I've been saying in multiple social media posts that I only want to focus on one or two things this year and do them well. After a lot of thought and an incredible conference with Penny Kittle, my focus this year is reading. That's a pretty broad goal and isn't really a goal at all. So the question is, what do I want to achieve in the realm of reading?
My ultimate goal is to create readers out of my students. Give them choice and freedom to read books they want to read--their choice. A recent article in Canada Education reports on the power of engaged readers. This story supports its claims with evidence that surprised me.
But it's no surprise that words can capture a person and hold him/her prisoner within the bound pages. It happens to me almost daily. I'm currently reading Deadline by Chris Crutcher and I'm absorbed in it. I know I need to get some other task completed but it's usually only after an internal struggle that I can put it down.
How can I make that happen in my students? By giving them the freedom to choose their own book and the trust that they know what they're doing. By treating them like adults and allowing them choice in what they read, students become active learners and participants.
So that's my goal this year. To get my students so engaged in reading and so immersed in their books that when it's time to stop for the day they beg: One. More. Page.