The Middle School years are a difficult time for young learners. Not only do students struggle with their changing identities, but they also have to cope with, what can quite often be, the difficult transition from primary schooling to secondary education. It is a critical period where, more often than not, teachers will note a complete change in attitudes towards reading. Students are met with rigorous academic timetables, and assessments start taking a more prominent role in their lives; therefore, the English teacher is often met with a reluctance towards reading which results from the associations made between completing certain books and being successful in English exams. There is an urgent need to bring back and maintain that desire and enthusiasm for reading which most children do develop at a young age. We are eager for reluctant students to change their mindset towards reading, and, rather than thinking of it as an educational ‘chore’, it is our intent that Middle School students will see it as their escapism from studies just as they see other extra-curricular activities. Promoting a healthy interest in reading is of fundamental importance if students are to achieve their full potential in school and in life.
In order to encourage reading we at Inventure Academy have on taking a few initiatives that includes the Reading Project and D.E.A.R week:
Students will have to choose two activities from the prescribed list of activities and will create their own reading projects that will reflect their creativity and their independent critical thinking capability. The project can be typed and will be graded based on the rubric provided. The Reading project for middle school is due on 2nd December. Students will select the books based on the list provided which has been generated based on a reading survey that was conducted earlier
Literacy levels are a continuous point of discussion in schools around the world, but it is often the general consensus that it is “the job of the English teacher to enable each child to become more literate”. Teachers of today must realize that the ability to read is a “prerequisite for academic success”, therefore, a whole-school approach to literacy development needs to be recognized if our students are to be equipped with the skills necessary to survive in the complex and ever-evolving society in which they live.
December 2nd is D.E.A.R Day (Drop Everything And Read). At school we will dedicate a week (28th November – 2nd December) to promote and encouraging students to read. Twenty minutes per day will be devoted to this initiative. It would require all students (as well as teachers) to drop everything and read when it is announced on the intercom. Rather than making it predictable like so much of our daily routine, it will be at different times on different days. This would interfere with 20 minutes of a particular lesson on that day, but it is only for 5 days.