I love to read. I love to give book recommendations. I love to reread a new picture book to any teacher that walks by my classroom just to have the opportunity to read the book again. I visit the library. I go back to the library. I can't walk out of the local bookstore without buying a book...I am an avid reader.
My wish for the upcoming school year is that all of my students will be as passionate about reading as I am. But...as I begin thinking back to last school year and ahead to the school year to come, I find my thoughts keep coming back to the "unengaged" reader. The reader that has all of the skills and strategies to read but chooses not to. The student that can find any way to avoid a book recommendation and appear to be reading. After thinking about what I believe reading is, I find two main ideas that keep circling in my thoughts...inquiry and knowing yourself as a reader. By coaching and modeling choice, questioning, purpose, and collaboration, I am supporting the "unengaged" reader. Hopefully the reader will see these authentic reading experiences, multiple resources, and focus on student responsibility as a vehicle to begin caring about reading. These inquiry approaches can be incorporated into content areas, book clubs, and open investigations. Now the big question...what evidence will be in my classroom to support these approaches in the fall? More pondering needed on that one!
Here is a link to a recent post at the blog "A Year of Reading" that supports my thoughts of putting inquiry first to support the "engaged" and "unengaged" reader: