Are we making our students hate reading with excessive reading rules?

Do you impose reading rules on your students that you wouldn't even place on yourself? Do you ever ask how your students feel about those rules? In some cases, it might lead them to hate reading. I stumbled across this topic on social media and wanted to share it with all of you. I watch social media closely and it's my job to share some of the hot topics on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other outlets that teachers, principals, students, and parents are contributing.

Lyn Hilt posted an article on her Twitter account that's gotten a lot of attention recently. The article discussed how some of the reading rules enforced by teachers might prove harmful in the long run. The author, Pernille Ripp, argues that we'd never force adult readers to reflect on their reading in a certain way or to finish a book they hate. After asking her students about various reading assignments she'd handed out, she realized  her attempts to encourage students to read backfired and made reading seem like a chore. You can read that article here.

reading rules

Most people commenting on Twitter and on the article agree with Ripp. It's easy to see where she's coming from, and many teachers shared similar stories about students growing discouraged about reading because of  assignments. However, many teachers insisted they needed to find a balance. Students often abandon every book they read, making some rules justifiable in their eyes. Many teachers also expressed a desire for students to track their reading or reflect on it in some way. For the most part, everyone agreed they needed to find a middle ground without really stating what that might be.

What reading rules does your classroom have? Are you worried your reading rules might lead to discouraged students? Do you have any “middle ground” strategies?

Tori Pakizer is the Social Media Editor at SimpleK12.com. She writes regularly about the use of educational technology in K-12 classrooms, and specializes in how teachers use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media. You can follow Tori and SimpleK12 on Twitter @SimpleK12. If you have ideas for using social media in schools, please send your information or tip to editor@simplek12.com.