Read e-book More 10-Minute Talks: 24 Messages Your Students Will Love

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Explore playlists. Need a new idea? Start at the edge of what is known TED Talk: Learn more about the "adjacent possible" — the crossroads of what's actual and what's possible Learn more. Take a smart break. Is reality What should I do with my life? Keep your brain healthy. Children are to be encouraged to read for meaning and for pleasure. I have used this method over the years but not extensively as it was used in this discussion. This is a thought provoking commentary. This being said, I love reading because I can read for information. Choice is a great idea, but sometimes we have to read or do things we may not be as excited about, so how does that fit into this scheme?

I think reading is not just something the ELA teacher does and should be expected to do. So how does this work then when choice seems to take precedence? Just curious. We make room for both. My students have to have self-selected choice reading so that they can have pleasurable reading experiences and then we also do things with what we read whether fiction or nonfiction. That comes after our independent reading. I am always struggling with teaching skills versus analyzing a book to death such that a student never wants to hear its title again!

Still growing! Thanks for posting this. I love this yet am concerned that we are preaching to the choir here. We need to get the word out, we need to talk with our elected officials, we need to get INTO the schools as parent voices and volunteers. They taught her how to read! I always chuckle when I read articles that simply want to point fingers at schools and teachers rather than work with them!

Come on parents—read with your kids!

Hey, Shelley! As a mom, I read every night with my kids, I think up until middle school. Great conversations. Great bonding time. I really thought it was more about making sure that whatever teachers are asking kids to do in the classroom, is authentic. My goal as a teacher was for my kids to be able to transfer what they learned in the classroom to life out of the classroom — so if I wanted them to be readers, real readers when they walked out my door, I needed to make sure I gave them opportunities to practice that.

With parent support. I think some finger pointing is needed — when practices are harmful, that harm needs to be pointed out and the problems identified in order to do better.

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This makes me cry! I have been teaching for 20 years and this year we have been forced to teach from a program that only allows for excerpts, passages and worksheets. Your article really hits home. Why such a negative heading of the article?

See a Problem?

Hi Mit. Well, I gave it this title for two reasons. One, I do believe our current practices ARE killing the love of reading, and that this is a serious problem, and that many teachers who are being forced to teach reading with passages and computer programs know deeply that these programs are killing the love of reading, so I wanted to speak to those frustrations.


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And two, I needed to title the piece in such a way that people would actually read it. Great post.

Not a stretch to use that term, and I applaud you. Hurray for you teachers fighting the good fight. In prior years, they have received programs that were Orton Gillingham inspired along with computer programs focused on phonics and decoding instruction but they are still at a basic reading level despite prior interventions.

What do you want your audience to learn?

The children I work with are in the 4th grade and several should be in 5th. When I first started in August these students were pulled out for a 30 min reading intervention that used a computer program targeted at their level. The program was a huge turn off to me as teacher and I had to work my tail off to keep them logged in and engaged with the program — it felt so meaningless to me. I have started to sneak away from the computer program and give them engaging storybooks that are more at their level with a theme in mind. So for example, now I have them reading really beautiful picture books about kindness with the idea that we will read them to the younger kids at the school.

I did give them a bunch to choose from and they are practicing to read fluently with a partner. My inspiration was to focus on giving them a purpose for their reading — I feel this was very important to me as a child when I was a struggling reader myself. My next plan is to have them choose a special book and have them practice reading this book with partner so we can take a trip to the Nursing home down the hill from school. His main question to me about the storybook approach is how are you going to measure progress. It comes down to that for him.

If I can show progress I might be able to get away the computer program and meaningless reading passages. The instruction is not very inspired in my opinion. So my question is what about struggling readers who often have behavioral challenges and the approach you talk about? How does your approach work with students who have a disability impacting their progress, keeping them below grade level at reading?

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1st Grade Schedule: A Day in the Life - The Brown Bag Teacher

You bring up some interesting points! I taught 5th grade for many years, and then 1st grade for many more after that. When it comes to reading, first and foremost, we always want our readers to understand reading is all about making meaning. Phonics instruction is just a part of literacy instruction. When kids are actually reading, we want them to be reading books they can read with independence, books they are working on with guided instruction, and books they pick of choice. Get their thoughts about other ways you all could still implement direct phonics instruction without all the drill and kill of reading worksheets.

Because your principal sounds open to trying new practices, while monitoring student progress, you may also want to check out the post Hate PD? Try Voluntary Piloting. I hope this helps in some way! I do give my 10th and 11th graders independent reading time. But many of my students who read at a high level post 12th grade will choose books that are written at a 4th or 5th grade level. I think they just want to choose the easiest way to spend as little time as possible reading.

Granted, most will usually be absorbed during independent reading time. But research does suggest that some challenge syntax, vocabulary is important. One of the simplest ways for teaching kids the joy of reading is to read to them. Combine that with encouraging personal reading and you have a winner.

Speak your science: How to give a better conference talk

Another issues is determining if there are reasons that are hindering a child from reading. New science is finding some kids have difficulty reading with words on a white background. Their brains respond better with a specific color background. Kids of ALL ages not only LOVE being read to, but we need to remember that listening comprehension is critical to increasing reading comprehension — not to mention so much modeling naturally takes place during a read aloud.

Growing up, there were always books at my house. My dad read a lot and I could pick any book in my house. Also, my mom let me choose my book at the bookstore.

Learn English in 3 Hours - ALL You Need to Master English Conversation

Fast-forward many years and I now teach English literature at a college. It is a struggle. This post has been very motivational. I am concerned that students are leaving their school library and not reading the books they checked out. How do you address making the school library part of the students reading identity and school reading culture? I hate to see students just depend on the books in the classroom and never visit the library.