I love to read! It is my escape, my refuge, my adventure. I have wonderful friends in the series books I read and favorite places I visit in stories I love. So why is it I am avoiding 3 books I must finish? Because these are books not chosen by me; these are books I am required to read. No really, I am working with a class and need to read what the students are reading so I can write the comprehension quizzes (here's where collaboration starts, folks!) I have been doing everything I can possibly think of NOT to read these books. Why? Because they are not books of my choosing. When I found myself cleaning my bathrooms before I got started reading, it made me think, "Is this how students feel when they are told they must read a certain book, one in their lexile range or in a required genre?" The light bulb came on and I realized how those students feel, the one's who are at risk so teachers select books for them? Books that will be just right? I am not looking to start a debate about the merits of self-selection versus correct reading level, but I am concerned about student engagement. I did read my three books, I finshed them, even. But I don't look back and think about the characters I met, I don't wonder about will happen to them next. They were an assignment, pure and simple, and that is sad.
So here's the discussion starter: what do you do when students come to you with a lexile range and say I have to get a book at this level?
Just sayin', have you read "The Book Whisperer" by Donalyn Miller or "Book Love" by Penny Kittle?