After talking to some friends today about my blog and extensive discussion about Donalyn Miller's The Book Whisperer, I went back and re-read my post on the book, and realized I had not reported on the changes I made in my language arts class in February. I am happy to say that I was pleased with the results of my project! Overall, my students' reading enjoyment, perceptions of themselves as readers, and amount of reading done all increased. Even if the changes were small, they were still heading in the right direction. I was encouraged enough by the results that I'm going to start at the beginning of the year with the same systems in place, and see how far we can get in a full school year!
Summertime, and the reading is easy.....yay! Aside from a brief six-hour stint of madly cramming for my certification test (I will know the results in a few days!), I have been reading for fun EVERY day! Sometimes it's just a magazine, sometimes it's professional journals (yes, they can be fun to read!), and sometimes.....gasp.....it's a book! I finished reading The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge on my nookColor e-reader, and downloaded the next in the series, The Nightmare Garden. This is a young adult steampunk story set in the post-Korean War era. Not as much history interwoven in these as was the case with Leviathan by Scott Westerfield--maybe because there are fairies, elves, ghouls, and "nightjars" (vampire-types) lurking about the settings! A strong girl protagonist is at the center of the story--and people who know my bias know that I like that!
My daughter and I went to the public library last Friday, and of course I had to check out some books there, too. One is on home spas and relaxation tips for women (ahhhhh!), and the other is Wally Lamb's I Know This Much is True. If any kiddos are reading this, the latter is a grown-up novel! I don't know if my attention span has shrunk, or I'm in a lazy stage post-graduation, but I could not read the book cover-to-cover. So I scanned my way through, finding the bits that were diary entries (they were in a different font), and read back-and-forth among the important events of the storyline. When you are reading "for fun", it is okay to read a book any way that makes sense to you! If I'm not sure that I'll like a particular book, I will often read the ending, and decide if it's good enough to go back and see how the characters and storyline end up there. Remember your readers' rights! http://www.walker.co.uk/UserFiles/file/Rights%20of%20the%20reader/NYOR_ROTR.pdf
Speaking of readers' rights....during my studying, I came across the "Freedom to Read" statement endorsed by the American Library Association (ALA). I went online to find out more about it, and discovered the Freedom to Read Foundation, affiliated with the ALA. I am proud to say that I am now a member! Here's the foundation's webpage, should you also be inclined to join: http://www.ala.org/groups/affiliates/relatedgroups/freedomtoreadfoundation
Think I see some couch time with a good book in my very near future! Read on.....