Archive for January, 2014

Finding Joy in Teaching Reading

Posted on: January 26th, 2014 by lschwartz No Comments

I have not updated this blog since November as I consider the voice and vision of this blog.  I want it to be just right.  Tonight, as I read through the first chapter of Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, I realized my neglect of this blog has a lot do with fear of what other people will think about what I post and disengagement.  Because if I disengage from the process of blogging, I cannot fail.

But in the past few days, I have been inspired by people and events.  First I was inspired by Jen Barker and her blog post about her one little word for 2014, JOY.  Her post connected me to a post about finding joy in school and learning by Chris Kennedy.  Today, with my colleague Marie, I spoke to parents about reading with children and the focus of our session was making reading joyful.

I think sometimes the pressure we feel to get all those students reading at level xyz by a certain date, darkens our vision and makes the joy of reading harder to see.

 Find Joy in Teaching of Reading:

1. Joy is contagious.  Share your own love of reading with your students.

2.  Read out loud to your students, daily, no matter what age.

3. Build a community of readers who share books, make recommendations and talk about books.

4.  Put phonics and phonemic awareness in their place.  There is a place for both of these pieces of the puzzle, but they are just that, pieces of the puzzle.

5.  Focus on meaning.  Reading is making meaning and interacting with text.  When we teach for meaning and teach students to think while their reading, this allows them to interact more freely with text and come to a better understanding of what they are reading.

6.  Let there be choice.  Time to read just right books (fluency level) and time to read just right books (passion level).

“Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.” -Maya Angelou