Did she really just say five books?
Yeah, she did.
A majority of my students are on their third book of the year; I’m pressing for five by the end of September. We’ll be working on covering a volume of pages this year, but for September we’re working on a volume of books. For some kids, this is a goal they would have met anyway, but for most it means putting in more time, going for shorter books, or lowering your reading level and going back to old favorites.
I thought five books by the end of September was a strong request when I first said it. Now, I’m realizing it’s totally doable. I am giving them time to read in class, and I am forming my instruction around their independent reading books, they have more than ample opportunity to cover ground. In fact, their only homework for my class is to read (and make a post-it note or two on their book).
I wish my teachers would have done this for me— it’s no fault of theirs that Independent Reading wasn’t a trend when I was in middle school. However, I just love that most of my kids can name a book they love or an author they enjoy reading. It’s my hope they’ll be reading books long after they leave my class, long after they leave school. Side Note: I’d really like to thank all the teachers from kindergarten to seventh grade that worked with my students before me; it’s not a battle or a challenge for them to find books they like—I know this teaching and this culture is yours; I cannot thank you enough.
If there is one thing my district does right, it’s create readers. Five books? No problem.
Another Side Note: some kids do complain— they’re fourteen. I tried to count them today, out of a potential 85 students, 10 thought five was a bit much. A little more than 10%— this happyteacher is totally okay with those odds. It’s cool to read.