To speak of many things
Of comedies, tragedies, and dramas
Of posters and dioramas.
Cheesy, I know. But I am dismayed to see some of the "fresh" ideas posted to social media. It is bad enough that kids get no choice when it comes to reading materials (or maybe are offered a choice between Book A and Book B), but now the final product of their reading is also prescribed. I have to note here that I was guilty once upon a time of having students complete the same books with the same activities. It was the 70s, and disco was popular. Chalk it up to the Bee Gees, okay?
We need to offer kids more choices (you do remember that post from earlier in the week, right?). Response, to be authentic, should be individual and idiosyncratic.
I am finishing up the final pages of the new Brian Selznick book. The LAST thing, dead LAST THING, I want to do when I have finished is make something to show to others who have read the book. I have, instead, dogeared pages and made notes about things I want to TALK about. No making, just talking and sharing. How will kids ever become those "readers in the wild" Donalyn Miller writes about if reading and response is so prescribed? Who will they achieve independence? What will happen when they move on from our classrooms?
Statistics seem to suggest that when we constrict and restrict readers, when readers depend on educators for books and ways to respond, that we create SCHOOLtime readers and not LIFEtime readers. I want grad students who love to read, who read because they want to and not because someone is forcing them to do so. They are the ones who are college and career ready.