Our public school represents students who are culturally, socioeconomically, and academically diverse. My kids are typical 9 and 10 year olds who love to read. Reading regularly and voraciously is the norm for our kids. They read widely and choose to read. This didn't happen accidentally. Parents are committed to the idea of regular reading at home. Teachers design their school day so that kids spend large blocks of time reading a variety of authentic texts. Teachers share their passion for reading with the kids. Administration dedicates funds and professional development time to reading instruction. As a result, students choose to read. These readers know books. They come with a hunger for more, and it is my job as a teacher to make sure they have enough to satisfy their healthy appetite for books.
Reading is at the heart of all we do and as a result "reading is cool" in our school. My children's tastes in reading have gone far beyond Harry Potter It used to be I was the one who knew all the good titles to recommend to them, and now the tide has has turned. They now introduce me to as many new authors as I do to them. They are not only kids who love to read, they choose to read. One of the biggest problems I face isn't really getting them to read, it is keeping up with their reading habits. But I do my homework, research book lists, read a lot of children's literature, and listen to my kids. I work hard to get them books that may not always be found featured on the end cap of the shelf at your local bookstore. However getting the books isn't always easy. This habit of theirs is expensive!
Having these books in my classroom library will really inspire my students to continue their love of reading .
In our class, students read books of their choice every day for at least 30 minutes. They also read every night at home for 20 minutes. They read in book clubs, science, and social studies. I read aloud to them every day as well for 20 minutes. Reading is everywhere. You can stop any of the kids in this class, and they will happily have a conversation with you about the books they are reading right now and what they are planning to read next. That's the good news! The bad news is that because of all these great reading habits, we need more books.
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