Friday, July 10, 2015

Responding to MY reading: Choice during independent reading time?

I had time to read and reflect on a Jennifer Serravallo's article on Independent Reading on Independence Day!'s-a-teacher-to-do-

"I want to create conditions where students are at their peak level of engagement," Serravallo notes citing her own research suggests kids are not so good at monitoring their own comprehension! Thus, 
" students’ choosing toward books that are “just right” (96% or higher accuracy, with fluency and comprehension) or “easy” with a rare exception for a book that’s a bit more of a stretch, in which I’m willing to provide extra support."

Yes, all of us steeped in Balanced Literacy would agree. We comprehend and enjoy books we can read!  Yes, all of us who work with young, reluctant, or struggling readers agree......Yet, I've also been rereading The Book Whisperer and am reminded that "Kids will read if we give them the books, the time, and the enthusiastic encouragement to do so....To keep our students reading, we have to let them. (Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child)

SOMETIMES, kids are going to read "above their heads" and will struggle with comprehension because they are interested in the topic or because they just want to do so!
SOMETIMES, kids need/want to read "easy-peasy" books just for the fun of it.
SOMETIMES, kids spend an entire year reading Nancy Drew, Captain Underpants or The Babysitter Club.
SOMETIMES, kids read within their schema and sometimes they build schema by reading in foreign-to-them-territory!
SOMETIMES, kids will find magic, interest, and enjoyment in a text that is "just right" and will have maximum comprehension......

I guess I vote for SOME choice during independent reading time.  You shouldn't spend the WHOLE year reading above/below/outside of your head; but you shouldn't always have to read from the stack that is "your" level!  In addition, if you are "restricted" to a specific stack/box of books, you might just spend all your energy yearning for what you do not have and forget to enjoy what you have! I'm pretty sure that Serravallo would support some choice as well as some recommendations!

No comments: