Reading in the Wild: Dedicating Time to Read

Hello Friends! 

I am a day late for the Summer book study…whoops! I am moving districts and took TWO car loads over and unpacked in this Texas heat! If you are from Texas then you should be shaking your head thinking…”Bless Your Heart, it’s okay”. 

As the book begins, Donalyn gives us a glimpse inter her personal world. She describes how much her husband reads along with her daughter. I love the point she gives when she discusses her daughter on the computer. Her daughter is going back and forth between a hard copy book and a few websites. She writes how the parent in her, ” Wonder[s] whether she has too many distractions”. This is important when it comes to Generation Y as I like to explain it. I will proudly admit that I don’t read a hard copy newsletter. But I follow so many related like news companies on my Twitter that I get the SAME information but I can access it anywhere. 

I LOVE the quote she used in her book by John Green, “Reading forces you to be quiet in a world that no longer makes place for that”. He s right on point. The world is fast-paced and there is always something you can be doing, but we must make it a habit to read just like we make habits for everything else. 

Now I don’t have my kids complete a reading log because how do I know for certain that they are actually reading? Mom or Dad could’ve just signed it on the way to school, so it is not a good indicator of their actual time spent reading. Donalyn writes that, “reflecting on the landslide of crossword puzzles, dioramas, annotations, and reading logs assigned to their students for every book they read, teachers might realized that instead of encouraging students to read, these mindless assignments mike make kids hate reading. 

Personal Example: In college I thoroughly enjoyed all of the books that I read in my Lit2 class. But taking a test over every chapter, that was handwritten lengthy essay responses really deterred me from the class. 

I will be honest when I write that not every day do I offer time to read in the classroom. Donalyn writes that we, “cannot tell children they need to read more and refuse to offer any time for them to read during the school day. She compares this to athletics. We can’t expect them to perform at their very best if we do not offer them time to practice in school. Some children leave our classroom with a mound of obligations at home and it is unfair for me as a teacher to put the pressure of reading every day in their lap if I am not helping ease the process.

Many wild readers provided examples as to why their time spent reading has decreased.

**Sometimes it’s a choice between reading and sleeping. I choose sleep.
**I spend too much time online
**I feel guilty that I should be doing something else–playing with kids, housework, etc. 

These three really stuck with me. I DO feel guilty that I should be grading papers or cleaning my house. I DO spend too much time creating products for TPT instead of reading. I DO choose sleep every time when I lay in bed because I am exhausted from life. I DO, however, LOVE reading and getting sucked into a whole other world. 

Many of our students have similar if not the same excuses, so we curve that by introducing: 
Reading emergencies are those, “unexpected moments when you’re stuck somewhere longer than you planned”. Sure, you could sit there and relax or fiddle with your phone. But these are the perfect opportunities to grab that book you’ve been throwing excuses at for not reading. Many students and adults think we have to sit for at least thirty minutes to read. With the bust lives that we live, it is ideal for us to read at any available free time.
Yesterday, I went to pick up NEWKs for myself and my boyfriend. As I was waiting for the food I seriously thought….This is a reading emergency! I could be reading The Scorch Trials right now! I was so excited that I experienced my reading emergency…then super bummed that I did’t have my book with me. 
If we all just throw a book in our bag like we do our keys everyday, we will be well prepared every time a reading emergency occurs. 
Thanks for stopping by! 
Amber 

Amber

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2 Comment

  1. Reply
    Abby
    June 20, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    I'm so glad you linked up!

    First of all, your blog is crazy cute! I love it!!

    Second, I have to agree with you on reading logs. I've thought for a long time that the only thing reading logs really do is to make liars out of our students and their parents. 🙂 I felt pressured to bring them back into my classroom this year, and I did. Never again. I was miserable and so were my kids. I don't know what the answer is, but it's definitely not reading logs. 🙂

    Abby
    Third Grade Bookworm

  2. Reply
    Think Wonder Teach
    June 22, 2014 at 3:31 am

    I am so surprised by how many people hate reading logs. Dioramas are right up there with it for me. I actually told my son's teacher no this year on a similar project. It cost me $50 when the previous child did and we are not an artistic family. He got a D. I was done with this game so when the next child hit that class I flat out refused. I hate assignment that have no value other than ruin the joy of learning. okay… time to get off that soapbox!

    Misty
    Think, Wonder, & Teach

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