This post is an invitation to join a virtual book club reading of A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord.
Teachers ask students to write about reading their reading with good intentions. Reading is an invisible activity, so if students write their thoughts, we will see their work and be able to help them. A secondary reason to write about reading is because it gets readers to deeper understanding. We know writing about reading can help us engage with a text. And, the process of writing about something increases understanding of a text as if it was read it six times.
From a student’s perspective, writing about reading is what teachers do to make sure you are really reading. Most students who love to read hate to write about it. Those that do, do it out of obligation or fear. Not for the love of it. They don’t see the point. They don’t value it.
Considering these two perspectives, how might we teachers move our students toward our beliefs and away from what they see as a painful must-do task? How might we demonstrate that if they write, they might get more out their reading through the process of writing?
Some other questions to ponder:
What does it mean to write well about reading?
What type of writing will bring out higher levels of thinking?
When/how much? Should we stop and write long post its or should we jot quickly as we read across a book and then take one to two post-its and think about them in a more in-depth way.
What’s worth writing about?
How does the author show us that something matters?
If you’re interested in exploring these questions, click here and join in as we read and write about reading A Handful of Stars.