Today is a bit gloomy and the perfect day to sit down and read a good book. I have focused so much of my personal professional growth and teaching this year on the importance of reading. Not just reading but what we read and how we read. In years past I was very focused on teacher directed reading. Phrases like is that your level of book or did you take your AR test yet on that book? Were frequent, I was a teacher that was guilty of helping cause Readicide in my students, the death of the joy of reading. Reading had become a task for them to complete versus a tool to increase imagination, joy and creativity. So midway through last year I changed things up, I started having choice reading be less rigid more student directed. When students were free to choose what the wanted they were instantly more engaged and excited. After a few weeks of this, one of my struggling students who was reading a book way beyond her “level”, came to me and said,
Mr.Gilson I like that you just want us to like reading again, all my old teachers just worried about my level and so I didn’t like reading, look how huge this book is! And I get it!
In that moment I realized the power of choice reading in a development of a love of reading. This year I have focused more on choice and options, comic books graphic novels, poetry, picture books and novels. Whatever it takes to form a reader that reads for more than just a mark. Go find a great book and enjoy the adventure. #worldbookday2017