I LOVE that my kids have the freedom to choose the books they want to read! It’s been one of the greatest parts of teaching – watching them develop or further feed their LOVE of reading. With the freedom to choose comes a whole lot of trust and conversation on my part. I am in constant conversation with them about their reading, and since I don’t want to limit them to reading only books that have Reading Counts quizzes, I often have to trust that they’ve read some of their books – especially when I haven’t read them myself. That all seems to be totally fine and work very well. Kids are usually genuinely honest about their reading.
However, my frustration comes with their goals and the amount of time they allocate for their reading. Many of them often read the bare minimum – which I often understand because of their insanely busy little kid extracurricular lives. But I can’t stand it when we get to the end of the quarter and during the last two or three days they’re trying to read a bunch of short books just to reach their goal or fit in a quiz. I struggle with this every year. Some classes are worse than others… I know it’s usually just a handful of kids, but even that makes me feel like somehow I’m failing them. So it’s a love and a struggle for me – I love to see them eating up books, but I struggle when they don’t pace themselves and just read at the end in order to meet requirements… Is it something I need to change, or is it just people in general and our tendency to procrastinate?!