“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” — Emilie Buchwald
Yes, parents have a huge impact on their child’s view of reading and books. However, we can’t discount the impact teachers have on this as well. We want kids to read, but how many of us are avid readers? How can we expect children to follow rules if they see us breaking them? How can we expect them to read everyday if we are not doing the same? When we show students that we are readers, that books are fun, and that reading is not a punishment, a stronger message is sent home than just reading is important.
- AR – Books are not meant to just read and answer questions about. A ribbon once a month is a strong motivator to read books and test. Reading and testing doesn’t always go together and we need to show students that. In fact, I doubt that most authors write their books for the purpose of students reading them and then sitting in front of a computer and trying to remember what color the dog was.
- Endless worksheets with one right response. Would you want to do it?
KEEP or START
- Make books available! Put all kinds of books everywhere. Have an overflowing library at school. Keep bins of books in every room of the house – especially the bathroom!
- Read Aloud – Regardless of a reader’s age, listening to the right book is magical. In a classroom all students of all reading levels get to share the same experience. Students don’t have to worry about tests, questions from the teacher, etc. They just get to sit, listen, and enjoy. Many times a read aloud book can lead students to new books in a series or by the same author.
- Independent Reading with Choice – We know and research shows that students need to be actively reading in order to improve. However, this is not enough to get them to enjoy it. Students need to be given time to read books that they choose – books that are “just right” for them including interest level.
- Share your favorite books, current books you are reading, likes and gripes about books and authors. Students care!
We need to create a community of readers in our classrooms and our homes! What we do matters!