Monday, November 11, 2013

K.C. Boyd: Motivate readers with freedom of choice

Freedom of choice is key to get students motivated and excited about reading, according to inner-city Chicago library media specialist K.C. Boyd.

During an ALA Booklist webinar, Struggling Readers and the Common Core: Improving Literacy in Changing Times, Boyd emphasized her personal motto: “Meet kids where they are so you can take them where they want to go.”

Boyd said some of the ideas and practices that have been successful for her include sports books, anime, manga and graphic novels. Boyd credited re-reading the same manga books with being “the best way for students to broaden their language skills.” Boyd added that her students have an increased interest in reading classic novels in graphic format.

Other popular genres, according to Boyd, are mystery and suspense books, street literature or urban fiction. The latter, Boyd said, feature stories about people and are set in neighborhoods very much like her students’.

“This is a prime example of meeting kids where they are.”

The Common Core State Standards represent an attempt to define what it means to be a 21st-century literate person:
“Students who meet the Standards readily undertake the close, attentive reading that is at the heart of understanding and enjoying complex works of literature. They habitually perform the critical reading necessary to pick carefully through the staggering amount of information available today in print and digitally.”
The webinar included presentations by Tustin High School assistant principal Troy Fresch, Tim McHugh, co-owner and vice president of sales and marketing at Saddleback Educational Publishing; and Andrew Wooldridge, publisher at Orca Books.

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