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Reading Emergencies

Finding Your Own Reading Emergencies

Do you ever have reading emergencies?  I do all the time!  But didn't know what to call them until I started reading Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller. 

Finding Your Own Reading Emergencies

Donalyn describes Reading Emergencies as "those unexpected moments when you are stuck somewhere longer than you planned."  Actually, it was her husband who said this!

I understand these emergencies completely!  I find those times where I have a few moments of waiting and I cannot just sit there and stare.  I have to be reading something!  Anything...posts on my phone, professional books, personal reads, something.  

You see, I was one of THOSE readers she talks about in her book, Reading in the Wild.  I was what you would call a Wild Reader.  I would carry a book with me all the time and I snuck in reading any time that I could.  

Finding Your Own Reading Emergencies

I would read the cereal box or milk carton in the mornings.  I was not capable of just sitting there eating.  I had to read something!

I want to take that passion for reading and transfer it to my struggling readers.  The idea of reading in moments of stolen time (waiting at the doctor's office, in the car, at bedtime (my absolute favorite time as a child and now)  is foreign to most of my students.  That makes me so sad.  

So I must teach them to how to find those moments.  I must be intentional about pointing these times out to them.  The whole purpose of my teaching is for students to take reading FROM the school and apply it to their lives OUT of school.  Otherwise, I am not building lifelong readers!

Reading in the Wild as re-motivated (is this a word?) me to stoke this fire again for my students.  I am a realist.  A practical person.  I know most of my students do not read at home.  They don't have the stamina, the knowledge of how to carve out minutes from their day, or the motivation.  

But I can be intentional and show my students how to do this!  Donalyn recommends talking to your students about where you find extra moments to read.  Then let your students make a list of times they could have read that week if they had brought a book with them.  Their list might look something like this:

Finding Your Own Reading Emergencies

I think a key point that Donalyn makes (she is so smart!) is having the students have conversations with each other about when they read.  Also, where they read.  When students hear where their friends are reading and when, it may spark the thought they that could do that too!  After all, isn't that what we do as adults?  We TALK to each other about the books we read and where we read them.  Let's teach students to do authentic, real world reading.  Not reading logs, dioramas,  and such.  But Real World Reading.  Enjoying books and wondering why characters acted the way the did, and having conversations with friends who love reading too!

Giving Choices with Informational Text & A Freebie!

Give students choice with informational texts

Do you give your students choices for what they will read?  Choice is a huge motivator.  We had been reading informational text and learning about the features author's include to make it easier for us to understand the text.  So they were ready to make some choices of what they each wanted to read and learn about.

Give students choice with informational texts

I chose several informational books within a range of levels to fit my students. Then I labeled the books A-E with Post It notes and placed them around the room.  

Give students choice with informational texts

Students were given this packet to clip to a clipboard.  They used the packet as they traveled around to the different books.  

After previewing each book, the students would record what they thought about the books.  Then at the end, they listed their choices of what they would each like to read.

Give students choice with informational texts

Each student made their choice for themselves.  They were not voting on what the group would read.  This was a time they could be individual with their thoughts and choices.  Unless the level was particularly difficult for them, I gave them what they chose for their number 1 choice.  Then students got to read and mark places in their books with Post It notes to help them fill out the next packet.

Give students choice with informational texts

The students really enjoyed their informational texts that they were reading and learning about because it was information that they chose.  They were invested in it and found the texts very interesting.  It was a favorite activity for them.

Give students choice with informational texts

This student was still working on his packet when I snapped this picture.  But I wanted you to be able to see what information he was reading for on the second page. 

If you click here you can pick up this informational freebie for you classroom and students!  Hope you enjoy! 

What Will You Read This Summer?

Books to read this summer for PD for teachers

Summer!!  A time for teachers to relax, recharge, and rejuvenate.  But like most teachers, for me it is also a time for me to work on my craft. Build my skills.  Find new ideas.  Stoke the fire again for my passion.  

Professional Development Resources

I thought I would share some professional resources that you might like.  Some are books I've already read, some are books I have to be read and some I am wanting to read.

Professional Development Resources for Teachers

I am hearing a lot of buzz about this book!  I am really thinking I need this one. Have you read this one?  Did you find it helpful?  

Reading in the Wild

I have this book and it's been waiting on me to find the time to get to it.  I am excited about it.  I really enjoyed Donalyn Miller's other book, The Book Whisperer.  Great ideas so I have high hopes for this one too!

Classrooms That Work

I love this book!  I read an older edition several years ago and the ideas just seems to be so obvious to me that they work.  Pat Cunningham and Richard Allington really know their stuff!

The Fluent Reader

This book is a must read if you are needing to improve your students' fluency.  Great ideas from Timothy Rasinski, the fluency guru!  He describes how to do repeated readings in this book.  I did this activity for my action research for my master's degree and I tell you it works so well!!  The BEST way to improve struggling reader's fluency!

Teach Like a Pirate

Our school used Teach Like a Pirate for our book study this year.  This book may motivate you and cause you to look for more ways to engage your students in class.

Okay, it's your turn!  What will YOU be reading this summer to build and strengthen your craft of teaching??  I would LOVE to know!

Free Resources