"If we force books upon children and insist they follow the same path their peers are taking, or worse, the same path we took as learners, we strip the joy and refreshment out of reading. Instead, we can let our students create their own path. We can ask them to choose their exploration. "What direction do you want to take today? What are you thinking about and caring about these days? Are there people you'd like to share with? Where do you want your imagination to carry you?"
Allowing choice and trusting students to make the right reading and writing decisions for themselves will inspire them to love their literacy path. We can't force them up and back, east and west, on a boring, unsafe highway; we must give them cobbled streets, coffee shops, friends and strangers, and roads headed in all possible directions.
This week, we're focusing on student learning partnerships. Plus more as always -- enjoy!"
Contributor, Choice Literacy
Jennifer Schwanke is a principal in Dublin, Ohio. She also blogs about her personal pursuits at http://jengoingbig.blogspot.com/
Here are two articles from the Choice Literacy archives to help students build collaborative skills.
Amanda Adrian describes the "try it on" phase of helping students learn to confer with each other, and uses fishbowl modeling to help children develop conferring skills:
Paul Hankins writes about the many benefits of pairing older and younger readers in the essay One Book/Four Hands:
Christine McCartney provides suggestions for peer activities to boost interest and enjoyment of reading in Towards a Better Independent Reading Program from the Nerdy Book Club:
Pernille Ripp hears that dreaded comment from a student -- "reading sucks." She uses the comment as a catalyst for a provocative class discussion in Why Reading Sucks and It's Okay to Talk About It: