Those of you who were teaching 20 years ago probably recall the name Jim Trelease. He was the Ron Clark of the day, and his READ-ALOUD HANDBOOK was an inspiration to all of us. I was thrilled to hear that a new edition was coming out this summer and could hardly wait for my copy to arrive. It is a “must read” and it will touch your heart! It might also frustrate you (as it did me) because there is such a dissonance between what we should be doing and actual classroom practices. I wish every school administrator and decision maker would read this book so they would understand that reading is not all in the head. Reading also touches our hearts and souls! This book should also be required reading for parents.
Want to know Trelease’s formula for creating proficient readers?
The more you read, the better you get at it;
the better you get at it, the more you like it;
and the more you like it, the more you do it.
All pre-K and kindergarten children WANT to read and are EXCITED about reading. But, according to research, their interest and reading for pleasure decrease significantly through the grades. We might be winning the (test score) battle, but we are losing the (love of reading) war. Another interesting piece of research emphasized the importance of teachers reading aloud and giving children time in school for pleasure reading. Ah, but I’m preaching to the choir now!
And what am I reading for pleasure right now? I’ve started revisiting favorite books from my past like THE GOOD EARTH (Pearl Buck), A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN (Betty Smith), and THE THORN BIRDS (Colleen McCullough). Books really are like good friends that you want to visit again and again!
Happy reading to all!