Are you having a great summer? Are you making reading plans? Is your nightstand loaded with books, like mine (always) is?
Chapter 4 of Reading in the Wild is all about how Wild Readers Have Reading Plans. What did you think about this chapter? Thoughts? Questions? Takeaways? Please share them on our Padlet for Chapter 4.
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As I was reading this chapter, I thought about my plans to host book clubs via Google Classroom next year. I pondered how to make Mrs. Miller’s suggestions work in a virtual environment, since I can’t monitor hundreds of reader’s notebooks.
Keep a To-Read List
I can show students (3rd-5th grade) how to create a “to-read list” as a Google document, then share it in our Google Classroom. We can work on this together in our library as a whole group, then students can update their lists as we go through the school year.
My students frequently make requests like this: “I want the dog book that Sophia had a few weeks ago.” They are already making connections to each other’s reading lists. Sharing digital lists will make it easier for them to share books with other readers (Chapter 3) and to make reading plans (Chapter 4).
For those of you lucky enough to be working with Follett Destiny Quest, your students can keep a reading list in their account. After they’ve checked out their library books, they can go to a computer and add books to their lists for their next library visit. I LOVE this feature!!
(Thank you, Pine Glen Elementary School, for sharing this image online!)
See that spot for “Want to Read?” There are the reading plans, right there!!
Books in a Series and Book Award Lists
In our Google Classroom, I can share book series that we have in our library, and students can share book series they’d like to see in our library. They often find books that I’ve never heard of, and I’m happy to buy them for our library. The student who found the books is already a champion of the series who recommends it to his or her peers!
I will also share lists of award-winning books, like past lists for our student choice book award, the Texas Bluebonnet Award, and Newbery honor and medal books. This can help students make reading plans for their next library visit. During our 20-minute library time, I can’t get to every student. But Google Classroom can digitally extend my reach.
As suggested on page 139, I’ll ask students in our Google Classrooms what they plan to read before a school break. Then I can check in during and after the break to talk about their progress. Did they reach their goals? We can celebrate their accomplishments together!
I like the idea of allowing students to set their own reading challenges. I agree that students are much more motivated by goals they set themselves!
Book series! I’m a HUGE fan of book series! On page 152, Mrs. Miller states:
Invested in the same characters or storylines, students develop attachments to series books that cement connections to reading in general. Students who read series walk into each subsequent book with background knowledge from previous installments. As students continue the series, their comprehension improves, which increases their confidence and reading enjoyment.
This has 100% been my experience, too. If I can get a student started on a series that he or she likes, I can give that student a significant boost toward becoming a wild reader! Has that been true for you, too?
For myself, I love finding a great new book series, knowing that I’ll have several easy book choices coming up, before I have to dig around for another good read. For my struggling students, how much easier it is to read a book when their brains have already forged connections to the characters and setting in the series.
My first series recommendation in kindergarten is the Elephant and Piggie series. I try to get all of my students hooked on the Magic Tree House series by the time they finish second grade!
In the upper grades, Google Classroom will allow us to start conversation threads around popular series like Warriors, Lightning Thief, Bone, Amulet, Babymouse and more! I believe that students will enjoy their series even more when they can talk about their favorite characters with their classmates.
What Did You Think?
What did you take away from this chapter? I’d love to see your thoughts on our Padlet. Together, we are an amazing team!