I'm lucky enough to have a library intern right now and I wanted to do a student survey with her since I feel that they are a great insight for me into what the students need and want. So she created this reading survey for the students. Teachers posted in their Google Classrooms and we had over 450 responses.
You can see the raw data here. My intern, Miss Windsor, was kind enough to do a little data analysis on it, which you can find here. She is still sorting through it all. It is meticulous work. I also added some of my thoughts and comments on the side. Their responses prompted me to design another PD course for this year. It is obvious that there are areas we need to improve upon.
Here are a few things that stood out to me that I shared with my teachers so that we can use to try to reach our reluctant readers.
- 32% said they did not like to read.
- When discussing the last book they read and enjoyed a good story/plot and interesting were the most frequent answers followed closely by it related to my life.
- When discussing the reasons for abandoning a book, students most likely mentioned that the book was boring, confusing or a genre that they didn't like.
- 45% reported that they read 0 days outside of English class.
- When choosing a new book to read the top three answers were browsing in the library/bookstore, recommendations from friends, and movie adaptations.
- Yet 37% NEVER recommend a book to others.
- For the majority of students, the last time reading was fun for them was in elementary school.
- When asked what teachers can do to make reading more fun the answers in order were: choice of what to read, time to read in class, lit circles/book clubs in class, and encouraging a variety of genres.
- The obstacles listed by the majority of students as preventing them from enjoying school reading were assignments attached to the reading and books were not relevant to their lives.
- The most popular genres were action/adventure, mystery, horror, and fantasy.
I shared with our teachers in the hopes of encouraging them to participate in the summer PD I have planned called: Building Your Classroom Library. *I just couldn't think of a creative theme this time:)
The course is a self-paced course in Google Classroom. I've submitted it to our district in the hopes that it will be approved for renewal credit like my course last year.
These are the 5 tasks;
1. Evaluate your classroom library. Teachers will open this PDF of an article in Kami, read, highlight important details, and use pg 63-64 to evaluate their own classroom library.
2. Read a literacy PD book such as Disruptive Thinking, Reading Unbound, 180 Days, Book Love, Readicide, etc and respond on Flipgrid.
3. Read the research article in Kami, highlight details and use the commenting feature for Aha moments.
4. Listen to this Donalyn Miller podcast, then use Soundtrap to respond to the podcast.
5. Create a Donors Choose project requesting books that will address weaknesses in their classroom library.
As soon as the district approves the course, I will be anxious to see how many teachers (if any) will participate. Honest reflection is difficult, but I hope that by going on that journey together we can do what is needed to improve our practice and reach more students. I hope to help them improve and build their classroom libraries. Classroom libraries and school libraries go hand in hand. Access! Based on student responses, I feel that students need help choosing a book, something I can address when they come into the library. My intern and I plan to make some kind of handout/infographic to help with that. Students need to hear more book recommendations from teachers and peers. I can help teach book talking skills and continue to model and share when they visit me. It may be time to reevaluate the assigned texts in the room as well as looking closely at what type of assignments correspond with reading. We need to make time for reading in class and protect student choice. These are best practices frequently hailed in books and articles, but sometimes it means more when you hear it from your own students. At least I hope it will!