The Absolutely True Adventures of a School Librarian

The Absolutely True Adventures of a School Librarian

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Shared On Social Media: LET MY PEOPLE READ!

While surfing social media sites I come across great posts with equally insightful comments. Unfortunately, trying to locate these posts in the stream months later is often an impossible task. Thus, in lieu of waiting for the original poster to blog their thoughts, I am starting a series here entitled "Shared On Social Media" so that I can find the information I found useful later. All credit will be given to the original poster and commenters. None of these posts are my original thoughts.

Posted to the Future Ready Librarians Facebook Group on June 9, 2017 by Sherry Gick who reposted it from Kurt Stroh.

Good friend's status (Kurt Stroh) this evening: SUCH TRUTH!!! 📚

"I've been reading posts in a FB group tonight where librarians (many) have been sharing all the rewards they give to students who earn AR points. Picnics, bounce-houses, pizza parties, dance parties with a DJ, limo rides, shopping sprees....UGH!

STOP incentivizing reading. STOP limiting reading to levels. STOP making kids take tests on everything they read. This is NOT going to create fact, it will, in the end, create kids who hate to read, who will become adults who don't read.

Let kids read what they want to read. Celebrate their reading choices. Talk to them about what they're reading. Share your reading life with them. THIS is how to create readers!
(getting off my soapbox...)"

As another friend says (thanks Donalyn!): LET MY PEOPLE READ!!!


Katie Bradford Have you ever read the book "Readicide" by Kelly Gallagher? This is EXACTLY what he talks about. Such a great read!

Kate Zabala Gave a "chapter book" to my 2nd grader nephew about Mount Rushmore after we took a family trip there last summer. Asked if he read it and his first response was, "the AR tests for that book series are really hard to pass."

Julie Elmore Had an 8th grader say, "ya know Ms. Julie the teens aren't coming here because none of us want to read. Reading just equals more tests." How do you even break that attitude....

Michelle Hurley Simpson One of the points that keeps coming up that frustrates me to no end is from the people say the kids enjoy the quizzes. Yes, young children who are good readers often do enjoy taking the quiz and scoring well. However, those kids would enjoy reading without the quiz! It is easy to get young kids to get excited about reading! It's the kids who are being enticed to read by the quizzes and the rewards that is the problem. One day those go away, usually in middle or high school. At that point, after years of a false association between reading and quizzes or rewards, it is very hard to convince people who read for rewards that they are now to read for nothing.

Trisha Schmidt Best We parents at Pinewood are so lucky to have you. I'm beyond excited that still have 4 more years with you. You've been a fabulous resource this year helping keep not just my middle schooler but my elementary son in books (his librarian retired and they couldn't find a replacement). I'd have been lost without you this year. Thank you for caring and thank you for sharing your love of reading and NOT having a pizza party for reading X number of books this year.

Tamara McGraw Houde I would much rather see kids doing things like book clubs where they can share whatever book they are reading, the things about it they like, and the things they don't. When I worked at our library, they ran that sort of book discussion group and several of the teens wound up picking up books that another member had discussed. They read what they wanted to, enjoy the socialization, and expanded some of their reading choices.

Donalyn Miller Why would we create a culture of reading winners and reading losers at a school? Reading is its own reward!

Donalyn Miller Share this far and wide. I know how frustrating it is to have these conversations, but all we can do is be collegial and share what we know. At some point, ignorance becomes a willful choice. You can't unknow what you know--you have to CHOOSE to ignore it. We celebrate free choice and sometimes that means folks don't make good choices. The sad part of this scenario is that children and their reading lives pay the price.
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Becky Calzada This is the summer professional read for all the librarians in my district.

Emily Garcia I'm in that group and loved what you said so I thought I'd creep over to your page since you are way more interesting. I'm glad I did because THIS thread is much more inspiring. I loved what you said about future-ready too. I think AR is lazy and the crazy thing is that people bend over backwards to create and manage a reward system for all that laziness. All they really need to do is be present and have a conversation with kids about books...and MAYBE manage the kids having conversations with each other. I guess they'd also have to read some of those books so maybe that's part of the problem... Thanks for letting me chime in.

Dawn Zaikowski Kennedy As a parent and as a paraeducator I appreciate your soap box. I have always been frustrated with AR quizzes and the need to use it for reading. My older boys did have their love for reading wounded because of nit picky quizzes.

Cheryl Brandmeir My kids reads to earn extra reading time! He hates the stupid little prizes and told his teacher they were dumb and he didn't care about them ...all he wanted was more reading time or to go to the library an extra time during the week


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  8. Common core is pushing more informational text into our libraries, but I decided to increase my 700 section w/graphic novels and manga. While I support the entire school's needs, the kids are my priority and support their daily needs.

  9. I'm so glad you shared this. I'm between a rock and a hard place in my new elementary school. They are entrenched in a reading program involving incentives and tests and points. I want to eliminate it all together. I've shared AASL position statements, my own expertise, etc. with my literacy committee and many are still not convinced. Our library books have about five different types of labels on them, including guided reading levels, lexile level, and reading incentive test labels. I want to yank them all off! Not even sure where to go from here. So glad there are people fighting the good fight and sharing on social media. I find that a lot of the people who support these types of programs/incentives are not on social media. Hmmm....

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