This week I continue a three week promise to blog! I have been pathetic about blogging lately, so maybe this will get me started again. This is the fourth annual #cyberPD fun. I missed the first year, but have read the archives and have actively participated since. I know I get way more than I give with this enterprise, but I love to reflect, so here I am.
You can follow the fun (and even participate) by connecting here:
July 9th: Chapters 1 & 2 here at Reflect and Refine
July 16th: Chapters 3 & 4 hosted by Laura at Ruminate and Invigorate
July 23rd: Chapters 5 & 6 hosted by Michelle Nero at Literacy Learning Zone
To Be Announced: July 30th @ 8 p.m. EST
Ha, summer Wednesday, you almost caught me unaware again! This has been another busy week with lots of apartment hunting in my new city and the start of new teacher orientation, but I reread the sections and am ready to reflect!
Chapter 5- Wild Readers Show Preferences
It was interesting to read this again shortly after Donalyn Miller’s recent Nerdy Book Club post about “book pauses” ( http://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2014/07/20/hit-pause-by-donalyn-miller/, as I used to only read one book at a time, but lately have been moving toward multiples, based on the time I have to read, my level of concentration, level of “need” (whether the need to get it read for somebody or something external or my “need” for a particular book at a particular time) or other reasons. I used to think that it was not possible to do justice to multiple books at a time, but now find it works for me. It was not surprising to see that in their wild readers survey children had narrower reading interests than adults- I think this is really only a lack of exposure to lots of good choices. It was a good reminder to me to make sure that I am introducing students to many different kinds of text and not limit them by my own interests. I also needed the reminder to keep reading widely outside of my own natural interests, as I have to be a good reading model and advisor and that is so much more effective when I know my stuff. Children also seem to have preferences that are less fixed than adults (which is great!). Several of her other points I have also observed first hand, such as that children often have an interest in reading deeply from an author or genre, have a strong preference for non-fiction over fiction (or vice verse), may have a preference for other types of reading (such as graphic novels, magazines, or internet), and a preference for rereading favorites. All of these were in evidence in our classroom this past year.
I also liked the part that reminded us that as teachers we are seeing more and more about nonfiction and we have to find ways to get kids motivated to access this and increase their skills. I liked her ideas of ways to do this via using these texts more often for book talks, as mentor texts, as part of a paired set, and in general sharing and appreciating nonfiction more.
Something new for me to implement this year is the reading habits conference. I think this has the potential to be really beneficial for me as the teacher and for the students as they work on reflection and goal setting.
I have used many of these forms in the last year. I want to get better about getting students to use the “Books to Read” list. I also want to try out the reading itinerary questionnaire, the selection reflection, an the reading influences survey. I wish I had used the end of year reading habits survey, because it really gets to the heart of what I hope for the readers in our classroom.
As I begin work at a new school this year I am hoping that I will get a few other teachers in my building to work on bringing more of the goals of this book to our students. I found rereading it as I start to think about this year really helpful.
I can’t wait to read what everyone else is thinking this week!