"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Do Not Isolate - Encouraging a Love for Reading

In the previous article, "How to Make a Child Hate Reading", Alfie Kohn's 2010 article, "How to Create Nonreaders", is revisited. Kohn enumerates ways by which schools may in fact take away the love for reading from young children. One of those ways is isolation:
Isolate them. I’ve been in the same book group for 25 years. We read mostly fiction, both classic and contemporary, at the rate of almost a book a month. I shudder to think how few novels I would have read over that period, and how much less pleasure (and insight) I would have derived from those I did manage to read, without the companionship of my fellow readers. Subscribers to this journal are probably familiar with literature circles and other ways of helping students to create a community of readers. You’d want to avoid such innovations – and have kids read (and write) mostly on their own -- if your goal were to cause them to lose interest in what they’re doing.
Mason Crest Elementary School, the school where both my son and daughter attend, seems to address this area quite well. In a recent set of photos posted in the school's Facebook page. I could see pictures of my son and daughter reading:



My son is in third grade and my daughter is in kindergarten, but for this special session, both groups are in one classroom, acting as "reading buddies". Great job! Mason Crest.




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