That student who all of a sudden has to blow his nose the second independent reading starts. Or the student who thinks independent reading time is a great opportunity to catch up with friends. This is one of my biggest pet peeves. Reading time is a sacred time in our classroom, and my students know this from day one. No matter what, each year, I set out to convert those fake readers into real readers, and most of the time it works. In the past, I have tried to eliminate those fake reading behaviors to try and stop the problem dead in its tracks.
The problem was, these fake readers were smart. As soon as I limited one behavior, they would come back with a different strategy. The most important factor is having a classroom that is both centered around reading and celebrates reading. Let your kids sit and read self-selected books as much as possible. The only way to learn to love reading is to read.
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In our classroom, I read aloud to my students every single day. I carefully select some of the best books and use fun voices for the characters.
I do my best to make the story come alive for my readers so much so that it makes them see how much fun reading can be. I even make them do a drum roll on their desks each time I introduce a new book to our library. Usually, this leads to a waiting list for that book! I ask questions about their books, and I always let them choose what they want to read. I promise that will get a big smile and a positive reaction.
One time, I simply said out loud how I wish we could just have a whole read-in day where we get to read for seven hours straight, and my students went nuts over this idea. Even the non-readers were begging me to have a day like this! In my opinion, once those fake readers hear about and see all the fun the real readers are having, they will surely want to join in on what they are missing out on.
After my observations, I discovered quite a bit about my fake readers. Some were just taking a bit longer to get settled into their books but were indeed reading not a huge problem. Others were reading genres that I know do not appeal to them.
Catch Me if You Can: The True Story of a Real Fake Character Descriptions for Teachers
Some students deny that they are fake reading. I completely agree. Most of these students have probably never had a positive experience finishing a book or connecting with a book. To be honest, I typically share the exact notes and observations I wrote about that student fidgeting, disturbing others, etc. One important thing to remember is that for some students, fake reading may be habitual. This most likely went on year after year with teachers who were unable to help them. How frustrating for that student!
Once you confront them, you do not want them to lose confidence in you. This is where you have to make a plan to let your students know that this year is going to be different. One of my favorite mini-lessons is my lesson on teaching students what comprehension means. In this mini-lesson, my students hear that this year is going to be different. Other students may not know what type of books they relate to, or which books are out of their zone of proximal development. See below for my success story.
I have a student this year who is reading below grade level and is extremely self-conscious about it. Despite the fact that I have a number of books at her level, she still goes and grabs the thickest science fiction book she can find in our library. After a few quick conferences with her, I found out about her love of horses and how she rides them on weekends. The next morning, when she walked in, she had an entire stack of Pony Pals waiting for her on her desk.
Download Catch Me If You Can: The True Story of a Real Fake Audiobook
We made a plan that she would start with one and try her best to finish the entire book. I told her to at least read to page 50 to see if the book interested her before continuing. We also made a plan that I would check in with her periodically to see how she was doing and if she liked the book. Well, as she started reading it, she loved it. She went through that entire stack of Pony Pals and told me that this was the first time she ever finished a book.
How great is that? I did this mini-lesson in our library, showing her the different baskets or books and how they are organized and labeled. I made sure to watch her closely as she moved into selecting her own books, and I continued to conference with her on whether or not she was comprehending the material and able to complete them. I gradually released responsibility to her, and needless to say, she quickly turned into a real reader. The biggest thing you should notice about your students who start finishing books for the first time is how much their comprehension and reading level goes up.
Make sense!? For some, you may need to get back to the basics. Your students may not realize they are fake reading. If that is the case, pull them to the carpet and give them a mini-lesson on fake reading vs. Model for students what fake reading looks like. Except when you model this, act like a complete nut! Hold your book upside down, squirm like crazy, get up to obnoxiously blow your note, etc. When you do this, I promise your students will remember this lesson for weeks to come. In addition to modeling what fake reading looks like, you should also model what real reading looks like.
I refer to my anchor chart on silent reading voices when I model real reading for my students. Subscribe to my newsletter to get an exclusive freebie, updates on all my latest product releases, sales, and more! Is it possible to be a pilot, a doctor, a professor, a lawyer, and a millionaire all before you are 21? Frank William Abagnale Jr. Forging signatures, swindling checks, and charming every pretty bank teller were part of the normal routine For Abagnale.
Abagnale's first con Is it possible to be a pilot, a doctor, a professor, a lawyer, and a millionaire all before you are 21? Abagnale's first con was when he was 16, on the first day of his new school he pretended to be the substitute teacher for a french class after a boy had teased him in the hallways. From then on his cons and lies became more complex.
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In a matter of weeks after transferring to his new school his parents got divorced and he ran away to escape the stress of it all. He would open a completely legitimate bank account and write insufficient funds to those accounts with a check. Abagnale had matured early so at the age of 16 he looked like he was This helped him with bank tellers. He always tried to talk to a lady because he would be able to charm them into anything. Thats where he learned much about checks and banking. After hitchhiking out of New York he had the drive to do something great.
He admired Airline Pilots and envied the respect and gratitude they receive. That is when he decided he would make himself an airline pilot. After weeks of preparation, fraud, lying, and research Abagnale took his first flight as a Pan Am pilot where he just flew in the jump seat of a United Airlines Plane. In his career as a pilot he never actually flew a plane, instead he would go on flights with other airlines to get somewhere.
This was a common thing for pilots at the time. All throughout his travels around the world he swindled checks and committed fraud. This deceit did not go unnoticed though. Carl Hanratty closely followed the trail that was left behind by Abagnale and came close to catching him in a California motel, only to have Abagnale trick Hanratty into believing he was another police agent. After months of being a flight attendant, Abagnale went on to become a doctor.
For 11 months he worked at an Atlanta Hospital as a pediatric specialist but then quit after a boy had almost died at his watch. After becoming a doctor Abagnale forged a transcript and diploma from Harvard University of Law and passed the Louisiana Bar Exam to become a lawyer. As a lawyer Abagnale attempted to settle down and get married, but after the proposal he was forced to flee because the FBI were catching onto him.
Spotting 'fake news' among the real stories
One of Abagnale's conflicts was the loneliness he suffered from. He was unable to tell anyone who he really was, and was mainly travelling alone. Another conflict in the story is Carl Hanratty becoming obsessive over Abagnale and trying to track him down. In parts of the book Abagnale describes why he committed so much fraud and had so many false identities. At first, the swindling was for survival but later Abagnale says it became a game that he just loved.
Anyone who is interested in psychology would find this book quite fascinating, for Abagnale is a model criminal and his ideals are expressed in this book.
This book makes a good read for many, but may be hard to understand for middle schools students. At some points in the book the romantic in Abagnale comes out and some may appreciate the love stories. This was the biggest surprise delight I've had in a long time.