Saturday, November 9, 2013
Saturday Sayings: Weighed Down
What a perfect visual. Stuff attached to books actually weighs them down. I believe it in turn weighs the reader down as well. Books and readers aren't meant for such things. I would never make the point that teachers knowingly attempt to weigh books down. They sincerely believe the stuff will benefit their readers. As part of an acculturated profession that learns from one another, and rightly so, they've seen plenty of other teachers attach packets, worksheets, projects, dioramas, book reports, and so on to the books their students read. To me, authentic reading, that Donalyn refers to, mirrors the kind of reading that happens in the real world with adults like you and me. The real world finishes a book and then talks with their friends, possibly does some personal research on the topic, participates in a book club, journals their reflections, immediately tracks down the next book in the series, etc. None of that looks or feels like stuff. Books never weigh me down and they shouldn't feel heavy to my young readers either. My goal is to model how I handle books in my classroom after what adults enjoy about reading. I take responsibility for the fact that I'm not altogether there, but even as I write this, I'm thinking of how to modify what I already do. How can we set our books and readers free?