Making Meaning

Full disclosure: Get ready for a rant.

Reading and writing are about communicating ideas, emotions, experiences, opinions and more.

The act of reading is all about making meaning.

We make meaning from the words on the page, the images, the graphs, the titles, the photographs, the pictures and from what we already know about and are learning from the text.

The text is anything that can convey meaning – a painting, a book, a movie, a documentary, a comic, a meme, etc.

When we read we work to understand what someone else wrote, but we may never get it exactly as the writer intended and we may even miss the point altogether.

When we write we are communicating ideas to others in a way that is as interesting and as clearly as possible, so that we aren’t completely misunderstood.

However, because writers can’t fully anticipate how readers will approach their writing, we look for others to read our drafts and to help us see our writing with new eyes.

I write this because I am tired of isolated word calling tests and even more tired of fixes for kids who don’t do well on those isolated word calling tests.

I write this because sometimes it feels as if I’ve lost my mind.

I also write this because i know I haven’t lost my mind. It’s those people over there who have no clue what it means to teach a child to read, but who somehow feel entitled to tell teachers how to do it. And their solution is to make language unnatural by breaking it up into tiny, tiny pieces.

This is the worst thing anyone can do to a child.

It stifles their imagination.

It thwarts their thirst for more.

It kills the spirit.

In this kind of environment, we end up raising non readers.

We need to reclaim and reaffirm the JOY of reading. And, in my humble opinion, we need kids like my grade 3 students who when asked, “What is reading?” they respond with: “Reading is fun. Reading is awesome.”

We need kids who read to expand their world so they can become better human beings tomorrow than they were today.

End of rant.

Cross posted to The Two Writing Teachers Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge.

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