Students love choice. That's why giving students the power to choose books for independent reading, teacher read-aloud and classroom libraries makes them much more engaged and motivated readers.
In No More Reading for Junk, authors Barbara Marinak and Linda Gambrell provide teachers with research-based context for fostering reading motivation in children, as well as strategies and techniques proven to transform students into passionate, lifelong readers.
One of the things I love most about teaching is that it constantly offers us new beginnings. Every semester is a chance to reinvent ourselves, our teaching, and our classrooms. Few professions offer this opportunity for reinvention, and all around me I see brilliant educators embrace it again and again.
As a principal, I take pride in the literacy workshops in our school—places where students are consistently invested in their learning and their work. When I step into a fourth grade classroom, it has that quiet hum of productive engagement. When I pull up a chair next to Clare, she tells me that she wants her narrative to have feeling in it, just like in The Other Side, by Jaqueline Woodson. The book is open on the table next to her draft covered in arrows, stars, and cross-outs. In a first grade classroom, I stand back and watch as Carlo finishes the book he is reading. He gets up and heads over to the classroom library, and after browsing a few different bins selects a book and plops right down in the bean bag in the library corner to embark on his next reading adventure. Children here see the literacy work they do in school connect seamlessly with the rich reading and writing they do outside of school–work that they do not as an assignment, but because they enjoy it.
Writing and reading are about using our imaginations, our understandings, our questions, and creativity, our feelings, our humanity to work through our thinking about ourselves, about others about the world in which we live. Surely this is crucial enough to merit our attention. –Linda Rief
The Writers-Readers Notebook (WRN) is a place where students are allowed the time, choice, and practice of using writing to make sense of the world and their place in it. More than an academic journal documenting learning—yet not a diary—the WRN serves a range of purposes for both the students and the teachers.
TCRWP Twitter Chat: Choice and Independence in Teaching the Reading Units of Study
Written by Anna Gratz Cockerille
It may come as no surprise that research shows that Americans are reading less. A 2015study from the Pew Research Center found that 72% of American adults say they have read at least one book in the past year, a 7% drop from 2011. Some happy news: reading rates among the youngest group surveyed (ages 18-29) have gone up, with 80% of participants claiming to have read a book in the last year. As teachers of reading, we know how important it is to support the continuation of this upward trend.
Amy Greenbaum Clark is a Heinemann Fellow with the 2014–2016 class, and has been an educator for 15 years. In today's post, Amy provides an update on her action research project, which asks, "In what ways does the study and composition of poetry impact other modes of student writing; in particular, narrative and scholarly essay writing?"