My students are mostly struggling sophomore boys: English Language Learners who have been beaten down by books time and again. My EL students lag behind their peers in every data point: GPA, Lexile scores, and graduation rates. Any why should my students care when Fortnite appeals to them more than fiction?
Boys are told reading isn't fun or cool: when do you see books about sports, cars, or zombies ever taught in the classroom?
So no wonder they don't want to read-they can't find what they like in our classrooms and schools.
Time and again I hear my boys say that books are boring. They ask, "Do you have something about football or basketball? What about cars or war or zombies? Don't you have anything fun?"
Most of my struggling boys have maybe 1 book in their entire household, are starting to work part-time to help their parents financially, and are already several grades behind in achievement. Help these boys get the books they need to develop a life-long skill: the love of reading.
Think to yourself: do you actually enjoy reading?
If you've ever hated reading, why was that?
And if you do love it, is there a specific book you can remember kicking that off?
So many of my students hate reading because they don't see themselves or their interests in the books teachers have thrown at them. Each of the books listed above has been chosen because of students asking me for them: Miss, do you have books about sports? football? war? What about astronauts? space? cars?
For struggling students, help them find something like they so they can develop their reading and succeed.
In my classroom, students will have 30 minutes of daily pleasure reading to help build a passion for literacy. Without these books, they may never learn to enjoy reading.
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