this for years. I’ve read, researched, and read some more. (I love to read!) How can I get students to find the passion, the joy of reading? Join me as I try to find solutions that work. Add your comments and questions to the conversation. Welcome to the blog!

 

 

 

Blog Series: All Kinds of Readers

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Day Three: Ignite the Passion for Reading with Time to Read

Just as Major League ballplayers must practice every day, readers need to READ every day. Every. Single. Day. I hear more and more about classrooms around the country where students are forced to complete activities during reading class that have little or nothing to do with reading. It’s sad, really, because the disservice is done to the children. The students want to do their best — earn the best grades, do the best work, read the best books…but students don’t get to choose the classroom lesson (at least not as a general rule). Many times, the teachers don’t even get to formulate their own classroom lesson plans, but must stick to fidelity of a program in the name of higher student achievement scores. What about fidelity to reading in the name of higher reading scores?

I could go off on a tangent here, and I would, but TIME is the key today. We want students to have passion — to love reading. Well, then, they must have TIME to read. Penny Kittle, Kelly Gallagher, Donalyn Miller, Kylene Beers, Bob Probst, Lucy Calkins, and many other teachers/researchers agree that increasing reading time — even10 minutes a day of student-choice, independent reading — can raise reading achievement scores. Remember, those standardized scores are not the end-all-be-all, though. We want joyful readers, passionate readers, lifelong readers.

Give students time to read. Help ignite the passion for reading!

*****

This blog series, All Kinds of Readers, addresses ways teachers cope with the “I-don’t-like-to-read” readers. I have struggled with this for years. I’ve read, researched, and read some more. (I love to read!) How can I get students to find the passion, the joy of reading? Join me as I try to find solutions that work. Add your comments and questions to the conversation. Welcome to the blog!

 

Blog Series: All Kinds of Readers

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Day Two: Ignite the Passion for Reading with Choice

Once students realize you are correct — that reading may be worthwhile and even likeable, then it’s time to grow the passion for reading. Start with day one’s students who don’t like to read. Wait! We established that they DO like to read IF they’re reading what they WANT to read.

Build passion for reading by finding reading materials that students want to read. Take a class survey. Do they like scary books? (My students say I don’t have enough scary books.) Do they read magazines or graphic novels? Once you find out what students like, lead them to those materials.

Students who have a say in what they read may be more likely to try reading. Providing choices helps students find reading that is comfortable for them, and therefore likeable. Encourage choice and teach decision-making skills (like choosing “just right” books).

Take that survey and use the results to provide more choices for students. Build a collection of books that students will learn to love.

(Pictures from Scholastic Reading Summit, Chicago, 2017)

*****

This blog series, All Kinds of Readers, addresses ways teachers cope with the “I-don’t-like-to-read” readers. I have struggled with this for years. I’ve read, researched, and read some more. (I love to read!) How can I get students to find the passion, the joy of reading? Join me as I try to find solutions that work. Add your comments and questions to the conversation. Welcome to the blog!

 

Blog Series: All Kinds of Readers

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Day One: “I don’t like to read.”

You know that card game, “Bullshit?” That’s what I want to say when a middle school student says, “I don’t like to read.” (No, I don’t say it out loud. I don’t really want to say, “Bullshit.”) Instead, I say, “Yes, you do.”

After the gasp or rolling eyes, the student may start to argue, give excuses, or repeat: “No, I don’t like to read.” I’m ready. I fire back…

“You like to read your friend’s texts, don’t you?”

“You like to read your Facebook posts, right?”

“You like to read the menu at your favorite restaurant. Otherwise you wouldn’t be able to order what you really want.”

Every single student giggles at my comeback sentence. Every. Single. Time.

Why?

The student knows I’m right.

 

*****

This blog series, All Kinds of Readers, addresses ways teachers cope with the “I-don’t-like-to-read” readers. I have struggled with this for years. I’ve read, researched, and read some more. (I love to read!) How can I get students to find the passion, the joy of reading? Join me as I try to find solutions that work. Add your comments and questions to the conversation. Welcome to the blog!