Everyone should have a classroom library, whether you teach English or another content area. Classroom libraries offer all kinds of benefits: increased student reading achievement, greater access to print material, greater levels of volume of student reading, and more. But starting a classroom library is a daunting task. How do you afford it? Organize it? Maintain it?
How many times have you heard the phrase “I don’t read” in your classroom? For me, it happens every week during independent reading. For these reluctant readers, it is even more important that we find the perfect books for high school students who hate reading.
Beautiful. Heart-wrenching. Timeless. These are the words we often use to describe powerful classics. Well, they also describe Patrick Ness’s A Monster Calls.
I don’t care who you are, we all love a little bit of romance. But I cannot hand a book about a relationship to a student without making sure there’s a twist. See, while I have a healthy respect for love, I hate to see it idealized. Enter Dreamland by Sarah Dessen.
I think a lot of high school teachers figure that independent reading isn’t necessary for older students, is too “baby-ish”, or is a waste of time among a jam-packed curriculum. This blog post isn’t to explain my rationale for independent reading with high school students. Rather, I want to share what it looks like in my classroom.