Friday, November 22, 2013

How do we get teens to read?

I am dealing with a huge issue in my middle school. And it has absolutely nothing to do with my students, rather it is with policy and the push for more and more data. This data does not show what kids like to read, what kids hate to read, or what kids think reading is a waste of time. The data, the numbers ONLY tell us what kids can comprehend what they've read.

Now, why is this a problem? Because I'm not teaching just to get through the year. I want to show my teens that reading goes beyond 8th grade. High school. College. That they can be life-long readers. Ya know like read for fun. New educational policy is taking the time away from teachers like me to do this.

I refuse to give up! I will keep spouting these words to anyone who'll listen, "The more kids read the better readers they become."

Once I finish ranting I go back and refocus on the teens sitting in my classroom. And the only way to instill a love of reading is to read the same books as the kids. Talk to kids about books. Give them opportunities to look at and borrow new books. This is what works.

My latest coup? Sharing some wonderful book trailers to my students. Surprisingly they had NEVER heard of book trailers before! Together we sat for 30 minutes and watched 10-15 trailers. So much excitement was built up from these that almost all of the titles I showed were checked out of our school and classroom library by the end of the day! And BTW, this worked with my gifted students who already love to read and my struggling readers.

Here are just a few the had the books flying off the shelves (and had them reading 300+ page books in two days)! If you have any other book trailers you think I should share with my 8th graders, please let me know.

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