Studies find that many adults do not read after high school. Do you read? And if so, how do you share that/ model that in the classroom?
Kimberly, OC Beach Teacher: As an English teacher, I can’t imagine not reading! How would I be able to tell my students about great books or assess their understanding if I didn’t read? Just today I took my students to the library and talked with them about a range of books including young adult fiction, classics, and nonfiction. I have many reluctant readers and must entice them to choose a book, or they simply won’t read. At the library, I shared some of my reading from this summer, including The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska by John Green, and the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. I teased them with books that I had read in the past, such as The Road by Cormac McCarthy and Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult. I invited former students (especially boys) who told my current students about Seal Team Six and A Child Called It. By talking about these books and reading with them during our Silent Sustained Reading times, I can share my enthusiasm for literature and hope that it spreads. My most rewarding moments are when students tell me they loved a book that they read in my class!
Clair, High School English on a Shoestring Budget: I love reading– both for recreation and entertainment. I talk about books in the classroom and always comment on a book a student has brought to class. I also bring my own books to class sometimes, such as a “work day” where students are finishing various projects. I’ll conspicuously pick up the book and read a few pages while they work. I try to keep up with some of the hot or hyped books, as well as familiar with the based-on-the-book movies that are coming out, again as ways to connect with students. And I try to encourage discussions about books, including allowing (or even encouraging) talking about books they hated reading, in my class or otherwise– it’s okay to hate something, as long as they’ve read it. Talking about books they’ve hated can get some rousing discussion going– but they’ve read the books and they have to justify their position, using high order thinking.
Sara, Ms. Fuller’s Teaching Adventures: I do read but not as much as I should. That said I’m an English teacher so the students don’t seem surprised that I read. I absolutely share what I’m reading with my students. I make suggestions about what to read to them as well. When I have time I review young adult literature, on my blog YA Lit the Good the Bad the Ugly, from a teacher’s perspective.
Spanish Plans: Our school librarian has made a laminated sheet to hang outside each teacher’s door of “What I am reading:”. Teachers will print off a cover of a book they are reading and tape it to the sign. It is cool the walk down the hallways and see the different types of books teachers are reading. Some are reading books that their students would be reading. Some are reading professional development books. But the students get to see that even the teachers enjoy reading outside of school!
Michelle Brosseau, Mrs. Brosseau’s Binder : I love teaching and learning about Science. Due to all of the new discoveries happening daily, I find it is more important to read scientific articles as opposed to books on the topic. I love sharing these articles with my classes. They lead to great discussions on ethics, investments, priorities, etc. A fun and important critical-thinking activity would be to introduce a seemingly truthful article and have the students analyze the article to determine whether it is authentic and if the statistics are misleading. Though I prefer to include news articles in my classroom, I can’t help but to have my students read Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s essay on Lagrange points in space. It is a very special find that connects reading with all of the calculations we do in Physics class.