Day 76 (of 183) reading skill or school detriment: re-reading
This week I had been part of some conversations heard a couple of times about ‘the year we do _____ novel’. And my library side starts to cringe.
I’ll be honest. It was a long while ago that I was first ‘encouraged’ to stop doing whole-class novel studies (unless part of a read-aloud) because of the range of reading levels within each class. At that time it led me to doing “literature circles” with a varied level of books: https://technolandy.wordpress.com/lit-os/
So I always find it interesting to see others on their evolution as classroom teachers start to explore breaking down the reading process. And yes, as librarian I do read stories to “whole classes” as we evolve into a Learning Commons. And especially when I hear others talking about “what year” a particular novel is “done”. In large part because of influences made on me by such educational experts as Adrienne Gear & Faye Brownlie. Because I am a strong believer in sharing out (as part of my library program) the things that good readers do…….including RE-READING texts.
It’s true. “Good” readers re-read texts. (especially the texts that are extra-juicy in whichever genre the individual reader prefers). I do it. There are some authors that I love to re-read (in fantasy I love Eddings, in suspense I still read Crichton). Some particular novels call out for me to read over and get new insights – not just non-fiction (separate rant but: a genre too often under-done in classrooms) but each reading brings different perspectives based on who you were/are and the subtext within the book (I just re-watched Star Wars: a force awakens and saw a LOT that I missed on first viewing).
Yet I still hear “you can’t read that to the kids because ________”. But good readers do. Which is why I am reading Flat Stanley to some classes that have already read it. I hope to model what happens when you encounter certain books again and again….and that its okay to have “favourites” and re-read them (I already modelled “putting down a book that did not have our interest”). Re-reading texts: one of the skills that good readers do, so teachers should let them!