I had it all planned out. I would tell them they could still read their IR books. That they could read ahead if they wanted to. That they would have a “fair” reading schedule.
Well, today I introduced the “whole class novel” to one of my English 9 classes. I watched smiles droop, eyes fall, and muttering begin.
“Why?” asked one student. “Why do we all have to read the same book? You said yourself Ms. K that not everyone likes the same books. So why?”
I replied with as much of the truth as I could muster up: “Well, you’re right, but I have to.” I thought as I said this, but I don’t want to. They don’t deserve this. They deserve choice 100% of the time. It keeps them interested. It keeps them reading.
So I ask you, why? Why do we have to teach whole class texts? Is it more work for the teacher to “teach” two or more at once? Sure, but the goal should be whatever benefits our students. Is it better for students to “fake read” a novel, or to get them to actually read and enjoy what they are envisioning through the words on the page? My students are an eclectic bunch. They deserve choice. As I think about seeing them tomorrow, I think about what I have to do: make a change.