This semester, students in READ 3325.20B were asked to contribute a post to this blog.
By Servando Lopez
Starting from elementary all the way to high school, they have integrated the Accelerated Reader (AR) in schools as a form of assessment for us students to “motivate” us to read. Coming from Mexico and my native language being Spanish, I found this not very motivational since I was in a way being forced to read books and test on them. At times they would even require certain amount of points at the end of the month for a class grade. This only added more stress and I started to see reading as something I had to do rather than something I want to do. In addition, reading to me became just the reading of words that I had to read and test in in order to get a good grade in class.
But is this reading is all about? No. Reading is more than just reading words off a book. Reading is something people do as a hobby, as a form of distraction, to gain knowledge from; it is where students use reading to learn whatever the reader is interested about. The definition of reading changes from expert to expert, but the reality is that reading is a mixture of those definitions that include fluency and comprehension of the text. Schools should have more sustained silent reading (SSR) or drop everything and read (DEAR) time within the classroom as a form of motivation to show the students that reading is not only used as a form of assessment, but as a form of incentive and for fun. Incorporate more read alouds and shared readings so we as teachers can display the importance of reading by showing that reading is fun while also educational. Teachers should have a large variety of books with easy access for students in the classroom (like a mini library) so as an effect, students can have books close by to read in their free or designated times. This is what reading should look like to teachers and students rather than seeing it as a form of assessment.