Reading is my passion. My escape. My other world. How did I become such a lover of reading? I really don’t know. As far back as I can remember I have loved to read. I remember being around 4 years old and getting ANGRY on Sundays because everyone was reading, and I couldn’t because I didn’t know how! My mom would read a book, and my stepdad would read the newspaper (not real sure what my 9 year old brother was doing). 🙂 I think I was even known for pitching a fit every once in awhile because it wasn’t FAIR that everyone else could read and I COULDN’T! My mom did the only thing she knew how-she enrolled me in a private kindergarten(they didn’t have public just yet) a year early so that I could learn to read and not bug her anymore! So I went to kindergarten for 2 years instead of 1-and learned to read! The only 2 things that I remember learning to do in kindergarten was read and blow a bubble with bubblegum!
I HAVE BEEN READING EVER SINCE THEN!
Now I’m wondering-how do we instill a love for reading in our students? It’s definitely not to keep doing what we are currently doing in the classroom: “make” them read certain texts ALL the time without any choice, give them assignments to do EVERYTIME they read, test them on EVERYTHING they read, drill and kill for standardized tests.
I’m sure there are more ways than this that we are killing the joy of reading (even before it starts), but these are just a few that stand out to me. Even though I love to read-I wouldn’t read if I had to write a book report each time, or take a test each time!!
Kelly Gallagher explains it best in his book-Readicide. If you are worried about what we are doing to our kids in school concerning reading, then you have got to read this book!
I ran across a blog post this morning that puts sort of different spin on this reading thing. Cool Cat Teacher (who is a technological whiz) wrote a post about getting angry about what we are doing to kids and their reading. She cited the statistics about how many people who NEVER read another book after graduating high school, and amazingly how many college students who never read another book after college! Check out her post:
SO-what can we do about this? Well, I have been reading lots of blogs AND professional books this summer to try and figure it out. The Book Whisperer, by Donalyn Miller, is a good place to start.
This is what I have come up with to help instill a love of reading in our students:
1. Give them a CHOICE of what they want to read
2. Give them the TIME to read
3. Let them be SOCIAL about it. Let’s face it-kids are social creatures. Use that to our advantage!
4. Incorporate TECHNOLOGY into our reading-this is becoming the way of the world, we might as well go with the flow
5. TALK to them about their reading-find out about them as readers, share their reading with them, share your reading with them
Also, we need to let them in on our passion of reading-no, I don’t mean that we need to preach to them about the importance of reading. Let our light shine through for our own love of reading.
What do you do to instill a love of reading in your students?