While reading Chapter 1 of Shattering the Perfect Teacher Myth by Aaron Hogan, I found myself reflecting on how to help students engage more with the texts they are reading. Even when they appear to be reading, they are not always having a conversation with the text. Many students do not realize they should be. I am amazed at the difference when I am modeling inner voice by having a conversation with a book. Then, I ask them about the inner conversation with their books. Initially, they do not have much to say. The more I model and reteach; the more they practice what they see and hear. A
After reading The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller and Readicide by Kelly Gallagher I also realized they need choice. I have learned to ask myself “Are they interested in what they are reading?” We may want them to be learning about a certain topic, but have we considered the options available for learning and provided voice and choice. It is like providing a choose your own adventure book, but with a variety of options, including articles, ebooks, multi media, and traditional books. In some cases it is good to let them do the research (make sure you have taught them how) and encourage them to find the materials; giving them voice. The empowerment with appropriate support can yield amazing results.