Wednesday, July 23, 2014

#cyberPD Part 3

Chapter 5
     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! 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Some Recent Reads

     It has been a crazy couple of weeks at our house with company, baseball games that ended at 11:30 p.m. (with a 45-minute drive home), and still continuing to work landscaping/lawn care at my husband's work. Oh, and we even took a short business trip in that time as a family with my husband to Kansas City. I have missed sharing some of my recent reads the past couple of weeks, so let's get to it!

Picture Books

Alex Beard has captivated the essence of rumors and gossip in his charming version of the game of Telephone. A perfect book for the beginning of the year, along with a game of Telephone. I wonder if kids even know how to play...

Early Readers

I have so enjoyed the adventures of Fashion Kitty in her quests to help other kitties in their time of need! Even the titles are part of the great humor. Sure to be a popular series!

Nancy Krulik has another winning series with Magic Bone. Written in a similar style as Krulik's Katie Kazoo and George Brown, Magic Bone is told from Sparky's point of view. Be ready to go on some hilarious "dog" adventure!

Middle Grade

I have enjoyed all of Kate Messner's Silver Jaguar Society mysteries (Capture the Flag, Hide and Seek), but I think this is perhaps my favorite. Lots of great intrigue and historical landmarks in both Boston and Paris. I would have loved this series as an avid kid reader! Hoping for a fourth installment...

Young Adult

Ice Dogs was recommended to me by my public library ladies. What a fabulous read! I am not a survival story kind of girl, but this grabbed my attention from the get go. I couldn't let it go until I had finished. Get out your parka and prepare to "Mush"!

Until next time...Happy Reading