This one bothers me. I'd like to think that all my students leave my room not only as readers but unable to live without books for the rest of their lives. As their first grade teacher, I spend nine months on a love-for-reading campaign, but until I create more students who do read than students who can, I've got to step it up.
This week I was working with a student during Read to Self. All my other readers were scattered around the room with their noses in books and their book baskets at hand. About five feet away, I overheard one of my boys say to himself, "Yes! I get to hang out with bees!" as he grabbed a nonfiction bee book out of his basket. What a perfect moment to eavesdrop. It gave me hope that I'm doing something right. I've been stepping it up.
My kids must know how absolutely lucky they are to be readers, so I'm repeatedly telling them. I've been finding myself saying words like, "Look at the things you get to do because you're a reader. You are so lucky. People who don't read, don't get to do such things." After Read to Self time, I've been asking them to share what they got to do during their reading time that day. Here are a few responses:
I got to play baseball with Pete the Cat.
I got to meet Hello Kitty and her friends.
I got to hang out with Fly Guy.
I got to swim with the dolphins.
I got to play with Dan the Flying Man.
I got to have a party with monsters.
Hopefully these responses are the beginning of a love for reading that launches them into lives that cannot be lived without books.
P.S. I've still got so much to learn about making sure that Richard Allington's quote isn't true for my classroom.