Thursday, December 19, 2013

Lexie or love reading levels?

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?

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