Sunday, August 5, 2012

Exploring A Reading Life

I want to extend the work of the last post a little bit.  As teachers of reading, we can never underestimate the importance of engagement and inspiration.  In the words of Calkins, we need to “wear our love of reading on our shirt sleeve.”  What are some different methods that we have used or plan to use in the upcoming month in order to help students see themselves as readers, reflect on their own reading lives, and cultivate reading identities as we launch that first unit entitled: Building a Reading Life? What are our plans for INSPIRING students to become the kinds of people that state: Hold on! Just one more chapter.  Although I am thinking of changing that title to: Exploring and Nurturing Our Reading Life.  Building a Reading Life leads one to believe that kids don't come into classrooms with their own reading histories. What do you think?  What are some goals that we weave throughout this unit?


  1. Great point about the title of Lucy's first unit! :)

  2. Your blog looks great, Ryan! Can't wait to see what you do with this. I enjoyed the video, as well. Great ideas!

  3. ryan, i think your point, about assuming that kids do already have a reading life, is an important one. when i reflect on the years that i had the most reluctant readers and writers, it was my first two years of teaching when i think i didn't always approach my kids and my teaching with the position of you ARE, already, readers and writers and you DO, already, love to read and write.

    it's kind of like seeing intentions in what they're doing, or what we imagine them doing (oh, you're sitting and staring at a piece of paper - i see that you're storytelling in your mind (rather than being resistant to writing)). i think that my past three years, while i've certainly had struggling readers and writers and students who were more reluctant to read and write than most of their classmates, the difference has been assuming that they will, that they do, love to read and write. there is just no other option in our room.

    like you say, and peter johnston says, (your thoughts make me think of his work, too, in choice words, especially (i'm currently working my way through his new book)), the words we choose to use to talk around the work kids are doing and the work we want them to do matter so much and can most certainly shift the way that our kids see themselves within that work. naming them as readers, already, who have reading lives, already, seems like a small but significant shift. thank you!

    1. The thoughts expressed about approaching our students with the 'assumption' that they come to us with reading lives, are powerful. I need to think about how to angle the beginning of the year unit to set that tone. Thanks....anyone with more thoughts on how you do this, please continue to share.


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