Sometime during the last six months, I heard Donalyn Miller either speak or tweet these words. (Actually, it was probably both!)
"All readers are valued and all reading is valuable."
These words have become my motto, my mantra and the first thing anyone sees when they walk in my classroom. I now live and breathe these words.
Because I do live these words, I have become very attuned to situations when this is not the case. Anyone who regularly reads my blog, knows that I do not like Accelerated Reading (AR). I will not deny it, nor will I apologize for it. I believe many other options exist for student motivation which are much better than AR, and I love to talk about them. (I just presented this topic today to a group of teachers at a conference.) I think teachers need to be aware of these options because for many teachers, AR is all they have ever known about motivating readers. I do not fault them for this, but I do want them to think about something.
We have just finished our first grading period, which means it is time to honor readers.
But not necessarily all readers.
I have recently seen Facebook posts and tweets with those students who had the most points for the grading period. (AR awards points for those students who choose to take tests after reading a book.)
Again, because I live by Donalyn's words, I noticed something about the lists and the tweets and the announcements. They were all upper grade students.
Well, of course they were. They are the ones who can read the books with all the points. But what about those kindergartners and first graders who are just beginning to read? Or those second and third graders who are finding their way into chapter books? They will never be able to obtain the same number of points in a grading period as those fourth and fifth graders.
But is their reading not valuable? Are they not valued readers too?
Something to think about...