Saturday, June 22, 2013

Saturday Sayings: Cut Some Strings



Book reports.  That's the first thing that comes to mind after reading this quote.  Has anyone really ever learned to love reading by doing book reports?  I'm thinking not.  Like Donalyn Miller says, there are often so many strings attached to reading that it turns into schoolwork instead of an enjoyable activity that students will choose to do even when their lives are removed from the classroom.  

When I think of things required of students, I like to think of them in terms of what I as an adult would or would not like.  So far this summer I've read 11 books and not once did I complete a diorama, take a computer test, complete a packet of some sort, fill in a worksheet, and the list goes on.  I did, on the other hand, talk about what I was reading with friends, make comments on Facebook, and make a few recommendations as well.  I even chose to jot down some of my favorite quotes and make notes about how some of the books could influence my teaching.  If my adult reading behaviors can translate into the classroom, then the fewer strings attached to reading, the better.  What would happen to our readers if we teachers created an atmosphere similar to what we as adults enjoy?  When possible, let's cut a few strings, let them read, and find out.

I'm off to run 13.1 miles.  Bonus points for anyone who remembers what city I'm running in and who I'm running with.  :)

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28 comments:

  1. I know! I know!
    You and Paige go get 'em.. :-)

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    1. Marie, you're right. Thanks for cheering us on.

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  2. I wish I was running with you in Seattle!
    Instilling a love of reading is my number one goal for kids. You've read 11 grown-up books?! WOW!!
    Jenny

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    1. Jenny, it's a beautiful place to run. You'd love it no doubt. Yep, 11, and I'd like to get 12 and 13 finished soon here too.

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  3. Seattle again ... I remember when you went last year. I am SO inspired by you! Run a mile or two for me.

    Barbara

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    1. Barbara, you bet. One or two are all yours!

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  4. Seattle with Paige! Love, love, love this quote. In our passion to teach students how to read, we sometimes forget to instill a love for reading. Good luck in the race!
    Lori
    Conversations in Literacy

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    1. Thanks Lori! I knew you'd have the right answer. Your kids learn to love reading in your class for sure.

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    1. rrmoore, you have a beautiful city!

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  6. I love that quote and totally agree with everything you said!

    Have fun running! =)
    Ms. Smith

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    1. Ms. Smith, it's a great quote, huh? Thanks for the running wishes!

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  7. Love that quote! Enjoy your weekend!

    imgoingfirst@gmail.com

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    1. Delighted, I love it too! Thanks.

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  8. It makes me so sad to see the upper grade kiddos read only passages in class every day. I don't know how you develop vocabulary or a passion for reading that way. I understand preparation for tests, but every day! I absolutely agree with Donalyn that they have to read just for fun sometimes.

    Good luck running! :)

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    1. Miss Trayers, I understand your sadness. School reading can turn kids off to reading in general. That's sad.

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  9. What a great quote to share! The first thing that came to my mind is the "dreaded" book report as well.
    Enjoy your run in Seattle with Paige!
    Connie Anderson:)

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    1. Connie, oh dreaded book reports. What will we do with you? Thank you!

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  10. I love this quote. My kids at home read because that's what we do. That's what we talk about. You can't really enjoy dinner with us unless you've got something to share. Now, it can be outside cool stuff too, but we LOVE to share what we read.

    Good luck in Seattle!

    Kimberley
    First in Maine

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    1. Kimberley, I'd love to sit in on some of those dinner conversations. You're doing it right! Thanks.

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  11. Great thoughts, Tammy. I want my kiddos to love to read!

    Crystal
    Teaching Little Miracles

    P.S. Seattle with Paige...run happy!

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    1. Crystal, yes if they can love reading, we've done something right. We ran happy!

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  12. You're running in Seattle with your best friend, Paige!! Didn't even need to think about that one:))

    I totally agree with you and the quote. It's all about reading and discussions in my room, too, with the occasional artsy extension. I think the main reading goal should be comprehension and pure enjoyment.

    I hope you and Paige had an awesome run!

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    1. Barb, I knew you wouldn't have to think about it. Easy cheesy! The way you explain how reading runs in your room sounds perfect!

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  13. I couldn't agree more. My solution thus far has been read alouds. Even though my kids are just grade 1 and 2, I read through about 20 Magic Treehouse novels a year - no test afterwards, just the enjoyment of reading. Last night I attended a grade 7 graduation where they gave speeches about each teacher, and it was reading those novels that stood out to them the most after leaving my class 6 years ago. So I guess I'll keep doing it! Hopefully that love of stories carries them to read on their own.
    :-)
    Susanna

    PS: Love your blog header. It feels like a cool drink of water on a hot day!

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    1. Susanna, read-alouds are great ways to draw kids in to the pure enjoyment of reading. That's very cool that your kids remember that even 6 years later. I bet that makes you feel great. Thank you for the sweet compliment about my blog header. It's simple but fits me perfectly.

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  14. Amen sister! I LOVE to read - and I want to pass that on to the students in my class.
    This last year, I had students {voluntarily} take an index card and write 3 things about a book they enjoyed reading. Most of them wanted to do this - even my shy/quieter kids. I think it's because it wasn't a big long thing, but more sharing with their friends.

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    1. Sara, sounds just like something we as adults would enjoy doing with our own reading. It doesn't turn reading into school work.

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