Can you say "understatement" or "captain obvious" or "duh".
But why do our students hate to read. I would say 95% of our high school students literally say this and follow it up by not reading. Our librarian said she only has a couple of readers...in a school of 700!!! I asked a bunch of kids as the year ended, "what do you plan on reading this summer?" and ALL pretty much said "I don't read". So I bought Readicide for MY summer reading. I have always felt that school kills learning as well as reading, and they go hand in hand. How much do you learn without reading something? When I decided to learn about Arduino & Gemma & wearables, I ordered a bunch of books to skim & have as reference. I might not read a lot of books (like someone in my PLN that read 100 last year), but I read many things daily : newspaper, science magazines, USAToday & CNN online, blog posts.
Student reading is something that has been on my mind for many years. A Principal bought magazine racks for me to put outside my classroom and fill with various magazines. My neighbor (biology teacher) and I put various science and tech magazines on there. Students have not used it as much as I have hoped. I have wondered if we give our students enough year round access to books. I gave a Kindle to our library filled with books; not sure how much it has been used (or at all). I stopped using textbooks in class because students did not use them, in addition to the fact that their correlation to the Standards was horrible and the idea of textbooks is outdated. I have tried to augment course reading with handouts that I put together and articles that I find. I need to do MUCH more of that and probably get some "textbook" style reading for variety & complexity. I have a cabinet of books that I need to put on my bookcase by the door. I need to get more books. I need to work more on student reading, for enjoyment and learning. Can we take some time during the week (start with 10 minutes) and just have "reading time", not necessarily content related?
Readicide has some statistics for things I had always believed. School has killed reading & Gallagher goes through many examples of how. Students will never develop interest unless given time & opportunity to go deep. Too many Standards, too much testing & assessment hinder reading. How do we help students become productive citizens if they never read and/or curate info about current society? Reading is so important for building vocabulary and communications skills and frames of cultural reference, as well as a base of knowledge. Students need daily, immediate access to books that can go home, and sometimes the "library" needs to come to them. They also need long, uninterrupted time to read (personally i don't want to read a chapter here or there - let me read the whole book at once)
- book flood (enormous availability of books of all variety)
- bi-textual reader (reading from variety of sources)
- 50/50 (content/recreational reading)
- time to get into flow (reading just happens and lose track of time)
These are passages I highlighted from Readicide.
One thing kept running through my mind = science reading material is "easy" to find-but how about Geometry????
A final thought about access to books, I am unhappy by our Districts answer that "the Public library is across the street from the school and is open during summer." Am I wrong?
Ray Bradbury said, “You don’t have to burn books to destroy culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”
Any chance a school has a class JUST for reading & sharing???