I found the summer #cyberPD posts last week on Reading in the Wild. These posts added so much to my take on Donalyn Miller’s book. It offered insights above and beyond my initial thoughts. Reading those comments inspired me to reread and join in. Thank’s to Cathy Mere at Reflect and Refine, Laura Komos at Ruminate and Invigorate and Michelle Nero at Literacy Learning Zone for hosting this.
.Here is the schedule I “lifted “off of Cathy’s blog.
- Link in the comments of the host blog
- Comment on the host blog.
- Tweet comments using #cyberPD hashtag.
- ??? (creativity is always welcomed)
Today I offer my current take aways from Chapters 3 and 4.
Chapter 3 :
A reading community in Donalyn’s world is tribal; it’s personal. She talks of bottom lines and asks us to come up with our bottom line. She tells her students, “you are my people.” In other words, I understand you and you understand me. We seek the same. There is respect for and expectations of the individual and the community in that statement. It says we value each other and each other’s opinions.
If I could just take quote from this book, it would be this one:
As much as I hope to change children’s lives, my relationships with students transform me. I want my students to remember our classroom as a home that they may leave, but it will never leave them. They are forever mine, and I am forever their teacher.
To create this tribe we need to filter reading and its place in our lives through everything we do. It should become as natural and as important as eating. For this upcoming year I’m thinking about doing more:
- book talks and book commercials
- social opportunities surrounding books
- public displays of book love
- increased access to books and book recommendations
- money toward books – where we put our money speaks volumes (no pun intended but maybe there is a slogan in there!)
We need to show we value reading with our actions, by being readers, sharing our reading publicly and honoring others who do the same. Reading doors throughout the school would be amazing, but I’m imagining rmore. We currently display student writing. How wonderful if we could display top reading picks of classrooms alongside our writing.
Wild readers make plans. This weaves so beautifully into the previous chapter on community. Book recommendations from our community keep us going! I had no idea how powerful that really was until I started connecting on Twitter.and blogs. One recommendation leads to another. Of course you let the person who recommended it know how much you loved it, and the cycle continues. All of a sudden you get caught up in the fever and your stack never diminishes, but neither does your desire to read.
I hadn’t really thought about how important this rather simple idea is. By having that next book, waiting and someone like you who told you’d love it, you are set up, almost obligated, to get to that book. There is no down time! This matters for our students they can’t afford to miss any reading time.
We need to develop a culture in our classrooms of planning, and being on the look out for the next read.
Students must learn how to make their own reading plans, reflect on their individual accomplishments, and find personal reasons for reading or they will never become wild readers.
Explicitly teaching students how to plan and then reflect thoughtfully on what worked and what didn’t work is crucial. This struck me as a powerful way to honor all readers on their path to becoming wild readers. By planing and adjusting our plan based on what we did, we learn from our hits and our misses..
Aim for commitment and challenge in personal reading plans. Goals and personal challenges should be managed for success. Once we meet a goal, we make the challenge a little greater. We should build from strength..The shorter reads at the beginning of the year or with more fragile readers is so smart. And note to self: More Series Books! These books provide both commitment and challenge as well as familiarity. They take our a lot of that uncertainty and could help us push ourselves to more complex work.
When reading is relegated to the time allotted at or by school, we are settling for less than what kids need. This type of reading may produce people who can read, but not necessarily people who want to read.
Students who read on an inconsistent basis never develop an attachment for reading. Those who read only at school remain vulnerable if they don’t invest in reading at home.
As a school community or classroom teacher we can’t control what happens at home, but perhaps our stance in how we approach, model and provide reading opportunities in school needs to change. As long as students are reading for school, they will simply do that. If students are setting and reflecting on their reading challenges throughout the year, summer time slump will not be an issue. They need to leave our classrooms capable and ready to find, read, and find more reading. If they can do that with out our assistance, they are reading for themselves and on the road to becoming wild readers.