WOW! It has been a long time since I wrote a blog post. Now that the book is written and the school year is under way, it is time for me to get back into writing my blog and sharing what is going on in my classroom with my students.
So this past summer I “assigned” reading to my students and I feel that I may have failed my students as their teacher. Yes, I said it, I FAILED my students. My intent was not turn them off to reading, it was to help with the Summer slump that can occur with our students when they don’t engage their brains at some point. I have a hard enough time motivating my middle school students to read now. Though I see more positive in the last two years, than I ever have.
I asked my students to pick one chapter book to read and to find one non-fiction article to read. In addition, I gave them a short writing assignment to help me see that they actually did do the reading.
I am really trying hard to become a better reading teacher and I thought this would be something that could help them. I even celebrated our reading we did over the summer with a treat trying to make it a big deal that we read. In addition, I held drawings for our students to get free books that I bought out of my pocket.
I wasn’t feeling the excitement from my students and there is only so much dancing and singing I can do about books before my middle school students look at me really funny. Regardless, I still give them that excitement every day! At this point, I want to know where do middle school students lose their interest in reading. What experiences are they having to turn them off to reading? I had them take a small survey and here is what I found.
1. Most students couldn’t recall a time where they were “turned off” to reading.
2. My students are more resistant to reading when they are “forced” to read something.
3. Students want choice (I knew this already, but it was still nice to see).
4. Students feel they don’t have time to read when they are in middle school.
So, I am left thinking that I killed my students with “making” them read over the summer. In addition, how do I get middle school students to realize they do have time to read? I need to do something different, or do more. Any feedback would be great! Whatever it may be, I am not going to give up on my students.