Teaching since Fall 2001 – 3rd year in 2nd grade

Can you imagine reading only professional books, only poetry, or only the books on the Oprah table? I can’t either. But what about limiting kids to only one level and/or type of text day after day? That’s hard to imagine, too. I worry when we methodically move children through book after book, level after level, all to achieve some target number that labels them-and us-proficient. I worry about their engagement and enthusiasm for reading and learning, I worry about their concluding that reading fast is reading well, and I worry about losing the Adams, the Carolines, the Devons, and the Nicoles…

From Reading With Meaning by Debbie Miller

The problem I’m having is that my students want to check out 5th grade books for the cool factor. When I talk to them about the books it is obvious they have not read them. These are 2nd graders, wanting books that have had recent movies made from the material – or at least using the same name. I’m looking for ideas to solve this problem and encourage the kids to read rather than walk around with the book as an accessory.

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Comments on: "When a book is cool but not read" (2)

  1. I agree. I was worried when we started this year b/c I wanted Syd to read some “classics” that are no longer taught in school. Up tho this point, she has only read what she was interested in (like Diary of a Wimpy Kid). But to my surprise, I handed her a stack of books that picked up at Target for $1 (Moby Dick, Treasure Island, Call of the Wild, etc…)…and she is working her way through them…and actually liking them! I think because she started with books that she enjoyed reading, she is now moving through others easier. I also think it depends on the vocabulary. If a child cannot understand what they are reading, they will not like it. (That goes for us as adults.)

  2. martinteacher said:

    When Harry Potter first came out, all my kids wanted a copy. I told them they had to work towards those books by being successful at lower levels. Many of them were very excited when they finally arrived at those levels. I also reminded them that the summer library program would also be a great way to read the higher level books because they get to earn trophies.

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