In the classrooms where I work, I try to help students find reading success using all the strategies in building classroom culture that I’ve learned from the excellent co-teachers I’ve worked with over the years. I am thankful to those talented teachers who tirelessly promote reading and always do what’s best for kids, rather than what’s easiest for adults. I hope they know how much I’ve learned from them, and how fortunate students are to have them. Our middle schoolers may not readily admit it, but they enjoy stories, and as teachers it’s important to build a classroom culture that makes accessing those stories possible for every type of reader.
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The best time of any elementary or middle school day for me was when they let us have free time. I’d jump out of my seat and race to the back of the room where the bookcase could usually be, a short contraption that’s easily accessible for small children, and snatch up a book I had doggy-eared from a previous session. Then I’d curl up on the floor or back in my seat with my friends and continue whatever adventure I had left. It helped that our teachers greatly encouraged our love of reading by reading books out-loud in class during ‘snack time’. The last thing you’d want in an elementary/middle school teacher is an attitude towards books that starts and stops at book reports and assignments.