What is on your reading list?
Can you imagine if you were told what books you could and could not read? You go to the checkout at the bookstore or the library and are told, “I am sorry, this is not at your reading level.” You were so excited about reading the book, and you were denied.
The most significant way we turn our students off to reading is by narrowing their abilities to select what they want to read. I was a huge fan of programs that helped to steer students into a path to keep them reading and measuring their levels. It promised to help students make gains in reading. We are always looking for those magic wands and programs to enhance skills to demonstrate growth.
The reading diet of our students today seems to be unhealthy. They are not making the gains in reading, and it is not because educators are not working hard to deliver curriculum and get through the massive demands. We are asking teachers and students to do many things to check their completed boxes, add additional tasks, and forget about the joy of teaching and the love of learning.
Cultivating the love of reading can be done with several different approaches and ideas. There are many ways to promote reading, but we must remind ourselves that the world has significantly changed, and we need to adjust. We do not need to change our core values or standards; it is in how to approach the energy, technology, and innovative ways to capture and engage.
One of the things I did as a teacher way back in the late 90s was to turn a textbook for Social Studies into a student-led project of making a radio show about history. Students selected the chapters based on the topics of what they were interested in and they created the script. Then they developed the tasks to complete, questions to ask, and the assessments to check for understanding. All of us enjoyed it, and we recorded it to share with others.
Create your ways to generate ideas to bring love and joy to reading! Could you share with us your creative ideas?