"I turn to Brian, knowing that all of the children need to hear what I say next: 'I am so glad that you said that! Some books are boring.'" (pg. 73)
I just love this book, don't you? I think we need to be real with students. Not everything is wonderful. Not all books appeal to everyone. I may not like a book you love. I want to let my students know they are not wrong in their book choices. Which leads to the next quote:
"I believe that students should be empowered to make as many book choices as possible, including the books we read together. The idea of students clamoring to read favorite books feeds into my goal for getting them excited about reading. By valuing their opinions, even about the books we share as a class, I let them know that their preferences are as important as mine." (pg. 74)
I am not sure how many of our class reading choices I am going to be able to hand over to the kids. We have certain requirements. I will be following the spirit if not the letter of this wisdom.
"This reading requirement exposes students to a variety of books and genres so that they can explore books they might not ordinarily read and develop an understanding of the literary elements, text features, and text structures of most books." (pg. 79)
I am not overwhelmed with the 40 book requirement. I think it is a very attainable goal. I also think that in 2nd grade my students read more than that. Partly because of the length of most of our books and partly because of the reading time available to them. I am going to stress that my students have to have read every word in the book to add it to their "finished" list.
I am going to have students fill out this page whenever they finish a book. We will refer to it during our conferences and during guided reading. I want this to be a list they are proud of at the end of each six weeks.
My Reading List
"It is important to celebrate milestones with students and focus on their reading successes, not their failure to meet requirements, which only serves to discourage students." (pg. 83)
I love this quote. Very encouraging and a great reminder to us to not focus on the negative. I am not going to have a number requirement this year, but I will make sure my kids read from all the genres. I have made these 2 resources. One is a list of the books they have read in each genre. This will help us keep up with and see at a quick glance which genre the student gravitates to and which ones they need to explore. The other is going to be our genre notes. Our curriculum is going to be genre driven this year, so I want to make sure that students have a good grasp of each one. I love her idea of having a pile of books and starting with what the students know about each genre. Then giving student groups tubs of books for them to decide on genre and then the practical assessment. I will be stealing those ideas this year!
"What we must do is give our approval when students make their own reading choices, no matter what books they choose, because this if far preferable to their deciding not to read at all." (pg. 86)
This sums up so much of what this book talks about. I know this year will be full of positive feelings and encouragement for all readers.
As always, if you would like the PowerPoint versions of these documents to tweak, just leave me a message!