I’m sneaking this out Sunday night, before I head out for camping and backpacking this week, and scheduling it for a Wednesday post. It will tweet, and when I get back, I will comment/post a link on Ruminate and Invigorate, host of this week’s discussion (Thanks, Laura!). If you happen to find it before then, good on you!
After reading through a handful of posts last week, I found myself thinking more about mini-lesson topics as I read this week’s chapters. It’s interesting to see how others’ responses to a shared reading experience can influence future thinking. Oh, wait–reader influence is part of Chapter 3! Whoa. Meta.
In Ch. 3, I was indeed particularly struck by the section on reader influence. I plan to add a mini-lesson on this to my queue. I also took careful note of “What schools should do if they want kids reading more” on p. 95-96. I feel that the reading culture at my school is too locked down and restrictive (not in my class, but overall). The more fodder for pushing a shift, the better.
And the conferring section. Ack! My life! Last year was particularly difficult, since my students were terrible independent workers/readers–independent reading time was just one big management battle. Things will be better this year, but I still anticipate a struggle to confer with every student in a reasonably acceptable time frame. I took to heart Donalyn’s thoughts about my purpose and goals for conferring. I’m hoping to focus things a bit to increase the value of that one-on-one time.
I really liked the section in Ch. 4 about challenge and commitment goals. I am pretty bad at revisiting goals, so this type of thing has always sort of sputtered in my classroom. However, I started thinking about using goals and plans as a way of almost turning over the “assigning” of reading to the students. They can assign themselves their reading. I can check in via conferences and reading responses. It’s an intriguing idea, and one I want to explore further.
Here’s a little bit of my personal canon to finish things off:
- Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt
- Harry Potter series, by JK Rowling
- Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse
- Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
- Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen
- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, by Judith Viorst
- Strega Nona, by Tomie DePaola
- Caps for Sale, by Esphyr Slobodkina
- The River Why, by David James Duncan
Talk to you next week!