Daily Archives: July 9, 2011
Sorry this is so late in the week-I just got back from Chicago Wednesday night and am STILL trying to catch up!
I hosted the book study this week of Donalyn Miller’s The Book Whisperer which was about student surveys.
Reading surveys/interest surveys help you get to know your students which in turn leads to more effective instruction. The idea is to take these surveys and comb through them thoroughly to be able to better match your students with appropriate books. I love this quote from Donalyn’s book:
“I mine these surveys for nuggets of information that will form the basis for book recommendations.”
And, she doesn’t just read the surveys and commit them to memory. She actually pulls the books from her classroom library and makes a stack for each student. YES, SHE DOES! Books for her morning class go on their desks-books for her afternoon class have their own place on the floor with sticky notes and names.
I have created my own interest survey for my 6th graders-it’s a revised version from Donalyn’s in The Book Whisperer and Nancie Atwell’s The Reading Zone. I can’t wait to see the results and have a book party with my students in August!
I am uploading a word version and a pdf version so you can choose which one you want! HAPPY SURVEYING!
Interest Survey WORD
Interest Survey PDF
I have been trying to figure out how to anchor the reading comprehension strategies for my 6th graders-I want to make it more visual and concrete for them. So I have searched and searched and searched and oh, did I say I have searched? I finally found 2 resources to help me with this vision of mine (cause I don’t have too many original ideas!).
The 1st resource is this book: Comprehension Connections by Tanny McGregor
It is one of the BEST books I have ever read regarding reading comprehension! Tanny does an amazing job of providing concrete ideas/lessons to teach the reading comprehension strategies. I downloaded it onto my kindle while I was in Chicago and read it in one day! She uses mostly easy to find items to anchor the kids’ learning-things like a rock, a purse, etc. This is how I will introduce ALL of the strategies at the beginning of school. I am not going to start my “official” reading program until I have introduced and taught all of the reading strategies: visualizing-asking questions-connections-determining importance-fix up/self monitoring-synthesizing-inferring
The 2nd resource that I found is on another teacher’s website-Mrs. Cervone (who teaches 4th grade) at McDonald Elementary School
Here is the link to her website: http://teacherweb.com/FL/McDonaldElementary/MrsCervone/index.html
Now, on to the GOOD FOOD part!!! After I introduce and teach all of the comprehension strategies, I am going to culminate it by creating a “Real Reading Sundae”. We will create an anchor chart of the comprehension strategies in the form of an ice cream sundae. Then we will physically manipulate construction paper pieces to form the ice cream sundae while thinking and discussing what we are doing. Then comes the FUN part-we will actually create an ice cream sundae! Learn. Eat. Enjoy.
See below for the pdf document to guide you in this lesson. This was created by Mrs. Cervone and this link will take you to her document that is part of her website under her reading workshop section. THANKS MRS. CERVONE!!!
Reading is my passion. My escape. My other world. How did I become such a lover of reading? I really don’t know. As far back as I can remember I have loved to read. I remember being around 4 years old and getting ANGRY on Sundays because everyone was reading, and I couldn’t because I didn’t know how! My mom would read a book, and my stepdad would read the newspaper (not real sure what my 9 year old brother was doing). I think I was even known for pitching a fit every once in awhile because it wasn’t FAIR that everyone else could read and I COULDN’T! My mom did the only thing she knew how-she enrolled me in a private kindergarten(they didn’t have public just yet) a year early so that I could learn to read and not bug her anymore! So I went to kindergarten for 2 years instead of 1-and learned to read! The only 2 things that I remember learning to do in kindergarten was read and blow a bubble with bubblegum!
I HAVE BEEN READING EVER SINCE THEN!
Now I’m wondering-how do we instill a love for reading in our students? It’s definitely not to keep doing what we are currently doing in the classroom: “make” them read certain texts ALL the time without any choice, give them assignments to do EVERYTIME they read, test them on EVERYTHING they read, drill and kill for standardized tests.
I’m sure there are more ways than this that we are killing the joy of reading (even before it starts), but these are just a few that stand out to me. Even though I love to read-I wouldn’t read if I had to write a book report each time, or take a test each time!!
Kelly Gallagher explains it best in his book-Readicide. If you are worried about what we are doing to our kids in school concerning reading, then you have got to read this book!
I ran across a blog post this morning that puts sort of different spin on this reading thing. Cool Cat Teacher (who is a technological whiz) wrote a post about getting angry about what we are doing to kids and their reading. She cited the statistics about how many people who NEVER read another book after graduating high school, and amazingly how many college students who never read another book after college! Check out her post:
SO-what can we do about this? Well, I have been reading lots of blogs AND professional books this summer to try and figure it out. The Book Whisperer, by Donalyn Miller, is a good place to start.
This is what I have come up with to help instill a love of reading in our students:
1. Give them a CHOICE of what they want to read
2. Give them the TIME to read
3. Let them be SOCIAL about it. Let’s face it-kids are social creatures. Use that to our advantage!
4. Incorporate TECHNOLOGY into our reading-this is becoming the way of the world, we might as well go with the flow
5. TALK to them about their reading-find out about them as readers, share their reading with them, share your reading with them
Also, we need to let them in on our passion of reading-no, I don’t mean that we need to preach to them about the importance of reading. Let our light shine through for our own love of reading.
What do you do to instill a love of reading in your students?
I’ve read another picture book-bought it at Hastings in Auburn yesterday-Casey at the Bat by Ernest Lawrence Thayer. Casey at the Bat is a poem/ballad about a famous baseball player. This is a cute picture book about a young boy at his baseball game-it starts out with the story of the boy, inserts the poem, and finishes the story about the boy. Very cute!
Last year we did “Casey at the Bat” as a readers theater, so this year I am going to read them this picture book first before we do the readers theater. This poem has LOTS of high level vocabulary in it!!!!
Here is a link to the readers theater script-Aaron Shepard has lots of great scripts.