Chapter 1-2: My thinking so far: Yes! Yes! Yes!
It seems so simple. We have to get our students to read. To want to read, rather. This is the challenge that Penny Kittle eloquently argues in "Book Love".
* "We are expected to create lifelong readers. I believe it is our most important goal." (p. 16)
* "Volume matters". (p. 17)
* "Voluminous, voracious readers are our only hope." (p. 23)
Although the book addresses Adolescent readers, I found it resonates at the elementary level. I have talked with many Grades 3-5 students about "pretend reading". They spoke openly about "reading only the first two paragraphs of each chapter", or reading "the first and last chapter ", "waiting out the clock by flipping a page every few minutes", or "making up a story" if a parent asks questions about their reading at home. Some students acknowledge habitually abandoning books after one or two pages. So disheartening.
I tell teachers reading is a numbers game: more words + more time = stronger reader. The first step in supporting students who "hate" reading is embracing their choices, not worrying about what we believe is appropriate. It is okay then if the book a student is reading is a graphic novel. It is okay if the book is considered "below grade level" because that book is probably meeting where the student is -- at that point.. It is okay to read "Captain Underpants", "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" or books from the same series. We have to encourage students and get them hooked on reading first. Let's celebrate the act of reading. Once engaged, our readers will grow.