I'm joining in the fun for the final week of #cyberPD! Plus there's the live Twitter chat on July 30 at 7 p.m. CST with Donalyn Miller! Woohoo!
My Thoughts on Chapter 5: Wild Readers Show Preferences
When it comes to my reading life, I've always been a girl who knows what she likes. I remember rushing to the small bookstore in our local mall to read each and every title available in The Baby-sitters Club series. (Oh, the excitement of a Super Special!) My mom recalls asking my fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Zefting, if I should be reading something else. Wise Mrs. Zefting told my mom that "reading is reading." I think I broke my dad's heart a few weeks ago when I announced my disdain for Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Hand me nonfiction and picture books, and I'm in. Add some realistic fiction (usually for middle grade/young adult readers), and I'm in. But strange fantasy worlds with strange creatures and strange powers (excepting Harry Potter)...I'm out.
So, it should come as no surprise that my children are developing preferences, and sometimes it's a challenge to embrace those preferences. Right now, Big B is all about graphic novels and "encylopedia" nonfiction. There is so much awesomeness in graphic novels, as outlined in Ch. 5, that I'm a happy teacher-mama. But, as he is reading the Captain Underpants series in order (because, yes, we own the first ten), there is a part of me that, to quote Kendra (in this post that sums it all up), "rip the books from his hands." Does he even know about all the amazing books that are out there, waiting to be read? I don't think I'm alone in this feeling as a parent. As Donalyn Miller writes, "preferences are not always informed opinions. True preferences come from wide reading and lots of positive encounters with books. Sometimes students' stated preferences reveal they haven't read much." (pg. 167) I think the message for me to remember and to share with parents is that a child's preferences will "become more valuable, reliable, and accurate the more they read." Likewise, as a teacher/reader, I am blessed with a working knowledge of "if you like this, you'll probably love this..." titles. This allows me to offer a wider choices to my children. How can we support parents as they try to stretch their child?
Thanks to all that shared their thoughts during #cyberPD! I've enjoyed learning and sharing with you!