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Joining Saturday Sayings!

Hey Everyone!  My friend Tammy, over at Forever in First, has asked me to join her on her weekly Saturday Sayings...I am honored that she asked and excited to join in!  Her reflective Saturday Sayings get us all to reflect on our teaching and thinking.  After you read my post, be sure to click the button below and visit her too.  There may be other friends joining in on the fun!

I was one of those kids...I have always loved to read...Read every night... Loved to share books and talk about them...But unfortunately, not all my students feel this way.

You see, I am a teacher of struggling readers.  They have not always had an easy time or even an enjoyable time with reading.  

I feel like I have a job that is two-fold.  I must teach them all the skills:  phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, and the list could go on and on so that they can be successful readers.  But the other side of this coin is don't I also have a  responsibility to teach them to LOVE to read?  Won't loving to read help with the that long laundry list of skills that must also be mastered?  

I think so...No, I know so!  I could easily be trapped in the thoughts of my students are so far behind that we have no time to waste.  We must work, work, work.  I could easily be swayed by the fact that I need to teach these sweet little guys to read in only 3o minutes per day.  

But I think we need to turn that around to I will provide quality literature, authentic writing opportunities, and real reasons to read and enjoy books.  Then we can get down to the business of learning all those skills that go with it.

I have a confession to make...I can easily be sucked into the line of thinking "I have so much to teach"  and "They are so far behind".  But I have a couple of stories to share that  remind me that my goal is not only to help my students read, but to instill the LOVE of reading which will help learning to read become easier.

I have a second grader who went through reading recovery last year.  He improved his reading, but just didn't get a fire going.  This year for some reason it has CLICKED!  This child who couldn't have cared less about reading anything is reading and ENJOYING everything he checks out!!  His teacher has noticed it- he volunteers now to read in class and his mom posted a sweet picture of him reading a letter to the family from Santa- her favorite moment of that Christmas night.  :)  Now, I don't think it was just me who did this.  I think he had a lot of internal motivation and reading recovery helped him take off.  And watching him take off with this new love and enjoyment for reading is exciting to me!

Another student is a twin.  The other twin has never struggled with her reading, but this one has.  She has improved, but never got the reading bug.  This year all of a sudden, she is interested and LOVING books!  She reads all the books she can from her favorite authors and then switches to a new author.  She also enjoys talking to me about what she is reading.  If she could, she would just sit and read and talk about her books.  I JUST LOVE THAT!!

With all the pressure coming from state testing and common core, it would be easy to teach just to be sure they pass the test or to demonstrate that they learned the skill.  But I think I will keep the thought that I want my readers to be readers long after they leave my class because it is something they enjoy doing.  Now, I just have to figure out how to pass these 2 students enthusiasm to all our students!


  1. Ahhhh yes! It's so easy to get sucked in, especially in your circumstance. Your students are so blessed that you have stood your ground and teach them that reading and writing are enjoyable and never a chore. What a gift that is to them. Thank you for joining me today. I knew you would inspire!
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  2. I love this post! I have a 7th grade literature who can talk the talk, but until this year hasn't really caught the bug. I think the time I've give for authentic reading practice along with hearing other students excited about reading has opened the door for her. Thank you for the inspiration.

  3. Great Lori! You are a voice of calm! We have to remember to help children fall in love with books. I taught resource reading and would feel pressured to fix readers and give accommodations to help them pass state-testing. I had little time to let them read on their level and enjoy books. I hope all your students catch the reading bug!

  4. Excellent post, Lori! I sometimes forget that the love for reading is equally, if not more, important than the skills. Love the sweet stories about the reading "converts".

    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

  5. Great quote. The Book Whisperer is one of my favorites. It is so important to me that my kids love books and love to read. But it can be so easy to get caught up in all we have to "cover" in a year. It's nice when we slow down and remember the long term effects would could impact like a student who loves to read.
    Ms. Kerri and her Krazy Klass

  6. Lori, this is a fantastic post! The Book Whisperer is a book that guides my reading program, too. Those kids are SO lucky to you has a teacher. The LOVE of reading is what you want them to take away from your classroom. I teach a gifted/high achiever class and though they may have the skills they don't always have the passion. We have to remember that the love of reading is what all kids need! THANKS!
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans

  7. I love Donalyn Miller...I already pre-ordered her next book. I so wish more enery and time was spent reading. Then the test wouldn't be so important...and most likely the test would be a breeze with all the real reading that was happening.

    Chickadee Jubilee

  8. I loved your blog today. I was at a meeting and one of the teachers said, "teaching isn't about teaching students to answer test questions...teaching is about teaching students to learn!"

    Literacy Without Worksheets

  9. I love watching students catch the reading bug. It is my favorite part of the job.

  10. Thank you so much, Tammy, for having me join up with you! And for your kind words! It was fun. :)

  11. Thank you, Jenny, for visiting my blog! It can be a fine line to walk sometimes with so much to teach, but if they have the love for reading, it makes it easier. :)

  12. Thank you Sandi! I do feel the pressure a lot to work, work, work. So much to do and so little time. But building enthusiasm is important. :)

  13. Thanks Barbara! I agree, we can easily slip into focusing on just the skills. The "reading converts" help bring us back!

  14. I so agree, Kerri, that the balancing act between skills and teaching the love of reading can be hard. Thanks for coming by to visit!

  15. Thank you, Gina, so much for your kind words!! It is hard to not get trapped in the skills, but we know it is the love of reading that will make it easier and more interesting for them. :)

  16. Laurie, I have heard that there was a new book out. I must go see about that. I know it must be a good one! Thank you for visiting at my blog today!

  17. Bridget, that is a great quote! Love those wise words. Thanks for coming by to share that with us!

  18. I know, isn't it wonderful when the students are sitting around with their books talking with their peers about them and loving them, Mary? Thanks so much for coming by to visit!


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