My first year teaching at-risk students, I asked my principal if we could use USA Today for reading. My students didn’t like carrying a different textbook, because other students knew if you carried the green book that meant you were in the “dumb” class. At that time, USA Today was new, and it was the only newspaper to print in color. My kids were excited to read “real stuff.”
Lennie was one of my most reluctant readers. He did not see the value of reading until he turned 15 and needed to take the test to get his driver’s permit. He discovered he needed to be able to study the manual to pass the test, so he asked me to teach him how to read the driver’s manual. I agreed, and that evolved into some effective lessons with all students. I talk to many teachers who don’t want to use anything other than a textbook, but that limits you and your students. Online sources, videos, blogs, tweets, magazines, newspapers, and even graphic novels can supplement and enhance your instruction.
What resources tap into the intrinsic characteristics of value and success for your students?