In Chapter 5, I saw both myself as a reader and teacher. I particularly saw myself as a reader when Donalyn discussed reading preferences. I almost felt like she had looked into my reading life and could have practically checked "preferences" off in a checklist:
1. Read deeply from one genre or author. I have primarily been a
mystery/suspense and historical fiction reader from childhood on. Is it weird to
find a new author and check out all of their books from the library? (The library
ladies assure me it increases their circulation...)
2. A preference for fiction over non-fiction. Non-fiction is a huge book gap for
me as an adult. I have a hard time believing I actually read and enjoyed some
biographies as a child!
3. A preference for series. Whoa! That is so me! I will not read a series until I can
read it in order.
4. A preference for rereading favorite books. At least once a year, I reread
several of my favorite feel good "chick flick" type books. I have also been known
to reread series multiple times. Does this correlate to watching favorite movies
over and over?
Even with all that said, the point I took away is this; as a teacher I need to find out why students are rereading, especially so I can assist those that may not know what else to read. On the note of rereading, I have had several students come to my class the past few years and tell me they "have" to read a book at least two times before they take the AR test. I don't even require AR tests! This was the requirement of them by the previous year's teachers along with a certain number of AR tests per week. Ack!
Last week's #bproots Twitter Chat dealt with graphic novels and what people may perceive to be "light reading." It was a great chat! I have really come to enjoy graphic novels the past year, and have collected as many as I can for my classroom. Babymouse and Lunch Lady are particular class favorites (and mine, too!). Graphic novels have really enticed some of my reluctant readers and encourage some deeper comprehension skills. For one of my students, who tended to be a more reluctant reader since reading did not come easy to him, graphic novels were the best thing since sliced bread. His fluency improved remarkably and he devoured books left and right. I think perhaps he wasn't so overwhelmed with the amount of text on a page, which supports the point that graphic novels provide scaffolding for students and give them the confidence to tackle more difficult texts.
One of the things I would like to rethink for the upcoming school year is how my students use their reading logs. I will be revamping my form so they can record a rating along with title, author, genre, and date completed. I also think I can make more use of a "Books I Want to Read" form - perhaps that will help those students in the library that don't really have a plan and have no idea of what they want to check out. Even though we have many discussions as a class and while conferring about genres, I have not really implemented a 40 Book Challenge with genre guidelines for my third graders. I'm anxious to read how others are doing and/or have done this.
I'm anxiously awaiting the Twitter Chat next week!