If your classes are 55 minutes as were mine when I taught, I suggest you use the last 5 minutes to teach Life Lessons. I know you are evaluated on state or national test score results, but our kids need more. (I often wonder what was Bernard Madoff's (he stole millions from his friends) test score or Marshall Applewhite’s ( Heaven’s Gate Suicide cult leader) test score.
I would like to suggest that you teach “Favorite Book, Favorite Author”
I just watched a video clip on youtube.com and as a result I am excited about writing this blog! The video was a clip of Will Smith doing an interview. Will Smith mentioned that his favorite book was the “ALCHEMIST”. It reminded me of a conversation I had with three Human Resource professionals. The HR professionals said that when they had two or more candidates for employment that they considered totally equal in qualifications, the deciding question was Who is your favorite author and what is your favorite book? They said that without fail one would reply “I have never read a book all the way through”. The other would give a author and ALWAYS more than one book. You do not have to be grown or even in high school to have a favorite book and a favorite author.
As a point of interest, When I travel in Airports and see a person with a book that I have read by MY favorite author, Dean Koontz. I immediately feel a kinship to that person. I often will exclaim, Have you got to chapter 11 yet, that is the greatest chapter! They often respond “not yet , don’t tell me.” It seems that they feel a kinship to me.
SO WHAT CAN TEACHERS DO? WHAT ARE THE ACTION STEPS? Encourage your students to do the following;
1. Encourage students to read by explaining that there are books on ALL SUBJECTS. Pick a subject in which you are REALLY INTERESTED.
2. Read other books by the same author.
3. If you just cannot read there are books on tape at the library.
4. Reading is a form of freedom. Have them explore travel books
5. Share with them your favorite book and encourage them to read it. Maybe even offer some sort of reward for reading it.
6. Explain that favorite book, favorite author may one day help you get that GREAT CAREER JOB you want.