Books are Enough

The Power of Free, Self-Selected Reading

Signs of Rehabilitation

I heard that the human body begins to improve shortly after one stops smoking. I have noticed that once we get kids away from computer programs, packaged programs, worksheets, intensive phonics and other mind-numbing practices – we begin to rehabilitate them. How? Books! Once a student finds that first magical book, the recovery begins. Finally, students can interact with text due to access and time to read. What are some of the ways you can recognize rehabilitation?

  • Facial expressions while reading (smiles, frowns, fascination, puzzlement!)
  • Laughter
  • Students getting in trouble in other classes because they refuse to put their books away
  • Volume reading
  • Progression to and through different genres
  • Students telling you about the books they are reading
  • Students finishing books in record time OR telling you they don’t want to finish because the book is so good
  • Students saying, “Can we just read all period?”
  • Parents calling because they think something is wrong. Their child is reading at home.
  • Students discussing and recommending books with/to peers
  • Eyes lighting up while reading. If you look closely you can see this.
  • Student saying, “If I had a Kindle I could get books ANYTIME!”
  • Students asking you how to get a library card

There are many more symptoms. Maybe you have some to share. NCLB and now Common Core are enemies of rehabilitation. They represent regression and decay. We must make sure the idea of book-loving citizens does not become an urban legend.

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