August 10, 2016

Reader's Bill of Rights

     Daniel Pennac's Reader's Bill of Rights seeks to identify how we can foster a love of reading. These rights are especially crucial for us to keep in mind for our struggling readers. Quite often, we deny students some of these rights even though we value them for ourselves. When planning reading instruction, we need to constantly remember that our main goal is to inspire our students to develop a love of reading!

Students can still grow as readers even when they're not reading. Using the illustrations to make predictions, tell the story, or engage in discussion with peers are all ways to encourage literacy development without reading.  

As an avid reader, I admit to skipping paragraphs and/or pages at times! But because of my ability to monitor my comprehension, I can still maintain the overall meaning of the story.  While we may do this naturally, we have to explicitly teach students how to skim text without losing meaning.  We also have to stress when this strategy is and is not appropriate to use.

I do not force myself to finish a book that is not interesting to me, so why force students to finish a book?  We especially do not want to waste a struggling reader's time or effort reading a book they don't enjoy.  Our goal should be finding the books they can't put down and want to finish!

As educators, we realize the significance of rereading books to build fluency.  It is important for us to help students and parents realize how rereading can be beneficial.

As long as a student is actively engaged in independent reading, I allow them to read what interests them.  It may be a cookbook, comic strip, or directions to a new game they want to play.  All reading should be valued and encouraged!  

Teachers and students can get overwhelmed by all that is expected of us.  We each deserve the opportunity to have a slight escape from our daily lives by diving into a book.  Isn't that part of the magic of a good book?

I have had colleagues give me strange looks when they walk in my room and see students under desks or with their feet up on tables. But to me, it doesn't matter where they are just as long as they are actively engaged in reading.

All good shoppers know that sometimes you need to browse a bit before you buy.  Readers should have the same opportunity to browse different books before picking one that interests them.  Ultimately, our goal is for them to be actively engaged in reading.  Giving them a few minutes to browse for an interesting book will pay off in the end by having more engaged readers.

Reading out loud can build fluency. But we do need to be cautious of how we provide opportunities for students to read out loud.  For example while "round robin reading" does provide an opportunity for students to read aloud it is not best practices.

As individuals we all have different likes and dislikes. Once again, our goal is for students to be actively engaged in reading.  They are more likely to enjoy reading when provided opportunities to read what interests them.  

Click here to download a free copy of the 

Reader's Bill of Rights for your classroom!

The Reader's Bill of Rights is focused on independent student reading, in my opinion.  As educators, we do face the reality of teaching the curriculum and may not always be able to provide students access to these rights during every instructional activity; however, it should be our goal to provide students with these rights as often as possible. 

What do you think about the Reader's Bill of Rights? Did any of them really resonate with you?  Are there rights with which you disagree? Are there any amendments you would add? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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