Wednesday, July 23, 2014

#CyberPD week 3~ Cultivating Wild Readers

Simply Wild About Reading! 
We're reading, Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller, @donalynbooks.  #Cyberpd is hosted by @cathymere at Reflect & Refine@laurakomos at Ruminate and Invigorate and @litlearningzone at Literacy Zone.  If you're interested in joining visit any of the blogs for more information! 

If we value readers, we must value all reading LOC 3026

These words really caught my attention. At first glance I can easily say I do value readers, but do I value ALL reading?  I have to admit when kids visit the book fair and fill their wish list with books from movies and TV shows I cringe! I even take this one step further, I instantly become book commercial for other books (the books I deem to be worthy-yikes) at the book fair! I pick them up off the shelves and announce the title as if I just found a large sum of money and immediately begin reading a page and then quickly place the book into a reader’s hand all to bless MY choices!

I have several practices in place now to allow readers to be independent in book selection~

               Class (and some family) Shelfari accounts to view books of other readers
               Author studies (to learn more about authors and the books they publish)
               Share circle (to share and recommend books, to learn new books)
               Book commercials
               Book Host and Hostesses  (Choose books from home or the library to share with our class for class and home reading)
               Daily book selection in workshop and to take home

It’s my job to cultivate and nurture life long wild readers, not classroom readers. To do this I need to enable readers to find their reading niche. Readers need to read what THEY choose and as Donalyn reminds us it’s important for readers to try everything.  In our classroom this means I need to open my mind to the books so loved at our book fairs.  I find these books challenging to read and teach with in the classroom, which is why I don’t bless them. I think it’s time I open my mind and give these books a chance.  I have to admit I am not optimistic about finding teachable moments, but to be fair to the readers in my room I am going to dive in and read some of these movie and TV based books that the kids so dearly love! After all aren’t these the books kids are reading at home? It's time I understand there needs as wild readers, not classroom readers.

Cultivating Wild Readers in Room 208~

  •  Include all genres to the classroom book tubs combine genres in book tubs.
      Release (myself) and the readers who struggle from daily-guided reading. Allow more choice and independent reading time as readers to discover their reading niche.
      During conferences ask more questions that include habits of wild readers.
      Educate parents and kids about wild reading and edge time
      Add a blog page where all kids can post a book commercial or recommendation- book catalog! 
      Record books kids are reading in my anecdotal notes- watch for trends
      Book talk nonfiction
    Bless all books by including all genres in read alouds and lessons.


Katie Logonauts said...

Great applications! I especially like the reminder to include questions about wild reading habits in reading conferences. I definitely want to encourage my students to think about their 'edge' reading too. I also appreciate the reminder that bestowing a "teacher's blessing" on books can make a big impact - both positive and negative - and that we need to think about how to use those powers wisely.

Elisabeth said...

I had to laugh at your description of your behavior during the reading fair, because that's what I do with my children! My son wants me to buy a Ninjago book or the Captain America book (preferably the one that comes with a rubber bracelet or some "toy") and I'm just like, "Look! The new Jenni Holm novel! Let's get that one!" And there are some books that I'm happy for my kids to read, as long as I don't have to read them too. (Magic Treehouse, Bailey School, etc.) But what does my behavior signal to my kids? I'm not giving my blessing to these books. I love that you're planning to challenge yourself to read some of these books and try to understand what readers see in them. Certainly the predictability must be appealing. Beyond that, I'm at a loss. But your post really has me thinking about my behaviors as a parent and how I need to be more open and embracing and giving my blessing to books.

Cathy said...

You said, "It’s my job to cultivate and nurture life long wild readers, not classroom readers." There's a lot of conversation in that statement. I think it's tough to find the balance between growing readers beyond their preferences and honoring them. I had to laugh at your book fair description because I do the same thing (and knowing you, I can see you doing a dramatic book selection for show with your class). Let's be honest, the book fair has too many commercial titles. That being said, perhaps we need to change our show to include balance. Yes, I love this ____, but I also want to think about ____. I've tried to read book fair titles I think will appeal to students in read aloud right before the book fair. They go to what they know. I will say, your points have me thinking a bit about these practices.

I love all of your suggestions for growing wild readers. I'm looking forward to a new year and a new group of readers.

Kyle Faxlanger said...

Deb, I can relate the way you're feeling when you see kids at the book fair not choosing real reading material. Since I can relate to being a kid that never wanted to read growing up, I think back to when I was younger, at a book fair. I would choose the magazines, posters, and different movies that I could relate to and were easy readings. I used to be one of those kids who struggled with daily-guided readings. I like your ideas on how to grow the wild reader in your classroom. You have defined exactly how you want to do this and I hope that it has been effective for you thus far. The best idea in my opinion is to allow the kids to pick the book they want to read themselves. Like I previously mentioned, I was one who struggled with assigned readings. As I grew older, I found my niche when it came to reading. I began to find books that suited me and were more of my style. I would love to hear if your students have begun to grow into wild readers, as they begin to find their niche.

Twitter: @faxedm310

Monica Aldridge said...

I think it is great that you are letting the students choose what they want to read. While I was in elementary school I had a hard time reading. I thought the books were boring. But as I got older I started reading books I liked and my reading improved. Having the students share their books is a great way of introducing reading material for the others.