Why Should They Read?

because it matters

D.E.A.R. Teacher, Please let me READ

Drop Everything and Read is not a new concept. We have heard this phrase for many years. Why have we let it slip to the side? Why have we lessened the importance of sharing great books with our students? Why do teachers think just because a book is small it is "too easy"? Why do teachers think if you are in the 5th grade you have to read a 5th grade level book? Why do we put the importance of a test score over the value of good reading skills? I am afraid the answer is not one we want to hear. We teachers have lost the skill of teaching students to read in order to teach testing skills and strategies. Students need to read in order to become readers. They need to learn how to enjoy a book and converse with a book if they are ever going to build up the stamina to read and obtain understanding of text structure for a standardized test. As a teacher we have to take the time to learn how to teach these important skills of how to read a book. It is that simple - Just let them READ!

5th Grade Classroom DATA

Two fifth-grade classrooms were given the task of reading for 15 minutes a day. DATA was gathered on 84 students in order to compare growth on the STAAR test from 2015 and 2016 school year. Here is what we found:

2015: 54% of the students (class 1) passed STAAR

2016: 67% of the students (class 1) passed STAAR

83% of these students showed growth in their individual scores after faithfully reading for 15 minutes a day from books of their choice. 17% had little or no change in performance.

2015: 57% of the students (class 2) passed STAAR

2016: 62% of the students (class 2) passed STAAR

73% of these students showed growth in their individual scores after reading for 15 minutes a day. 27% had little or no change in performance.

4th Grade Classroom DATA

Two fourth-grade classrooms were given the task of reading for 15 minutes a day. DATA was gathered on 114 students in order to compare growth on the STAAR test from 2015 and 2016 school year. Here is what we found:

55% of these students showed growth in their individual scores after faithfully reading for 15 minutes a day from books of their choice. 37% had little or no change in performance.

2015: 58% of students (class 3) passed STAAR

2016: 41% of students (class 3) passed STAAR

42% of these students showed growth in their individual scores after faithfully reading for 15 minutes a day from books of their choice. 58% had little or no change in performance.

2015: 50% of students (class 4) passed STAAR

2016: 37% of students (class 4) passed STAAR

NOW...How Do We Make This Happen?

READ,READ,READ! That is all you have to do. Allow the students to read freely for a set amount of time every day. Allow them to read uninterrupted, no talking, no classroom business, no make-up work, no leaving to go the library - you get the idea.

Another very important piece is teaching them how to choose a book that is on their level. Do not make them check out books on the "fifth-grade" level just because they are in the fifth grade. Many of our students are not reading independently at the grade level they are currently in or they are not comprehending at that level. They need time to fall in love with reading and find a purpose for reading other than the test at the end of the day.

http://www.readingrockets.org/article/selecting-books-your-child-finding-just-right-books

http://mnea.org/Missouri/TeachingTips1/6.aspx