The other day I was teaching an economics lesson on Supply and Demand.
The students had to write a list of 4 things they like to do when they are home.
I modeled the ist with a list of my own, and I started with reading. (Which I really shouldn't have because the lesson was about getting paid to read, so... but that's how much I love to read.)
One of the students stated increduously, "You LIKE to read?"
I replied, "Yes, that is part of how I got here, haviing this job," or something like that.
He said, "That's not what I mean. You just LIKE to read?"
I said, "Do you mean for pleasure?" Yes, I do, and I'm mad that I don't get to do it as much as I would like because of work."
At this point, he just laughed and shook his head.
Many students don't read for pleasure. Many adults don't read for pleasure.
lack of diversity in books
books are not present in the home or classroom
school has sucked the joy of out of reading
So, what should we do to get our kids reading for pleasure?
- have diverse books in your classroom
- stop killing books with worksheets (What's the Main idea?)
- give kids time to just read
- Let students choose their own books
- allow students to read books, not just passages with questions
- allow students to read above or below their "level."
- participate in projects like the Global Read Aloud
- connect with others in the world who are reading the same book.
- use tech to let students "talk" about their book
- connect with authors
- read picture books
- allow audiobooks
- let them read digitally with Epic and Readworks.
My kids are tested at the end of the school year, so I am not going to tell you that I never use worksheets or teach reading "strategies." But, I have found that the ideas I have listed above have created students that actually enjoy a book, who read for pleasure.
My best moment of our day is whe my kids sprawl out all over the room in video chairs, the Yoga balls, at a desk, or the round table and read. The room is quiet and and the majority of them are actually reading! Sweet!:)