I taught this same group of students To Kill a Mockingbird as a whole-class novel two years ago, when they were freshmen, so I decided to (anonymously) poll them on how much of that book they actually, really, truly read.
I wasn’t surprised by the numbers below, but I was surprised that most of the students who admitted to fake-reading the book are currently in my Honors class.
That 1-24% is really getting me down, but it shouldn’t: I had a few students who just refused to read and refused choose a different book. They spent every period peacefully protesting our reading workshop…but they still read their choice book every single day.
Some in the 50-99% range admitted that they used SparkNotes over the weekend instead of *just finishing the book*. That’s also disappointing.
BUT 87% OF MY STUDENTS READ THE ENTIRE ASSIGNED NOVEL?!
What worked for my students?
When polling my students on what worked and what didn’t, they indicated what helped them the MOST in reading and finishing their novel.
When asked what didn’t work, they said they wanted more time.
I’m also planning to schedule small groups ahead of time on the reading schedule, because we often ran out of time for specific groups to chat.
My students want me to throw out the discussion points (because they hate doing them), but I’m keeping those to guide our small group discussions. Because I’m the boss.