We all know some particular combinations of students will make for different experiences from year to year; this class did have more students who were not reading 'at grade level' when they arrived but was that the reason things were not as successful? I am not sure.
With all the current emphasis on putting the "right book in the right hands at the right time", with our "baggie" books going home in primary grades, levelled texts and guided reading sessions continuing up in to elementary classrooms now, are more students really engaged in reading? Choosing to read on their own?
I'm not so sure any more. I certainly didn't see it this year. Have we, as educators, missed the boat with how we are 'doing' reading? Is it just a school issue?
I do know parents have become (overly) concerned about the level of the books brought home, particularly in primary grades here and may be communicating the anxiety about 'moving up' to their children instead of recognizing the time and practice that is built into any process of learning. That being said maybe the Home Reading program needs an overhaul in its approach to record keeping and reading logs and ensuring that its only "just right" books that go home.
I do know that there are many (and major) distractions in our students' lives, enough that even if the only homework (more on that topic later) is reading, it does not routinely get done or is frequently completed under stress and in less than ideal conditions.
I do know more and more students have devices on which they spend hours after school instead of reading ...or reading in different spaces than we normally consider. That's a factor that has to examined.
|Image from here|
I have tried different approaches to foster the love of reading while aiming to ensure our English Language Arts outcome that refers to students' ability to select and read across genres is met.