Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Setting reading goals

Last summer I was preparing to work with a small group of teachers to discuss and plan for guided and independent reading in their classrooms in the fall. I found Franki Sibberson’s Bringing Reading to Life DVD and the video resources on the Daily CafĂ© web site (which I have access to as a member ) invaluable resources.

As a common thread in these best practice videos, I saw teachers working with students to set reading goals. It made perfect sense that we should help students set reading goals for themselves and monitor their own progress as readers. So why we don’t do it more often?

Recently, Solana has taken an interest in some of the parenting books I’ve taken out from our local library or older books that I have on the bookshelves. She especially liked Kid Cooperation. (Not my absolute favorite, but I think she responded to the definitiveness of the tone.) After reading a section on using step-by-step charts for bedtime routines, she asked me to make a chart on her wall of her own routine for us to refer to at bedtime. She started giving me tips on how I could get her to clean her room and go to bed on time. (And most cringeworthy, easily recognized when our commands to her were not the ideal ones recommended in the book!)

I’ve noticed how different it is when Solana is in on setting the rules with me rather than me racking my brains trying to think of ways to motivate her or losing my patience. The same thing happens to us as teachers. So I’m hoping to learn more about goal setting with students and practice what I preach in the classroom as well as at home.

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