Sunday, February 6, 2011

Real Reading

amidst the projects, the posters, the logs...

I have been a little frustrated lately. I know so many powerful things are happening in the minds of my classroom. In our character studies, our author studies, finding meaningful themes, author's purposes and content in our books...

We're proving our thinking with text, "arguing" with each other about character motives, and really digging deep.

But there are some falling off the passion of real reading.

My sons included.

Overwhelmed by how responding to literature happens...if you know what I mean. Not that I don't see the merit in research, reports, and book's just that, well, maybe it is extreme in our family because there are three out of four doing them, but I am not sure.

Maybe I am too "easy" in my teaching in that I don't require projects done at home monthly.

But my class knows. It is the THINKING I want to hear.

Tomorrow I am going to put some statements up on a big sign in my room. They are from Lucy Calkin's book, The Art of Teaching Reading. I always find amazing inspiration in that book when I need it.

Here are the statements: What are you thinking? What did you notice? Tell me more. Give me an example. YOUR RESPONSES ARE THE IMPORTANT STUFF.

Why do I want that? Because it's true. "Reading is merely ink on the page until a reader breathes life into them." Rosenblatt

Rigor is more with less. I know what my kids are doing in my classroom. With each carefully chosen book and lesson, they are learning the life of a reader. They are thinking and talking about books. Maybe not traditionally, but they are engaging in reading. I guess I don't need them to have another grade in the gradebook to show me.

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