Coffee, Books, Reflection
Across the great state of Iowa, many teachers participate in WRURW - What RU Reading Wednesday with their students. I have always known the importance of silent sustained reading, but Kelly Gallagher's book Readicide taught me to practice what I preach and put that viewpoint into my classroom. This year, I've transitioned to a new school, a new role, and a new grade level. I've changed so many of my practices and learned so much about standards based reporting and standard aligned grading. I've learned about toxic grading practices and changed some of my views regarding teaching practices. I haven't changed the way I encourage and celebrate readers, though.
Wednesdays are my favorite day of the week. Students come in and are treated to 20 minutes of reading in their outside reading books. Then, the last 15 minutes of class they can blog, work on missing work, or continue reading silently. I call it our sacred time and it feels like it. I take time to read with them because I believe it is important to set an example. I want them to read something they enjoy, so I also tell them to ditch books they hate. I remind them teachers will require them to read all kinds of stuff they don't like, so choice reading shouldn't feel like a chore, it should feel like a gift. I plan to revamp some of my expectations for WRURW next year, but I will not let it go away. Students can, and should, always have something they enjoy to read.
The views on this blog are mine alone and do not reflect those of my employer or anyone else.
Kari teaches English I to 9th graders (!) and other electives in rural Iowa. Her husband is also an English teacher, and their friends have sworn to never help them move again because "even libraries don't have that many books."