I participated in a Twitterchat last night about setting reading goals. To be perfectly honest, I have never set a reading goal in my life. Even in 7th grade, when we were graded on how many books we read during reading class, I just read and ended up with the grade I received. I have always loved to read, but never thought too much about improving my reading.
Based on the ideas and thoughts of the chat last night, I decided to try out reading goals with my classes. So, today, I announced we would be setting a reading goal at the end of the week. I gave them the warning and time to think, because I need that time to come up with my own goal. We discussed the possible goals they could set: number of pages per week, minutes per day, books per month, types of genre, etc. I also explained to them the amount of reading in their future (in high school and college). Telling them they will be expected to read 500-600 pages each week really made an impact.
Interestingly, my morning class was totally on board with the idea. They were immediately enthusiastic about setting goals. My afternoon class, on the other hand, needed some persuading (read: arm twisting). I had several of them ask “what if I’m happy with my reading as it is?” To which I replied: it’s my job to challenge you in your education, so yes, you’ll be setting a reading goal.
Things took an upward turn when I pointed out that I had never set a reading goal for myself before, but that I’m looking forward to it. I mentioned that this would make me smarter, which absolutely SHOCKED them. They had never before thought about a teacher getting smarter. That one statement rocked their world! I think that might be the hook I needed, though. We finished our goals discussion on a positive note.
Now to see if it works. We’ll be posting our reading goals on the door for all the world to see. I haven’t yet decided what mine will be. It should be to read more classics, since I’ve never read most of them. However, it may be to read more graphic novels, since I’ve missed out on most of them, too. Or, maybe it will be to read more about technology and the future. I just can’t decide.
I’ll let you know what I settle on and how the goal setting is working with my students. Do you have a reading goal? If so, what is it?