Sunday, August 26, 2012

Inspiring a New Class of Readers

Each time this school year, I get butterflies in my stomach.  It speaks of new beginnings.  I get nervous, not so much in thinking about greeting a new group of students (although that still happens, even after many years of teaching!).  But most of all, I get both excited and nervous in thinking about the best ways to mold and shape my students into lifelong readers.  Many students already come to me loving to read, but several, upon hearing me ask them if they like to read, shrug their shoulders, and say, "Well, yeah, sometimes."  This is a red flag for me, and I take it seriously.  That simple statement means I have lots of work to do.  With so much to teach, I want them, above all, to learn to love to read voraciously, and I want them to enjoy it for many purposes.  I want everything I do in my instruction to engage students to learn what the power of reading can do for them.  It's that time again.  The beginning of the year.  

Some of my goals include:

  • Helping students to get to know themselves better as readers (Exploring topics they want to learn more about, ideas they want to research, reading across various genres)
  • Promoting a rich learning environment for lots and lots of reading
  • Guiding students to become familiar with their strengths, as well as skills they need to focus on improving as a reader
  • Proving specific feedback to students that helps them grow as readers
  • Promoting accountability for reading behaviors (by having discussions about how to fit reading into their busy lives, recording books on their finished book lists, talking openly about distractions they encounter as readers, etc.)
  • Teaching students the powerful practice of always having books on their "Next Reads" list
  • Providing rich experiences for writing in response to their reading.
The list can go on and on.  Setting up a reading and writing workshop is a special routine.  It can sometimes be an intense few weeks, but it is sacred. That's what this blog is about--helping kids learn the amazing power of reading, and supporting them in their journey to become voracious readers.  

If I can inspire in my students a love of reading, that is the true icing on the cake for me as a teacher.  What do you do to inspire the love of reading in your students?

No comments:

Post a Comment