What Have I Been Reading?

Usually, I would post another “A Bit on Teaching Reading” blog, and I would talk about the articles weve been reading in class. These last couple of weeks, we havnt gotten many articles. This means I’ve gotten a lot more time to free read, so I figured I would dedicate a post to that free reading.

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A book that has been pretty popular with our class is The Crossover by  Kwame Alexander. Everyone seemed to enjoy it quite a bit, so I took it upon myself to jump on the bandwagon. I picked it up, and I finished it within a few days. Oh my goodness, I loved it. Not only was it a light, easy read, but the characters were also relatable for the age group this novel was intended for. This is a great example of a shared reading experience that will msot likely happen in the classroom. One student will like a book and pass it on to the next. Then the next, and then the next. Soon, the book will have enough hype that there wont be a student who doesn’t HAVE to read it, just so they know what is going on.

On top of that, I also read a collective work of Edgar Allan Poe. This took me a little while longer, only because I would pick it up and read each short story in sections. Every night, before bed, I would pick up the book and read a short story before I turned the light out. It was nice because it restricted me from staying up all night and getting completely lost in a book. I have a really bad habit of doing that, and lately I have been drowning in school work. I need a good nights sleep so that I can be ready for the next day. Edgar Allan Poe is known for his dark, gothic writing. Some may even consider him to be “scary”, so you wouldn’t think he would be a good one to read before bed. Anyone who really knows me knows I love the “scary” stuff, particularly Stephen King. So I was able to finish his short stories with ease and then go to bed soundly.

Something I did notice about Edgar Allan Poe is the similarities between many of his short stories. For example, The Tell Tale Heart, and The Black Cat. I think I would like to see a professional analysis of the two, I think it would be intersting.

Anyways, for my most recent read, and I am still working on it, is: Am I There Yet?: The Loop-de-loop, Zigzagging Journey to Adulthood by Mari Andrew. This is a graphic style novel that I would recommend to anyone in their twenties. It seems to be directed to young women, but I would also recommend it to young men. It bring to light a lot of the issues and feelings a lot of people in their twenties deal with, but it can also play a role of support to those going through these things. Trust me, being in your twenties is hard. I almost felt attacked because of how relatable the novel was at first. I love it, and I cant wait to see how it ends.

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A Bit on Teaching Reading – Is Reading Natural?

As much as I love to read now, it wasn’t something that always came naturally. Growing up, I was that little girl who would get separated from the rest of the class to go do an individualized reading lesson. They tried just about everything to help me. I remember reading with the little highlighter tool, reading books with large print, even reading books with small print. Nothing really seemed to take with me and I would always really struggle. I always felt like I was lower than my peers because they could read out loud without any issues and it would always take a million years for me to get through one paragraph.

It wasn’t until I was out of elementary school, and in middle school that I really started to take to reading. Before every class period, the school as a whole would take ten minutes to free read. Everyone got to read the book of their choice, and this was probably where my love for reading really began. I liked that I had my own choice, and I wasn’t put on the spot. I discovered my own reading tastes and I didn’t have to demonstrate that to anyone but myself. I really think a majority of that success stemmed from the fact that this reading was 100% my choice. I learned what was best for me. The more I read, the better I got at it, and that’s when things started to come to me more naturally.
8515538001_274bba651d_zThere are many people out there debating whether or not reading is something that comes naturally, or if it’s something that needs to be worked and meddled with until perfected. Some say reading is about as natural as standing up and walking, while others would argue that reading is about as natural as learning to fly; it’s possible, but there are certain steps that need to be worked through in order to get there.

I don’t really know where I stand with this whole debate. I know from my own experiences that reading does not always come naturally, but I also know that everyone is different. That is how I also know that this big debate will never end. The world is full of unique individuals and they will all take to reading in a way that is unique to them. As a future teacher, I feel like this is a good mind set to take into the classroom. If I respect that not everyone is going to take to reading the same way then I can better accommodate for that.

A Bit on Teaching Reading pt. 1

A big theme that I have noticed throughout my reading for this week if the issue of getting students more involved with what they are reading. The biggest question I can probably think of here is: how do teachers get their students to actually want to read?

I have always considered myself to be an avid and passionate reader. I love to read. Plain and simple. Always have, always will. I am very aware that not everyone is the same type of reader that I am, in fact, it seems that most people aren’t too fond of reading all together. Something that I find very interesting is that everyone is tgei own uniwue type of reading. Much like a snowflake, no two reader are the same, and I absolutely love that! This is somegthing I really I really need to keep in mind for when I have a classroom of my own. All of my students are going tobe different and that something Ill need to accomidate for. Some will love to readm other not so much. Some will be quick while other will ake their time. Some of my students will love to read about war, and love, and adventure, and fantasy; while others may only read from their school text books.

As for that important question I mentioned earlier, I think there is definitely a solution to this issue as long as the educator keeps in mind the students diverse interests and individual needs.

Teaching reading in the classroom seems to be soemthing teachers are really struggling with lately. Students are not motivated to be reading and educators are not realizing that it is a flaw in our own system that is causing them to lean away from reading. The articles we read for class this week really put and emphasis on this issue. What really confuses me about it all is that certain educators are recognizing this issue, but they dont think that the issue is their fault. They may see their students as lazy and they dont change their teaching habits what so ever. There are so many ways to motivate your students to read, and there are even more ways to keep them reading.

The teachers that do see these issues are attempting to redirect their teaching habits all together. They may be transforming their classrooms into readigs workshops. They help motivate their students by letting their students read the things that they want to be readings. They are also filling up their students classroom free time with reading. An activity that I really liked was having students share what they have been reading with their classmates. This may intrigue other students and get them interesting in other books. It also adds that diversity aspect that I really enjoy.

Overall, getting your students more motivated to read takes time. Finding it and giving it. It also takes a lot of observation and patience from the teacher. Thats the type of educator I aim to be. I want to adjust myself to fit my student needs, and I want to see real progress in my students learning and reading!