Thursday, July 24, 2014

Reading in the Wild: Making Reading Plans

It's time for a new chapter!! the book study with The Brownbag Teacher that is.  Make sure you check out the other blogs in this book study series at the bottom of this blog post.  If you missed my other posts in the previous weeks, you can click through them below:

As I was reading this chapter and now typing this post, all I can think about is how I have less than a week before I have to return to work.  Nooooooooooo!!!!  I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around a 2 month summer already coming to a close.  Seriously!  Where does it always go?  Every year, on that last day of school after the students are gone, I'm ecstatic to see my summer all splayed out in front of me.  Then, I get to this part and can't seem to fathom how it is all gone.  Soooooo...sorry ahead of time for a dry post...but as soon as I'm done typing this up, I have to head out to my classroom to get major to-do list items crossed off.

I digress!  So, of course as I get ready to return to work, I start thinking of how I am going to teach, model, and help my students build reading plans when they are completely unaccustomed to doing so. My population of students rarely read at home, unless it is a school mandate, and most don't own their own books or visit the public library over break.  This part of the Wild Reading plan can be the most trickiest for me because it takes the most work.  But I am super glad Donalyn went into a little more detail in this book, so I feel a bit more confident going into it.

I admitted on one of those past blog posts above that I had got away from helping my students make reading plans, as I was dealing with a lot of different factors (you'll have to check out one of the posts to find out a little more)...but it did also include a lack of working technology.  So, I'll share how I used to do it in my classroom using Goodreads.  This year, I do plan to use Edmodo and I'll have to do a blog post or two on that once its up and running successfully.

Each of my former students used a school email they had to sign-up.  I spent time showing them how I used Goodreads and talked about why I had my shelves arranged the way I did.  A lot went into explaining and modeling all of this.  I had the site bookmarked on our computers in our classroom and whenever they had a spare moment, they were allowed to go on and update their status, add books, read reviews, write reviews, etc.  It was nice for me to be able to check in and see what they were reading via the site too.  Once the year was over, I only had a handful of students continue to use it though...which is why I am loving Reading in the Wild!  I'll throw in some screenshots of how it sort of looked to give you an idea of how you could possibly use it in your classroom...or for yourself!

After reading The Book Whisperer, I did have a class group page going too.  But that dwindled out once my students stopped using Goodreads when they left my classroom.  This is why I'm excited for Edmodo!!

Goodreads is how I make my reading plans.  My bookshelves are HERE, if you'd like to check them out or add me on the site.  I don't even pick up a book at the store, library, or from friends if I don't check Goodreads first.  Through reading so many books I love, enjoy, or disilike, I have figured out a sort of formula for finding books I'll devour or at least enjoy enough to pick them up.  These are all things I share with my students when I talk about how the site is very useful for forming reading plans.  If you love reading and social media, you should definitely check it out.  Goodreads is in fact my favorite social media site over Facebook (Instagram is a close 2nd).

Head over to The Brownbag Teacher's post this week HERE, because she posted freebies of her 40 Book Challenge and reflection forms.  Just a quick Google search on "The 40 Book Challenge" also wielded some great results on other people's blogs, including Donalyn's.  It is one of the "easiest" ways I have been able to get my reluctant readers and students to begin forming plans...since it does add the element of a good challenge.  Do you know any 5th graders who don't love a challenge?!

"Reading challenges must allow wild readers as much autonomy and free will as possible...wild readers want opportunities to choose their own goals unencumbered by others' expectations or limits." pg. 145