As an English Langauge Arts teacher, we want every student that enters our classroom to love books and love to read. While this would be the ideal classroom, it is not a reality. For numerous reasons, some students just do not like to read and that is okay! It is part of our duty to influence students to find pleasure within their books. This is what I looked into this week, ways to get students to read and become lifelong readers.
Something we have already talked about in this class is book talks. These are great tools just because they do not take very long to do and they allow students to be exposed to titles they might not have seen or thought of as interesting. When I eventually get my own classroom, I want to use book talks every day but I want students to start joining me and talk about what they have read and influenced their peers to read along. This can be very helpful in creating a reading community within our classroom.
The Pushy Book Handler as it is called in 6 Simple Ideas to Get Kids to Read, is a concept that I think every teacher should do but rarely do. By handing students books that they think they will like, a lot of preparation is required. When you hand someone a book, your intent is to have them read it and like it as much as you did. In order to do this effectively, we must first understand the type of reader the recipient is. Every student is going to be different in what they like and dislikes in their books. Even I am going to have different preferences from my students. An idea from previous readings in my education talk about keeping a journal loaded with students likes and dislikes. Even keeping track of what a student reads can lead to some connections and eventually some recommendations of types of books the student will enjoy. This is not required of every teacher to do but it does help with the goal to get every student to become a reader.
The final thing I want to talk about is classroom libraries. Something that really stuck with me is the importance of having a classroom library in every classroom, not just the English room. It is so important to surround students with books because it will allow them to be attractive to them. When surrounded by books, our natural curiosity is peaked and we want to look at them.