There are worrying indications that utilising DEAR may see the reading rich get richer and the reading poor get poorer. We all know those pupils who read fluently and with great skill. They better select those Goldilocks texts that are just right for them, staying motivated and focused, as they read voraciously and well.
In response, Quigley suggests that reading time should be structured, focusing on:
- Audit reading habits and reading materials
- Support choice and structure rich reading
- Top and tail time spent reading
- Utilise reading time to support the weakest readers
- Define goals for silent reading
When I was in the classroom, we used the CAFE model to help structure the silent reading program. The challenge I found was meaningfully responding.
I have come to the realisation that unless students are empowered and shown where the value exists for them, by teachers, and given more opportunities to develop authentic responses then the problem will continue to exist for teachers. The reality is, whether staff or students, we are all readers, therefore, in the end, we all need to find our way of responding. You may not want to write reviews online or extensive tracks in your margins, but the question needs to be asked: are you really reading if you are not responding?