What are we doing in our classrooms to causestudents to hate reading? Assigning books they don’t connect with Assigning one book for a whole class of students with disparate reading abilities Showing that the only value in reading is when someone assigns it
Why choice? Meets students where they’re at, not where I expect them to be Moves students up their personal ladder of reading (Lesesne, 2010) Lifelong readers create lifelong learners Empowers students with autonomy, mastery and purpose (Pink, 2009)
Why choice? Autonomy – the desire to direct our own lives Mastery – the urge to make progress and get better at something Purpose – the yearning to do what we do in service of something larger than ourselves (Pink, 2009)
Criticisms of choice Surely students can’t learn the skills they need without shared reading experiences. Students need The Classics! How do students gain cultural capital by not reading “great works of literature” with a knowledgeable teacher?
Criticism: Students need sharedreading experiences Limit number of whole class texts, don’t eliminate them entirely – Adopt a 50/50 approach: 50% choice, 50% assigned reading (Gallagher, 2009) Read alouds – When did this only become important to elementary students? “Big kids” need models of good reading too! Short stories & poems – Learn literary elements through short pieces of text and have students apply these elements to their personal reading
Criticism: Students need TheClassics! Use the 50/50 approach Students won’t appreciate and respond to The Classics unless teachers show they respect students’ own reading choices Classics were not written with teens in mind – there are just as many great literary, contemporary YA titles teachers can use as there are classic texts
Non-exhaustive list of contemporary,literary YA writers you can use inaddition to classics: Suzanne Collins Laurie Halse M.T. Anderson Anderson Laini Taylor Kenneth Oppel Maggie Stiefvater John Green Markus Zusak Lauren Oliver Jennifer Donnelly Libba Bray Patrick Ness A.S. King Jacqueline Woodson Elizabeth Wein Chris Crutcher Jay Asher Angela Johnson
Choice does not have to be a free- for-allExample of the genre requirement form I use with my 6th graders
“You don’t have to burn books to destroy culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” – Ray Bradbury Is this what we’re doing to our kids?
…and they all lived happily everafter? Beth Shaum St. Paul Catholic School Grosse Pointe Farms, MI firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @FoodieBooklvr
References and Works CitedGallagher, K. (2009). Readicide how schools are killing reading and what you can do about it. Portland, Me.: Stenhouse Publishers.Kittle, P. (2011). Penny Kittle – Reading Workshop Handouts. Penny Kittle. Retrieved October 6, 2012, from http://www.pennykittle.net/uploads/pdf/ReadingWorkshophandouts.pdfLesesne, T. S. (2010). Reading ladders: leading students from where they are to where wed like them to be. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.Miller, D. (2009). The book whisperer: awakening the inner reader in every child. San Francisco, Calif.: Jossey-Bass.Pink, D. H. (2009). Drive: the surprising truth about what motivates us. New York, NY: Riverhead Books.