>The last grading period this semester my students participated in book groups. They used Edmodo to converse with students in other classes and completed imaginative response projects as a way to respond to their reading. In my morning classes, many of the students finished their novels well before the end of the grading period. Because they’re writing me book notes, and it is a reading class after all, they were/are still required to read during full-class SSR.
Of the 15 students in my first period class, 8 are reading books I’ve either started during a read-aloud, or books that they’ve seen me read over the course of the semester. Two of those eight students asked me specifically for a book they saw me read that they found interesting. One of the kids saw one of my reader response projects and asked me to explain. I told him to read the book to figure out what it meant, and he did.
All of this is to say there is power in reading aloud to middle school students. There is power in doing book talks with reluctant readers. There is power in completing and displaying the projects you ask students to complete. There is power in modeling silent reading and entertaining the questions they ask about your book. They’re NOT always stalling. And teachers shouldn’t listen to instructional leaders who say that middle school students shouldn’t be read to.
Some of the books I’ve read this semester that students picked up:
- Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar
- Looking for Alaska by John Green
- Unwind by Neal Shusterman
- The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman
- Tears of a Tiger by Sharon Draper
- The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
- ttyl by Lauren Myracle
- Full Tilt by Neal Shusterman
- Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson