Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Working on Stamina

Well, school is settling in to week 4, and we are focusing on one of the most crucial aspects to teach readers...how to build stamina.

I liken it to my running. I tell them my goal might be to run a marathon.  I run every day, but if I stick with a mere 4-6 miles, I won't improve. My lung capacity will stay the same, my aerobic capacity will stay the same. I might be content, but if I want to meet my goal, I am going to need to push myself so that I go farther. I will need to put in the time, the effort, the practice. I need to run a mile more or a little longer each day. Yes, there are days where I may not want to, but I need to do it anyway. There's a bonus too: in the process, I may actually fall in love with running...find the joy in doing it, as well as accomplishing my goal.

Then I talk about how that's like their reading a book like Harry Potter. If they have read different books every night rather than sticking with one book, or if they only have the patience to read a chapter or two and then they abandon books, they will have an extremely hard time getting through Harry Potter and comprehending it. But if they persist and build their stamina, they will discover the joy of reading, the love of books, the feeling of getting caught up in a story - as well as accomplishing a goal.

Making analogies they can picture helps them understand what they are doing. Some kids just don't realize that they are doing themselves a disservice by not sticking with one book. They don't see that their choice to "fake" read or to "pretend" to read or even to skip from book to book is actually breaking their desire...

Find something to make an analogy that your child loves...maybe it's sports, art, dance...talk about how they passionately spend time improving and how that relates to reading.

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