Want to get better at something? Then practice it! Been feeling a bit frustrated that some educators and parents seem to think that students will improve in reading just because we are assessing their reading skills. No. Some think that students will improve their individual reading skills because they are reading short passages in an anthology once or twice a week. No. Just like all skills, reading must be consistently practiced.
That is not to say that there are not other factors that contribute to reading development. Having plenty of books available for our readers is one. Modeling good fluency and reading comprehension when reading aloud is another. Phonological instruction is vital. Making personal connections to the story. And there are abundant articles for parents and entire books written to support reading instruction in the classroom.
The bottom line…all the articles, books, and advice have one thing in common. One must read to get better at reading. Set aside reading times in class and at home. Create a Culture of Literacy (https://bit.ly/etecultureofliteracy)!
A basketball player is not going to have a consistent 3-point shot without hours of practice. A dancer will not learn a new routine or a new dance move without practicing. A pianist must practice to grow into move difficult arrangements. Gamers practice their digital prowess.
So let’s talk with our reluctant readers about topics they like and show them book after book till they find one they enjoy. Let’s do book talks to introduce new genres and titles to all our readers. Let’s DEAR. Let’s integrate science and social studies into our Language Arts classes through novels. Let’s use picture books to introduce a STEAM challenge. Let’s fill our classroom and school libraries with books!
Mostly, let’s have the students read!!
So as we finish up Achievement Testing in our schools, let’s remember parents and administrators and other educators that more books and more time to read will be the influence the growth we are looking for in our students.
How are you encouraging reading and a Culture of Literacy in your classroom or school? Reach out with your ideas via Twitter and Instagram (@edtechease) or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/edtechease/) or email me, firstname.lastname@example.org.