It's thoughts like these that really got me thinking about how I teach reading and use books in my classroom. I want to encourage a life-long love of reading. I want my teaching, even my teaching of reading, to be student-centered. I KNOW students will become better readers (and writers) if they read. And to back up my philosophies, I have turned to the following books in order to find research to back up my ideas as well as effective strategies to use in my own classroom. I HIGHLY recommend them!
Her 40-book challenge requires students to read (you guessed it!) 40 books throughout the school year. Students pick the books, any books they want, with the stipulation that they read from a predetermined number of genres. Feeling skeptical? Read her books! After reading them, you might just change your tune.My biggest take aways from her books?
- Student choice helps them to build interest and learn for themselves how to find books they will enjoy
- Have a class library!
- Allow for LOTS of free reading time during class
- Challenge students
I was able to attend a day long training with Penny Kittle put on by my previous district in Texas. An avid reader herself, she had TONS of fiction and nonfiction book recommendations. She also offers very practical methods for tracking applying, and assessing individual reading through conferences and reflective writing. My biggest takeaways from her?
Kelly Gallagher looks specifically at how teaching to the test is taking books out of the classroom and creating a negative connotation of reading for students. He defines readicide as, “the systematic killing of the love of reading, often exacerbated by inane, mind-numbing practices found in schools." His research shows the necessity for Free Voluntary Reading (FVR) in the classroom and how reading for pleasure is academically fruitful because students become intrinsically motivated.
I have been happy to see that my new district shares many of these philosophies. I am excited to introduce colleagues to these authors and to see how the reading lives of our students change!