Reading is one of the most important things that schools are charged with. When children enter school, one of the first skills they are expected to gain is the ability to read. As educators, we continue to learn more about the science of reading and how to analyze reading skills that children must acquire. Once children gain basic reading skills, the emphasis shifts to comprehension – and boy, does it shift. Text is analyzed. Discussions are held. Highlighting happens. We ask children to look for details, answer questions and notice text features. And sometimes, just sometimes, we suck the joy right out of reading.
I read constantly. Every day, no matter how busy I am, I read. I read for information and I read for pleasure. In the past two days, I have read to plan visits to travel sites, to figure out “whodunnit,” to synthesize information about a student needing support, and to learn what is going on in the world, locally and internationally. I’m sure that you, like me, can remember some of the reading activities of your school years that were boring, painful, and redundant. As we learn more about fostering reading skills, one of the things we know is that the more children read or are read to, the better a reader they become. Entering the world of books, no matter their length, their format, or their subject, is one of the great joys we can share with children. What books have you shared lately?