Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Why Do I Have to TEACH Reading?

I watched my kids today after we came in from Recess and loved what I saw.They were sprawled all over the room. Some were in the Sponge Bob duct taped "used to be my sons'"video chairs. Some sat on the fluffy pink and aqua bean bags I purchased in Five Below. (They were on sale.:)) Others grabbed the carpet strips I begged asked my local Home Depot for last year.
They were reading.

During the summer, I came across the app, Level It Books, and decided it was time to get my classroom library in order. I went to the Dollar store and purchased baskets. (I spend way too much money on this classroom). I scanned in every book I had and I was ready! Today my kids checked out books via my Smartphone, and I began reading.

I let them choose the books they wanted to read, regardless of Grade level, Lexile Score, or genre, their choice. And except for one young lady who was trying to distract her peers, they were all reading!
The point I'm trying to make is they were reading, and I wasn't talking.

I wasn't talking about cause and effect, main idea, figurative language,making inferences,etc... all the things we are forced to teach as a skill, instead of  "teaching" it as we enjoy a great story. I wasn't going to make them take a quiz. (Although AR will be enforced very soon.) I am sure if my students and I began discussing the stories they were reading, I could cover most or all of those skills over a period of time, without sucking the joy out of the story.

When we participate in Global Read Aloud, I give my students a chance to enjoy the story through discussion with students all over the world. And unbeknownst to them, it's through discussion that we touch on the skills that enhance, and lead, to a greater understanding of a story.

I love novel studies, or book clubs, or whatever it's called where you are, because it gives our students the chance to delve into a good book. A six page story in an anthology just doesn't cut it.A "making inferences" worksheet with an attached  paragraph is no match for the skills that can be taught with a novel!

Why do I have to TEACH reading? I guess the question is more, "Why do I have to teach reading skills as if it is a separate entity from actual reading?" Does that make sense?

Boldt, Katie. chooseadearbook.jpg. . Pics4Learning. 28 Aug 2013


  1. It makes total sense to me :)

    My three children love reading; they devour books and are very proficient in their reading. However, they loath all the "technicality" they have to learn at school. Although they understand the need to acquire that knowledge, they often say that it sucks the joy out of reading.

    As a teacher, I believe in developing the love of reading first and only then delving into the grayish aspects of teaching reading :D

    Now, does this make any sense?? LOL

    LOVE your posts by the way!

  2. how well do you like the book leveler app? I've been looking for one, but dont see too many positive feedback.

  3. how well do you like the book leveler app? I've been looking for one, but dont see too many positive feedback.

  4. I am a father having two kids. your article is very informative. my elder son has learn to read in early age n my younger daughter is in process. Homeschooling is important for enhancing positivity and creativity in kids.