Pat Kovalan teaches biology and is learning about Reading Apprenticeship routines and the value of SSR. As a weekend-league soccer player, whose son plays soccer, he found himself making connections between the benefits of “touches on the ball” and “touches on the text.”
“My son has a soccer coach,” Pat explains, “who put out an email saying that every kid gets a thousand touches on the ball in a one-hour practice. He’s kind of a cocky guy, so I said, ‘I’ve got to go see this.’ I went and I actually counted. Every player touched the ball a thousand times and sometimes more. Then when my son comes home or another player comes home, they’re getting even more touches on the ball—they’re volleying the ball off a kick wall, kicking it into the net, juggling the ball—because they’ve found a passion for it.
So in class, if you’re getting kids set up for reading, teaching skills and strategies, giving them lots of practice, they fall in love with SSR and a book. Then they’re going to be reading outside of class, at home—getting a lot of touches on the text. Kind of like my son with his soccer ball.”