It's the weekend and I should be writing. Instead I've been playing Grandmother, which happens to be my all time favorite job at the moment. I'm working to grow a romance reader. I gave my granddaughter my new e-reader to play with just now. I opened it to a Jane Austin novel and she sat for about an hour reading before she became bored. She's only ten, but it's never too early to start them reading.

I teach 8th grade and for the last couple of years my students have been much better readers than in previous years. This is a very good thing. I credit the improvement to our school system's all out effort to increase our students reading ability. This year in particular, we are using the strategy of having an AR book always at hand.

For years, we went with no children carrying library books around with them, until now with the demands set forth by the state of Georgia under the guidance of No Child Left Behind, every child at our middle school is expected to take an AR book to every class. It had been years since I'd noticed children actually using free time in class to read, but this year it is happening! Our students are reading. They are carrying big thick books with them and they are reading!

The effort to increase our student's performance on standardized testing is paying off for the authors who toil to create the books our children read. A whole new crop of readers are emerging like butterflies struggling from their cocoons. It is magic to see! Watching my granddaughter go from a struggling reader to an avid reader has been nothing short a miracle. She's a bit young yet for the good stuff, but when she's old enough, she'll be ready.

6 comments

  1. Mary Ricksen // September 26, 2009 at 2:04 PM  

    Anything that can be done to make children read more is tops by me. Ignorance, and lack of education is the bane of our country!

  2. Scarlet Pumpernickel // September 26, 2009 at 3:26 PM  

    Mary, I can't stress enough the importance of having children read. Most people don't realize that in England getting an education as a barrister was once called "reading at the inns of court." The students would go to London, and read all the cases that had passed through the courts, that was how they studied to become barrister (lawyers in our country). Amazing the doors that reading can open!

  3. Mary Marvella // September 26, 2009 at 5:51 PM  

    We did an everyone reads thing in the school where I last taught. We were to stop at the same time every day and every person in the school was to read for 10 minutes. They could read anything.

    Teachers in other subjects didn't want to take time from their classes to do it.

  4. Scarlet Pumpernickel // September 26, 2009 at 6:01 PM  

    Mary, you are right about the attitudes of other areas of academics. We currently require an student to carry AR books (Accelerated Reader) and they can earn points to win neat prizes just by reading! Hey, if I were eligible, I'd do it! Imagine, getting points for reading.

  5. Mona Risk // September 26, 2009 at 6:23 PM  

    Great job, Scarlet. It's difficult to imagine children not wanting to read the fairy stories by themselves.

    On a different subject: what type of ereader do you have? Do you like it? Would you recommend it?

  6. Scarlet Pumpernickel // September 26, 2009 at 8:49 PM  

    It's a Sony e-reader. I haven't been able to load any good books on it yet because my laptop is in the shop. But I love the way the screen looks just like a paper page. I think I'm going to enjoy it, when I finally get to load all my e-books on it! I'm looking forward to downloading lots of stories from TWRP. It came with Pride & Prejudice, a story by Nicolas Spariks and one by Allen Greenspan. I had quite a few books downloaded on my other laptop. But can't load them until I get it back from the shop.
    And to answer your question, yes, I would recommend it. I think I'm going to enjoy it.