“Why Kids Should Choose Their Own Books to Read in School”

23 Sep

This is one of those articles that I read and said to myself… “well, duh!”  Sadly, that’s now how this issue is looked at by many in the education field.  As the writer states, I grew up in a time where Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) was something that happened regularly and as a book lover and reader, I absolutely loved this time during class.  I carried around a book with me pretty much where ever I could and still do.  People often joke, asking me if I’m carrying a book in my purse or have one in my car.  And the answer is yes, I have learned that there are any number of situations that allow me to steal a few minutes to read a couple of pages every day.

If you haven’t had a chance to read anything written by Donalyn Miller, she is a strong educator and advocate for children’s choice in reading selection.  Her books The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child and her most recent book, Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer’s Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits are both easy to read with wonderful examples and ways to encourage reading in the classroom.  These are must reads for elementary school teachers and teachers in the upper grades as well.

Due to the need for more instruction because of state and federal testing, reading (without assessment) has been pushed out the door.  The writer of the articles points out that little research has been done on its benefits because the point is to not be assessed for the reading, but to enjoy it.  And that’s the whole point… how are kids going to learn to enjoy reading, if not given the chance to do so?  Children’s access to books and choice in books are the major factors in creating lifelong readers.  Is this article stating anything new?  Not to me, but I appreciate when these articles are published and I hope that parents and teachers will see the value in reading for pleasure!

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