Sunday, May 30, 2010

It's Starting to Feel Like Summer...

At almost 100 degrees here, we are beginning to start our summer routine...the pool, cool parks, and late night outdoor barbequing.

We are making memories. Things the boys will remember (fondly) doing and ask to continue next summer.

Along with summer comes the annual pilgrimage of my classroom library. At many schools around the country, teachers take down their classrooms and "pack up," making room for top to bottom cleaning...

It isn't fun, except for my boys.

They think they have inheirited a whole new stash. The second I drove in the driveway from Houston, Matt was there, opening boxes. Not that he hasn't read and reread these books already...

How do I get my kids so eager to do this? Well, it starts early. The earlier you just surround them with books, the more apt they will be to gravitate towards them.

If you haven't been great about that and now you have an older child, IT IS NEVER TOO LATE.

I firmly believe if you state things in the positive, you will see positive results.

I am reading a new professional book (just got it in the mail yesterday) called "Notebook Connections" about how to use Reading Notebooks more effectively. I love it.

One part that stood out for me was a story she told about her first day with a new class of fourth graders. One little girl came straight up to her and said, "I've made it all the way through third grade without finishing a book. I bet I won't finish one in fourth either." To which she, the teacher replied, "I had the same experience until I was 21, and I know all the tricks of the trade. I think it's the saddest part of my life having missed out on books so long. I hope that doesn't happen to you."

Wow. Honesty. She didn't take the bait, she didn't challenge her back. Love that.

I am sure that girl walked away with her mind blown -- I am sure that wasn't the answer she expected. And she doesn't tell us what happens, but I am 99.9% sure that girl finished not only one, but many that year.

Think about how you are approaching your child with reading. Are you making positive goals with them or giving ultimatums? Are you partnering or directing?

I think that's worth an examination, because your child won't fight if there's nothing to fight against. Not that it is our fault if we have resistant readers. It is just that they have a struggle already, and it is easy for them to make it more about a power struggle with us than to use that energy to get better at reading.

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