This video does go for close to an hour, but so enjoyable to hear someone talk about a realities of free voluntary reading or sustained silent reading in schools.
As a Teacher Librarian, what hit home was the importance of the role of the Teacher Librarian in promoting voluntary free reading at school. We know that students will increase their understanding of their reading if they talk about the books that they are reading. A neutral encouraging Teacher Librarian is wonderfully positioned to assist with that.
Three things that Teacher Librarians can do to encourage "Free Voluntary Reading"
- suggest similar or appropriate books and authors to match students interests.
If you liked "Fault in our stars" by John Green you might like "If I stay" by Gayle Foreman. There are web sites and tools that you can use to connect students to similar books that you know they enjoy. When students discover a genre or author that rocks their world they magically start to perceive themselves as "a reader".
- discuss books with students to increase understanding.
What did you think of the ending? What about the main character, do you feel that they got what they deserve? What about that plot twist. I have found myself several times quickly reading a Young Adult book over the weekend so that I can talk through a book with a student the following week.
- encourage students to develop frequent reading habits.
Keeping tabs on how long students take to read a book. Reading 10 pages of a book every two weeks isn't very satisfying. I compare this reading habit to pressing pause on a TV program and getting back to it a week or two later.