I was reading a blog post tonight written by someone I admire in my PLN, Jessica Johnson (@principalj on Twitter). She is a principal in a K-5 school in Wisconsin. She is a principal whom I’ve been following for the past year and someone who I can really relate to. I find her to be very inspiring with many down-to-earth ideas and ways of presenting these ideas to others.
Anyways… I read a recent blog post of hers entitled, Why Students Don’t Read What is Assigned in Class. Interesting, intriguing title, right?
What I found most interesting was the video that she included in this post: Why Students Don’t Read What is Assigned in Class. Maybe I am a little naive, okay, a lot naive, but it just didn’t cross my mind that so many students read so little in high school. Now, I know when I was in school, if something didn’t interest me, I used Coles Notes to help me out as well, so I really should be surprised. As the students commented in the video, today there is something called SparkNotes. These look way more hip – they include video as well.
It really does concern me that students are not reading. How can students improve their reading ability if they are not reading? They can’t. We need to change this for our students. But how? As the students talked about in the video, once they began to have more choice about what they read, their reading increased substantially. As Jessica mentioned in her post, this is the power of the Daily 5 (and Cafe). In the Daily 5 framework, students are given choice over what they read. In turn, they are motivated to read and can read for much longer periods of time.
What do you do to help ensure your students sustain a love of reading?