Teachers for Teachers | Slice of Life: Inspiring Reading Habits is More Than a Lesson
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Slice of Life: Inspiring Reading Habits is More Than a Lesson

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We had the pleasure of working with some fifth and sixth graders in small groups last week.  While Tammy was teaching one group, I was waiting with the next small group.  I had a few minutes with each group.  As we waited I asked,

“What are your summer reading plans?”

I was amazed to hear each and every student share a plan with me.  These plans included the names of series, genres, authors, research topics, and projects of interest.  They even had a plan of how they were going to get the books and talk to each other about books over the summer.  I was inspired.

I shared my observation with the students’ teachers.  They were thrilled to hear it and were surprised since they had not started discussing summer reading yet with them.  We were not at all surprised since we saw this as the screen saver for the classroom smartboard:

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This was the TBR stack these teachers shared before our last vacation.  Each vacation or long weekend, they share their TBR stack with the students and give them time to make their own.  This has been happening all year for these students.  It is just what readers do.

So many of the habits and dispositions our readers possess cannot be attributed to one or two lessons.  It is the culture and community that is created and sustained every day in a classroom that brings these passions to life.  We hope every teacher takes the time to nurture and support students’ reading lives.  In the words of Donalyn Miller, “We believe that teaching our students to be wild readers is not only possible; it is our ethical responsibility as reading teachers and lifelong readers.  Our students deserve it, society demands it, and our teaching hearts know that it matters.”

3 Comments
  • Christine Baldiga
    Posted at 12:46h, 07 June Reply

    Model, model, model! What a fabulous story to show us all what it means to live a readerly life.

  • Rose
    Posted at 12:59h, 07 June Reply

    It is the culture and community that is created and sustained every day in a classroom that brings these passions to life.

    Thank you for this!

  • Lynne Dorfman
    Posted at 21:38h, 07 June Reply

    Love your post, and it is of course important to establish readerly and writerly habits in our students. So much about the classroom culture – a true community where students feel they can safely share with each other. The teacher as reader, writer, researcher must be evident to his/her students. Thank you!

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