September 1, 2009

Reading Debates!

Did someone have something else to say about AR? Oh, yeah. Susan Straight did. And she said it so well. I'm sure you've seen it, but I had to keep it out there because it's so good. Another anti-AR article to add to my folder. I know, I know, for some kids it works. But that's the point. For some kids it works and for others its a drag. Don't force it.

And you've probably read this one on reading workshop too. It's weird how they talk about it like it's this radical new thing, but I look around and don't see it as much as I'd like, so we can't shove this kind of thing under too many noses. It's stirred up a bit if a debate with the "choice" people versus the "canon" people duking it out. I like Kelly Gallagher's take on it in his book Readicide. (Which is a great companion to Atwell's The Reading Zone.) He takes a 50/50 approach. Half the time the kids self select and read what they want. The other half is some standards from the list. He tells the that he doesn't necessarily expect them to like a novel like 1984 but that they need to learn to engage with that kind of academic reading and, if nothing else, they'll never look at their government the same way again.

It's all about balance, people. Now go out there, share these with colleagues and report back on any interesting discussions. I love a good debate.

(photo cc flickr)