Every Monday during our Advisory class we have our students participate in Sustained Silent Reading(S.S.R). Once a month we require our students to read an authentic article or a piece of informational reading. After the students read this piece of reading, they have a series of comprehension questions to answer. The other three Mondays the students get to read something of their choice. During these Monday reading sessions, I like to model for my students that I enjoy reading too. Many of my colleagues take the time to grade papers or catch up on lesson plans or if they have coaching duties they may work on plays and such. Too me, I feel this is a time to show students how important we feel reading actually is. There is not any better way than reading ourselves. I am not talking about those professional books either. I am talking about reading a book for enjoyment. I have a book I read at home and at school for enjoyment. By reading with my kids, I am not only showing them I am an avid reader, but it also is a time for me to take a break from reality. Let’s face it, we can all use that from time to time. So, I encourage any teacher to read with their students when presented with the opportunity.
Along with reading with my students, I like to carry my book around with me in between classes and on my way down to the office, etc. This encourages students and adults alike to ask questions about the book that is in my hand. This sparks interest in reading. Little ideas like this can make a difference in students when it comes to reading.
Besides reading, teachers need to write and model for their students with writing that comes from them. I show my students a lot of my writing. I open myself up for critique, praise, even laughter. Even though I may encounter these elements, my students see me as a writer and that it can be very powerful. One other writing idea I use in my classroom is when my students do their writing into the day, which occurs every day, I write with them. Since I have started doing this, I have more and more students stay on task during this 10 minute writing exercise. So, I encourage you to try a few of these methods on your own, or be creative and they something on your own.