Strong. Strong readers.
We want our students to become strong readers. Strong enough to want to keep reading. Strong enough to want to know more. Strong enough to start thinking for themselves. Strong enough to want to search and never stop searching.
For years I have been looking for the right adjective to describe the kind of reader we know will result from free choice reading- authentic, self-directed, searching, real, engaged, life long, inspired, empowered- all of these are accurate, important. But strong implies that reading is more than a set of skills on a checklist- it is an attribute that takes earnest, daily striving. Our young students are often excited about reading but become discouraged when they enter upper grades and find the weight of reading becomes too heavy. Increasing the volume of reading practice can solve this problem, but we don’t want students to read every day just so they can do better in school. We want them to be strong enough to face the 21st century onslaught of information, recognize misinformation, and search for truth for the rest of their lives. A bit much to expect, it could be said, but educators are always ready for a challenge.
So strong is the word.
Just Read Rationale:
If students are given the time every day to read whatever they choose from a great variety of engaging materials without any tests or assignment attached, they will become strong, self-directed readers.