January 28, 2009

Cannonball Read

**UPDATED 3/17/09**

I have long since thought that reading has become a lost art. Did you know that less than 50% of American adults read literature today? That, if you ask me, is an absolute tragedy.

Being a teacher in the public school system, I have seen the decline in the desire to read starting as young as 8 years old.There is no longer a desire. Television, video and computer games have taken the place of reading a good book.

There is so much to be gained by reading. With a good book in hand so many possibilities open up. Vivid imaginations do not just form themselves; by reading frequently the imagination is stirred and thought processes run wild. No only that, the more one reads, the more exposure to print one has; they then become a more fluent reader, the quality of their spelling deepens, and the exposure to good writing is instilled. Most of our younger generation lack all of these skills. It is no wonder that the students we are producing are struggling readers.

What can we do about this you ask? Well, I am not sure I can change the world, but I am going to try. Starting with my little class of 3rd graders (who hate to read) I am challenging them with the cannonball read (a challenge that I am also undertaking myself). The cannonball read is a challenge to read 100 books in one year. Yes, it is designed for adults because the books have to be more than 200 pages and are not to be short stories, but I am adapting it to my class and just asking them to read 100 books each. What is the incentive???? I told them that those who succeed will get a limo ride with Miss La Rue to a movie and lunch destination of their choice. So, may the challenge begin! Anyone else up for it????

January 2009:
The Sunday Philosophy Club by A.M. Smith
The Shack by Wm. Paul Young

February 2009:
The Soloist by Steve Lopez

Currently reading: The Warrior by Francine Rivers

3 done, 97 more to go!


tif said...

um...do i get to take a limo ride with you????
i'm totally up for it
send any good book suggestions my way that you come across

The PotBellied Goddess said...

Wow, that is so cool that you are asking your students to participate! I pray, for their sake, that they do. You're so right about how reading is a lost art-it makes my heart sad. Some of my best friends were in books, wait...that makes me sound really pathetic. I'm not taking it back though, it's true. :) BTW-the year is fixed on my blog-and I really liked Redeeming Love, it was def tough subject matter-why'd you stop? I bet I know at what part...

Coachdad said...

Definitely continue...