As I head for Texas and New Mexico to help educators catch kids who can’t read and write independently, I am accompanied by questions that may be of interest to my blog readers…as you may have similar ones!
*What will it take for EVERY child in EVERY classroom in EVERY school to be reading and writing ON or ABOVE grade level? We have been at this for so long…for some of us our work in the field has spanned over 30 years and we have learned from the best of the best. So how can we make sure that what we know is transferred to those who struggle with kids who aren’t functioning where they need to be?
*What can we all agree on? There’s an interesting question to ponder. I’m thinking we can all agree that ALL kids have a right to learn to read using the best teaching practices, materials, and assessments available. I’m thinking we can all agree that struggling kids need to be motivated, engaged, and at times, entertained so they will want to work hard to learn what needs to be learned in order to reach literacy independence. I’m thinking that we can all agree that teaching some kids to read, write, and think is NOT easy…and it requires diligence, patience, a willingness to raise the bar and to keep them up there, and more time actually READING and WRITING every single day.
*What if kids can read, but don’t like to read? Should we be concerned? I hear many people say that kids don’t like to read and then use this fact as a reason NOT to move struggling kids towards independence. This doesn’t make sense to me. Of course they don’t like to read! Of course reading is NOT fun! Of course they see NO value in spending time, effort, and mental energy on reading. They can’t read well so why read? Even if they CAN read, they are not being motivated in the right ways to find the right reading material that matches their individual interests, attention spans, and age.
Questions . . . we need to keep asking them even if we don’t really know the answers.