Monday, November 14, 2011

Pam Allyn and Reading

On 11/12/11, Pam Allyn in Huffington Post asks that students spend a far greater time of the school day reading. Her analogy -- what if a soccer player spent much of her practice time talking about playing? -- is appropriate. I often tell my students I've yet to see a student read a lot (and read widely, not simply one category) and not be a good reader. (I also tell them there are some strong readers who seldom read but who are fluent readers, though this is far less common.) True, there are deeper levels of understanding that should be addressed, but just as the coach gathers around his players and discusses better strategies after his team has been on the team, a teacher can discuss strategies, hidden meaning, etc after the students have delved into their stories.

We just finished up a book fair at our school, and teachers and I agonized when we saw children leaving the library -- a library filled with delightful books to purchase -- only carrying out the toys and novelties they bought. (One such group came to my reading classroom, proud not one of them purchased a book).

Yes, our children need to read. And enter new worlds. And delight.