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I AM A READER!! Creating Self-Efficacy in Young Readers

They show up in our classrooms every new school year.  You know the ones....they drag their feet to their reading spot, stopping to chat with four or five friends.  When they finally make it to their spot, they s-l-o-w-l-y start browsing through their selection of books, pausing frequently to look up at the ceiling, at the door, at their shoe.  When they finally choose a book, they randomly flip around, pretending to look at the pictures.  This is what DISENGAGEMENT looks like.  Some students are better at faking it than others.  Some quit faking it a year or two ago, and now just proclaim, "I hate reading!"

Nothing is quite as frustrating, or heartbreaking, as the student who does not yet see themselves as a reader, and has not yet experienced the life-changing magic of reading a really, really, really great book.  Our most important job as teachers (of any subject) is to ignite in our students a passion for reading that begins in our classroom and lasts a lifetime.  Before we can tackle strategy groups, conferring, close-reading, etc., we have to ENGAGE and MOTIVATE our students to read.  They have to WANT to do it, or we face an uphill a snow the dark....without a lot of hope for success.