Thursday, November 15, 2012

I Didn't Get Stars, Points, Pizzas or Parties for Reading!

I'm a reader.
I've always been a reader.
No one paid me to read.
No one bribed me to read.
I didn't get stars, points, pizzas or parties for reading.

How did I possibly learn to read ?
My dad read books. (But he didn't read directions, ever, for anything )
My dad also was a story teller,he told us made up stories, true stories, and was  a poetry reader, James Whitcomb Riley (poet laureate of Indiana ) was read often in our house... Little Orphant Annie, The Bear Story, Raggedy Man, I still recite these by heart.
My mom had us read recipes, write grocery lists, we always had pencils, crayons and paper.
I don't even remember not having a library card, perhaps it was issued with my birth certificate.
Words, spoken, written & read were important in our house.

My 1st grade teacher, (who was also my 2nd grade teacher...looping before looping was cool) read aloud to us everyday, more than once a day.

She didn't control what we checked out from the library,

Like cars? Get a car book.
Like biographies? Get one.
Heck get 7, get one of each.
Want to read the atlas? Do it.
How about a globe, can you read that? Yup!
Like the pictures in that book that is WAY too hard for a 1st grader?
So what, check it out and look at all of the pictures.

Ms. Hale taught me not to be a reading snob. Anything in print was ripe for the reading, chapter books, picture books, cereal boxes, directions, maps, comic books, joke books, fiction, non-fiction, road signs...whatever floats your boat.Love it or need it, there were reasons for reading.

I was only 6 years old and I've never forgotten it. It guided me as an elementary teacher.

Reading is personal.

Similar to  Joe Bower's recent blog posts about reading, Daddy I Want a Book Buck, is story from my sister.

Her daughter who is in middle school has a book club with some other girls that their moms started years ago.  The girls had chosen to read a trilogy by Deborah Ellis, beginning with The Breadwinner and moving on to Parvana's Journey. Sarah LOVED the books, devoured them and in fact shared her copy with my mom (her grandma) because she thought Gma would love it, too.

THEN, as she celebrated this wonderful book to her teacher, she was told it wouldn't count for her "points" that month. The lexile score was too low.

(neither mother nor daughter knew what a lexile score was, why would they?)

This knowledge of the low lexile score  made the girls question whether they should even bother to read the 3rd book since it didn't "count".

It has a happy ending...the girls (and their mom's) decided book club was for fun and to heck with the points.

What would I be like as  reader if I had been bribed to read?
What great books would I have missed out on because they were too easy or too hard as defined by an incentive program?
Would it have killed my love of reading?

Are you killing the love of reading?

Great book to help you ponder that: Readicide: How Schools Are Killing Reading & What You Can Do About It. by Kelly Gallagher

1 comment:

  1. I taught reading the past two years. MY goal for the students was that they would become READERS. You are right, and sometimes the kids would take an AR test and not pass, but really liked the book and wanted to read another. Hm. Isn't that what it's all about? I was so proud that kids were becoming readers! Then we had to eliminate the reading class due to time restraints. Other classes were more of a priority. Really?