Penny Kittle is huge on allowing kids to read at their own pace. This is a very important issue. We throw kids into a room, read to them as fast as we can get through the book, and then give them a test expecting them to understand it. Well it isn’t right. Each student has different tastes, paces, and comprehension levels. Reading is not as straight forward as other subjects. You cannot expect that since they wrote the answer they understand. It does not work this way.
I know one of my biggest fears going into teaching is that students won’t read what is assigned and still pass my class. I am giving them a grade for literally doing NOTHING. How sad is that? I know there were some classes I have taken where I knew nothing would come out of me reading.
This is why I found both Chapter 8 and 9 to be helpful. She wants to help create an individual reader AND a community of readers. It is important to make sure each student is involved and wants to read what book they have in front of them. Once this goal is complete it is important to have their friends, family, and school community behind them egging them on, and allowing a peaceful environment. It is important these kids have access to books, and a place to talk about them.
Another huge part is testing. If we allow our students to pass “tests” in English that don’t test anything besides the power of memory in each kid then what do they learn? If we allow each kid to read at their pace and read something they want to while letting them write about it in a notebook (allowing conversation, and making sure they actually read) then doesn’t that sound better and more helpful? I think it does.
It will be a huge deal to me to ensure my students enjoy reading, and don’t feel like they have to cheat to pass my class. This semester has really helped me and Book Love has helped me find who I want to be as a teacher to my students.