Book I am currently reading: Toothiana, Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies by William Joyce, Reading Level – 4th-6th Grade. This is the third book in a fantastic series called “The Guardians”. I shared this series with some of you during conferences. The series is a highly imaginative and action-packed reimagining of some of the childhood heroes, such as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. It would make a great read aloud for you to do with your students, modeling some of the inferences the author gives about who the characters in the book will become.
Much of my reading instruction is influenced by the book The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller. I read this book during the summer of 2011 and really felt that it captured my philosophy of teaching reading. Through that book, I have made it my vision to help students achieve our reading goal of becoming lifelong readers who understand that reading is a journey, not a race, and that we best succeed as a community of readers. Please follow the link to Donalyn Miller’s blog, “The Book Whisperer”, below.
Over the summer of 2012, in preparation for the oncoming Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in reading, I read two more important books: Readicide: How Schools are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It by Kelly Gallagher; and The Comprehension Experience: Engaging Readers Through Effective Inquiry and Discussion by W. Dorsey Hammond. I will be incorporating much of what I learned from this reading into my own reading instruction throughout the year.
- Johnson County Library (To see the books I’ve read recently as well as over the last summer, search for User name “DartBoi77″)
One of the ways that you can encourage your children to read is to read the same books they are reading! When you are able to have a discussion with your child about the book you are both reading, this automatically creates a safe environment for them to discuss their comprehension of the book. In addition, here are ten other reasons that adults should read children’s books as an adult (Source: Jen Robinson’s Book Page, 2005)
1) It’s fun.
2) It keeps your imagination active.
3) It strengthens your relationship with children in your life who read.
4) It sets an example for the children in your life, making them more likely to become readers.
5) It clues you in on cultural references that you may have missed (both current and classical).
6) It’s fast. Children’s books are usually shorter that adult books, so if you don’t think you have time to read, you DO have time to read children’s books. (NOTE: I can personally attest to this! I managed to read over 20 children’s books over the summer, and I still had plenty of time left over for other pursuits!)
7) It allows you to read across genres. Children’s books aren’t limited to mystery OR science fiction OR fantasy OR literary fiction. They can have it all.
8 ) It’s like time travel – it’s an easy way to remember the child that you once were, when you first read a book.
9) It’s often inspirational – reading about heroes and bravery and loyalty makes you want to be a better person. And couldn’t we all do with some of that? (NOTE: I would also add that just about every children’s book has a happy ending … and sometimes you just need that!)
10) Did I mention that it’s fun?