Wednesday, April 6, 2011


It is conference week, friends, so it's very busy.  I have a quick story to share.

I always say that I am about building life-long readers, not life-long test takers, and I design my reading instruction that way.  I try to make reading a privilege and invite kids to try new books they might like.  I try to make close-reading a good experience to have so we can learn something about ourselves through literature--not so we can guess someone else's interpretation.   Students ask questions instead of answering them.  This is not always the best type of reading instruction for test preparation, and this year's political climate has make me second-guess what I'm doing--not a lot, but certainly enough to lose a little sleep over.

So I really needed this parent last night.

I needed her to sit down at my table and say, "I don't know what you did, but Luke is a reader now.  He asked for books for Christmas--full of small print and historical facts.  When we asked him if he was sure, he said, 'Yes.  I want to read about it because I want to learn about it.' He goes to his room at night to read for a half hour.  He never did these things before.  So thank you."

Luke would not be doing these things if my reading instruction were made of multiple choice questions to answer.