I read the articles for this week and one thing caught my attention multiple times: choice matters! I caught a glimpse of it in the first article I read in “Aim Higher: A Case for Choice in AP Classes”. I understood the article to read that choice is not happening in AP classes because they are advanced classes and teachers are preparing
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students for the college classroom? Okay, and your point is?? That shouldn’t matter when it comes to reading. No matter what the level of the classroom is, there should always be choice! Students are not going to read some old literature from before they were born (I know I didn’t). The more choice we give them, the more they will read and the more they will grow as readers. I cannot remember which article I read this from but it said that we cannot force books on students that are not ready for them. Plain and simple. I think that is common sense but we are still doing it anyway. WHY??? This concept kind of goes into the article “Curing the Reading GERM”. Picture CC by: pixabay.com
The first time I read “AR” on my screen, I immediately went back to elementary and recalled all the books I read or at least tried to and I couldn’t remember most of them. None of them had a lasting affect on me except for a few and that’s all because I picked books that would get me to the next point level. Sure, AR got me reading but I never read for the pleasure of it. I read those books because I HAD to. I really hope they don’t have AR wherever I go and teach but if they do, I know I have a plan to rid myself and my classroom from that. This article brought up a lot of good ideas about how to rid yourself from the reading GERM and a couple I found interesting were having reading plans for your students and yourself, have your students make lists of possible books to read someday, and a plan that I love the most, read for 20 minutes everyday. Get your whole school to read for 20 minutes everyday. Have parents come in and read as well. I think it is a great way to get your students to read and everyone that is involved in your students’ lives. This was a great article to find inspiration from!
The last two articles, “Raising Students Who Want to Read” and “6 Simple Ideas to Get Kids to Read” were pretty similar for the most part and they really caught my attention. And one thing that keeps popping up is “choice matters”! You have got to let them choose what they want to read. We cannot, cannot cannot force them on anything. It has to come from them and them alone! While the choice may be theirs, we can still hand out books to them that we know are on their reading level and go along with what they’ve been reading all year. That, though, requires you to monitor what your students read and develop a reading personality for them. Ask questions about what they are reading for the week, set up reading conferences with them and support them through it all! I think sharing your expectations with them and having them share their own expectations are huge factors in building successful readers! They need to know that you want them to grow as readers! It will pay off in the end.
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I seriously cannot wait to have my own classroom and share some of these great ideas with my students and other teachers as well. I do hope that I have some kind of roadblock like the reading GERM so that I can put these theories to the test and build myself up as a teacher and a reader. I want to see first hand just how amazing something like this could actually play off for students. I want to challenge myself as a teacher so that I can challenge my students and they challenge me as well. I am more than ready for that challenge!