Friday, January 10, 2014

Thoughts on My Growing Readers...

This morning, I was reading some blogs before school.  I ran across these thoughts on the Nerdy Book Club Blog this morning.  The post really resonated with me.  As a teacher and a mom, I was moved by the concept "Let them read.  Let them read.  Let them read."  As a parent, that seems to be the unspoken motto in our house.  Just read.  We've always, as parents, just put books in front of our kids, and let them read. We watch content, but primarily just follow the boys' interests.  It's been a blast.  I'm so excited to be reading The One and Only Ivan right now.  It won't be a read aloud in my classroom this year, but I get to pass it on to my oldest son.  And that's an awesome feeling.

The post began my reflection on what I was doing in my own classroom to build a passion for readers.  I wrote a bit about that here. Here are my reflections on what is happening in the land of first grade!

After revisiting Igniting a Passion for Reading, we've been immersing ourselves in read alouds everyday, simply for the sake of being in a read aloud and having rich discussion.  This is separate from my read aloud where I am modeling comprehension strategies.  The students have been bringing books from home (or two or three) and asking me to read their favorites from home.  Of course!  I'm honored they are trusting me with these treasures.

I still want to create a reading lounge in my classroom. A place where you can only go to read and get lost in stories.  This has been slightly delayed due life happenings.  I'm headed to school this weekend hopefully to see what I can stir up...

Earlier this week, I finished Reading in the Wild.  So many fabulous concepts to consider, even as a first grade teacher.  Today I created my first "Book Buzz", an idea straight from the book.  I brought a favorite Mo Willems book from home that I don't have a copy of in the classroom.  (Duckling Gets a Cookie?!?!?!?!)  After reading it, I showed the students that if they were excited about it, they could sign up to have a turn reading the book.  It created a buzz, and we're off!
Here are some friends adding their names to a drawing to get to read Duckling Gets a Cookie?!?!)  Pardon the clutter in the background.  Lots of inside recess lately, and 3 birthday parties today.   You understand...

I also found myself saying no today to a student who requested to read a series designed for 5th-7th graders.  I was bothered by it at first.  (Didn't I just resonate with "Let them read?!?") However, considering her situation and the content of the books, I'm coming to peace with this, and looking for an alternative for her to suggest. (Which I think I've found!) It's about knowing my readers.  

This post isn't about my entire literacy block.  Ideas about guided reading/leveled groups, phonics and word work, shared reading/comprehension strategies and writer's workshop are different concepts for a different blog post/several posts. (Which may or may not happen...)  I'm soley reflecing on the passion that can come with reading.  

In the end, I want to root students in reading so they will grow into readers.  

How do you grow readers?  Are your students naturally loving reading this year?  (I've had to really work at that in my classroom!  It's been worth it...) 


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