I took a big risk with my reading instruction this year, basically ripping apart what I’d been doing before and doing something completely different. And it has been working! My kids are enjoying reading (most of them) way more than last year. The secret is actual books they like.
When I was job searching, I would often bring up in interviews that I believed reading instruction was best served with a lot of reading and a lot of writing. Fit those two things into every other subject, and have the kids read a lot and it would all work out. Well, one kind principal told me after not employing me that that was something that put the other candidate ahead of me. See, there’s so much more to it than that!
Well, after five years of teaching, going through PD, learning new techniques, trying it different ways I’ve reached the conclusion that the best reading instruction boils down to a lot of reading and a lot of writing.
Like, that’s really all it is.
Reading is like running. The best way to get better at running is to run. Yeah, there’s some issues with form and pacing,but the vast majority of people can run to get better at it. It’s what I’ve seen. The kids who love reading are better at it, the ones who aren’t need to find the love.
I love reading, so there is that.
(and, yes, there is merit to intentional instruction in the components in reading, but if the worst thing you do is have your students read a lot and write a lot, you’re going to be okay – there’s plenty more you can do, I just enjoy being glib)