My son has emerged from the cocooned world of elementary school. And he's still a reader.
Despite the fact that I bleed the numbers on my library card, this fact wasn't a given. Lots of interests and opportunity vie for his attention these days, but STILL his favorite thing to do is stretch out his ever-lengthening body on the couch and read a book.
How did this miracle happen? Of course, books have always been a part of our life at home. We followed all the "rules" for creating readers: lots of books around the house, weekly trips to the library, self-selection, talking about books, grown-ups reading books, mounds and heaps of snuggling around books, yadda, yadda, yadda.
But what about the kids who didn't get that? What about the kids who encounter their first text in kindergarten? What about the kids who can't see the words right, who struggle to sound out the simple word, who just don't experience the magic of reading?
There is hope. There is always hope.
This post is the first in a series of posts about reading in the secondary classroom. Over the next four weeks, I want to offer some super-practical ways to inspire reading in middle and high school kids. I often read a lot about the causes of disinterest in reading at this age, but I don't see a lot of suggestions for how to help kids get over it. Just telling them that reading is important isn't enough. Giving them assignments doesn't do it. Evaluating and addressing their weaknesses, providing them with tools to read better, and
"setting them up for success" (whatever that means) does not a life-long reader make.
And isn't that what we really want for our students?
Don't we want them to sit down in a restaurant and order something new because they were able to read it and it sounds good?
Don't we want them to go after that dream job and not be held back by not being able to read the application?
Don't we want them to find joy in sitting down on a Sunday afternoon with a good book?
Don't we want them to read their babies to sleep at night with Good Night Moon or Guess How Much I Love You?
The answer is a resounding YES.
So stay tuned over the next couple weeks as we explore tangible ways to fan the flame of reading with the goal of turning our reluctant secondary readers into book lovers for life.
Check out more products, resources, and inspiration from Story Trekker at Teachers Pay Teachers.