A great post! I am a New Zealand teacher and am always trying to ignite a passion for reading with my students - sometimes difficult when teaching 13 year old boys! Up until a recent change in government we have been fortunate to have a relatively flexible curriculum free from inherent national assessment and grading according to test scores. It was not until I taught in the UK that I realized my love for reading and teaching was dwindling, mostly as a result of marking endless SAT tests!I’m a little ashamed to admit it, but I too caved to the system and adapted my approach in order to ‘teach to the test’. It is difficult to find a balance. One of my challenges is finding reading material that is both engaging and challenging, but includes content appropriate for 12 and 13 year olds. Sustained silent reading time is a great opportunity to model independent reading to your class, and to also preview books before suggesting them to your students… it is for this reason that I worked my way through the Twilight series. It was what my class were interested in… so why not embrace it?!
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