Jennifer over at Rowdy in First Grade is co-hosting Chapter 1 of the Book Whisperer. Here are the questions (and my answers) that she posed. Head over to her blog for more discussions on the book.
1) What quotes stood out to you and why?
On page 12 she talks about the child who said "I am done with my work; may I read my book now?". That was so me in school. I remember reading through the things I HAD to in order to get to the books I WANTED to read. I hated all the books we had to read for high school; anything Shakespeare, Wuthering Heights etc. Boring. For someone who can read a book a night (if it's a nice easy read), these books were just torture. I hated having to pick apart every little detail and symbolism in the books. For me, it ruined the purpose of the book. Why was I reading it? In school, because I HAD to. Not because I enjoyed it or wanted to. If I was not a reader already, it sure would not have made me one. It would have put me off books altogether.
2) What did you do in your classroom this past year to show enthusiasm for reading?
In my classroom I do a take-home book program. The children get to CHOOSE a book (at their level) to read to me, then read to someone at home. If it's too hard or they are just not into it, they pick another one. Even with only seven children, this takes up an incredible amount of my time. Lately I had been thinking that maybe I need to change this; somehow speed it up. But after reading this book I got to thinking that maybe I'm on the right track. That the time we spend READING is paying off in the long run. I see a huge difference in the reading levels of the children whose parents follow through with the reading program at home. Of my verbal children, 80% of them were reading at least 3 levels above the benchmark level. The two that did not meet benchmark for kindergarten were only in junior kindergarten and still have another year to reach the benchmark
3) Is there something you want to try or want to change in order to get your students more excited about what being a reader can do for you?
With all of this being said, I think we still need to do more reading in class everyday. I want the books to me more accessible and want designated times when everyone is reading. I love reading stories to the class and I think I need to find way fit more books in. I also need to instill this into my coop students so that if they see a child is not doing anything, they know they can grab a book and read to them.
I need to figure out a way to address my non-verbal students. How do I get the same results when they can't "read". They are still very young and we are working on literacy skills, but how do I address the "read-to-self" or "read-to-peer". How do I ensure that they are following along the same path as their peers?
Only 2 days left of school.............