Earlier in the year I shared some data on literacy rates with my students. Some of the numbers made them mad; they called them “racist” because white readers by and large have higher literacy rates than Latinos. We had a decent discussion about why that might be the case, but I could tell my students still didn’t really “get it.”
Then, I came across this blog post at Literacy Learning Zone, and I knew I had a useful tool to help my students understand why their reading levels might be lower than some of their peers’ at the high school across town. We watched the YouTube video that explains the gaps created by a lack of reading during the summer. The timing was perfect. All morning administrators were busy calling individual students into the hall to discuss their recent STAAR EOC scores and summer school options. Kids were sad.
I’ve encouraged, begged, pleaded with students all year: “The single most importance thing you can do for your education is READ. Read books, magazines, newspapers. Read anything for extended periods of time.”
If only they would believe me!
So, today after watched the video linked inside that blog, I gave my soon-to-be sophomores their summer reading assignments. It’s pretty simple: Read any book of your choice that has some literary merit (we talked about what this means) and make a note of 5 significant quotes. [I suggested they look for the Notice and Note signposts. Thank you Kylene Beers and Bob Probst.]
I will read this summer, too. I am excited to be back in the classroom full-time. That district instructional coach job just didn’t line up with my passion– a lesson I learned from reading Ken Robinson’s book The Element. I miss the students, and I miss learning with my students. My schedule is heavy with three preps, but the trade-off will be worth it. I’m already excited about the reading I need to do to get back into the groove of an AP Language class.
Here’s a shot of what I start reading, and/or re-reading this week. Lucky me!