I'm starting a new blog tradition called "Revisit and Revise" where I revisit and update some of my best posts from Life, Love, Literacy to share with you here at Tarheelstate Teacher. First up, I want to share some of my best tips from my Building a Reading Life series. It's November, and if your students have yet to fall in love with reading, right now is the time to make some changes to see if you can turn those uninterested readers around. Make it your personal challenge!
I first learned about Building a Reading Life from the Lucy Calkin's Reading Units of Study that were published in 2010. Since then, I have launched my reader's workshop with a unit focused on making our reading lives the best they can be. You too can create an environment of thriving readers in your classroom!
We have all had great times with reading and terrible times with reading and it's important that you share those stories about your WORST reading times with your students. I have two stories I like to share--one about when I lied to my 1st grade teacher about finishing a book over night. It was the 80's and children's literature just wasn't what it is today. She had given me a book that was totally not interesting to me and I just wanted OUT. My other story is about how hard college science and history courses were for me because of the huge nonfiction reading load.
Students can relate to having a negative attitude about "school" activities and hopefully see that they shouldn't give up on having an amazing reading life just because they have had bad experiences in the past. When I see students having negative reading attitudes, I can always remind them not to be a curmudgeon. Discussing the curmudgeon attitude also gives you the opportunity to teach students that they should be reading books that they enjoy, and that if they are not, abandoning an independent book that is not a good match is always an option. The first time I taught students about being a curmudgeon, I felt like I not only had the goal of making them all into readers, but that I invited students on board to help me with that personal challenge. You can read more about my curmudgeon discussions with students in my original post.
I've got more Building a Reading Life Tips coming your way! Tip # 3 is chocked full of ideas for how to reach those struggling readers and Tip #4 and 5 address classroom and school libraries and how you can use them strategically to your advantage, especially for struggling readers!
This is a "Revisit and Revised" post that was originally shared on Tarheelstate Teacher's first blog, Life, Love, Literacy.