#cyberPD- Week 2- Reading in the Wild

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

Yikes! With all of the flurry of the last week I almost forgot that today was Wednesday, but it is later here than it likely is wherever you read this, so phew, I did it!

Chapter 3- Wild Readers Share Books and Reading With Other Readers

I am sooo happy to be rereading this book just before starting another school year. What I really appreciate is that the blog posts we all write are great notes for me to review now and throughout the year as I work with a new group of readers.

Reminders for me:

I have to plan for more time for informal book sharing. I do include time for formal book talks, etc, but this informal time is often lost. I am worried about my classroom books not being there for the start of the year (they will arrive in the second or third week), but now I think I can use this as a time to build anticipation- I can ask the kids what books they hope we will unpack, what books are missing from the classroom, etc and take it from there (plus today I explored the local book shop- kaching- 5 books bought:). I want to make a book door again this year to start the school year- I did it last year for the first time and it promoted so many great conversations. Then I would like to turn over that space to student volunteers to share their reading life in some way (I did a Reader of the Week the year before, inspired by Colby Sharp (@colbysharp), but I would like to open it up even more. The reminders that we are building a forever community of readers is a great point- I love that former students come back for recommendations and hope this will continue even though I am far away. I also appreciate the reminder that we have to flood parents with pro reading messages too. I often tell my students that even if their parents don’t help them find reading time, they can d o it- but it would be so much easier if more parents were on board (and maybe all I have to do is ask them to be a part of our reading community). The list of benefits of building a reading community really spoke to me as I have just left many of my tribe in Berlin. The online options are always good for those of us who move around, or just want more ways to connect. This chapter reminded me again to make sure I make the reasons for having a “to be read” list more explicit. Finally, the section on conferring was useful, as I am always trying to improve my systems, especially for record keeping.

Chapter 4- Wild Readers Have Reading Plans

I have done better about working with mys students on making them responsible for having reading goals (which was a new idea for me years ago). I love sitting down and sharing goals before breaks and a highlight of one of our last days of school this year was sharing their summer reading plans (complete with the why, what, where, with whom, and when of summer reading). I want to have more sessions with my students about the different types of reading goals the book suggests. I want to tweak the 40 Book Challenge again this year in my class- I was not good about emphasizing the variety of reading in their diet. As for myself, as I planned my move I knew that books would make my new home feel like home, so most of my classroom books are on their way here. I saved some books to read on the long flights (both paper and Kindle form). I also started a list of books I would look for at the bookstore in my new city. Today being my first whole day in town I did what any Nerdy Book Club member could understand- I went to the bookstore- it is a great way to see some of the local sights (and yes, I bought some books and got a membership card). A relatively new pleasure I have discovered is that the public library I belong to in the US allows me to borrow audio books and Kindle versions- I LOVE this!

I can’t wait to read what everyone else is thinking this week!

Happy reading!


10 thoughts on “#cyberPD- Week 2- Reading in the Wild

  1. Elisabeth Ellington

    Last semester, I chucked the formal book talks–just couldn’t get them to work effectively–and only did informal ones and I was surprised at how well that worked. Students had so much more to say when I wasn’t requiring them to say anything! Not sure how I’ll tweak it next time. Conferencing with my readers is one area where I always fall short. I need to read a good PD book about conferring this summer…. Glad you’re exploring your new city and finding the important things–the bookstores! And hope your books arrive soon!

  2. Cathy Mere

    I’m not sure how you’ve managed to move, read, AND blog this week, but kudos to you! I enjoyed reading about the changes you plan to make after reading and thinking about Donalyn’s book.

    Like you, I’m thinking more about the necessity to help parents support these young readers at home.

    Congrats on your move. I hope you are settling in and your new books arrive quickly.


  3. Chris

    Of course you went to the bookstore first! Congrats on making your big move! I love all your ideas – Reader of the Week, including parents in our reading community. I also need to remember to encourage a healthy reading diet. I plan to do that through read aloud. Thanks for sharing your thinking!

  4. Katie Logonauts

    Great, thanks for sharing! I gather from your post that you are switching down to third grade this year? I have been teaching third grade for several years and am curious about your implementation of the 40 book challenge. My concern would be emphasize my “rushing” readers over trying to build their comprehension.

    1. Ms Victor Reads Post author

      Hi Katie,
      No, I have been teaching third grade- just switching schools. The first year I did the 40 Book Challenge I told them picture books did not count, last year I upped it to 50 and told them any book counted. As it was an expectation and there was no penalty if they did not get to 50, I never felt kids were rushing to up their numbers. Almost all far exceeded it, but not all successfully tracked the books read. I think I will keep it at 50 this year and see if I can get the new crew to keep better records. The kids loved seeing which books they had read and felt really proud of their work and all felt they read more than ever before.

  5. LauraM.

    I like how you are rolling with the punches and planning ways to build excitement in your students as you wait for your books to arrive. That’s a great idea and I’m sure it will instill in your students from the very beginning how important reading is to you. I think that would tell the kids that there are things to talk about related to books/reading even while they’re waiting on the books’ arrival…and that just because the books haven’t arrived yet does not mean we can’t still talk about reading!

    Also, I really like the idea to start out a book door and then transfer it over to a “Reader of the Week.” I love that! Did you find that most kids included pictures of what they were currently reading, or did they dedicate the door to their favorite reading books?

    1. Ms Victor Reads Post author

      Happily there will be books in the classroom that belong to the classroom, but my own personal classroom library is HUGE and will be a big add. I actually saw my new classroom today and wonder how I will fit the books in, but…
      When I did reader of the week many kids included pictures of them reading and being read to and also past and current favorite books (they printed off book covers). Some were very visual and others were more lists. I liked the variety!
      Thanks for commenting- sorry I am late to respond.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s