At my current school, the Year 7 timetable allows for one extra period of English a week. This lesson takes place in the library and is usually dedicated to silent reading. This exposes students to different forms of literature, allows them to borrow, re-borrow and return books and give them a chance to see what other people are reading. I also begin each lesson with 10 minutes of silent reading, which, as well as despite being an amazing classroom management technique, allows students to see that I prioritise reading and hold it in high regard.
Because I dedicate so much time to encouraging students to read and to help them build a habit of reading, I think it is essential that the reason for this is strongly communicated with them. A strong ‘why’ helps to build motivation as it emphasises why this skill and habit is so important and relevant to them and their lives (and prevents the question from being asked multiple times throughout the year).
Below is the list that my Year 7’s and I came up with as a class at the beginning of the year:
- Develops your verbal communication skills
- Improves your writing: expands your vocabulary, improves spelling, grammar and punctuation exposes you to complex sentence structures, ideas/knowledge and concepts, improves fluency etc.
- Improves focus and concentration
- Provides escapism, entertainment and helps pass time
- Improves your imagination and creativity
- Can be a conversation starter
- Reduces stress; mindfulness
- Helps us to be better people; teaches us values, for example courage and empathy
- Exposes us to different experiences
- Instills a moral code
- To discover and create yourself
I thought that this was interesting enough to include as it not only reflects a lot of what I have been reading for the first few weeks of my first subject (An Introduction to Teacher Librarianship) but was also the first question that our teacher librarianship asked my class during their first library lesson. Her question was met with a flurry of hands shooting up towards the sky as it was something that was in the forefront of their minds. It also made me beam with pride.