Day 44 (of 186) @globalreadaloud reflection via Wild Robot by @itspeterbrown #GRA17
And I will first admit I am a fanboy of @pernilleripp who has inspired me in recent years on strategies to help students find new books to love, not just the classics!
I love her blog
I love her tweets
And I love the global read aloud project
Last year I did Read Dahl Loud Day (Love reading the enoromous crocodile loudly to a big group)
This year I was entranced by the reviews of The Wild Robot by Peter Brown – it connected nicely with my Tech theme (we have even changed the name of one day of the week to T[ec]hursday) and a book about robots seemed the perfect connection to our iPads and spheros that @cuebc have loaned us.
I also have a very strong group of reluctant readers – they don’t like books and don’t have much time for “stories” of any kind. I also didn’t have access to a copy of the book…..so I bought an audiobook so that the class could hear a voice other than mine AND so that anybody who missed part could listen on their own.
What I found over the weeks was the chatter and noise that was common when I was reading stargirl started to change and settle down. And more frequently at the end of our listening block the kids (the reluctant ones on particular) wanted “one more chapter”. They wanted to find out how Roz would handle being on the island. They liked how the different animals reacted and interacted with the giant robot. They were starting to empathize with her situation and even began predicting what would happen next (what was a struggle in our literature circles is now becoming more common of a pre-reading/thinking strategy).
I love that using the format of the Global Read Aloud lets my students know that the books chosen are current and picked based on what other readers like them are saying is good….or great. It also lets me show them that we are part of a larger reading community and that there is a reason why so many people use reading as:
- A way to learn
- A way to relax
- Something that is fun
- A passion (as my home library is an example of!)
- A way to connect with their own writing
- A way to be inspired (or entertained or scared – still remember reading IT and so many other King books in high school)
I will continue to encourage educators to connect with the Global Read Aloud Project – especially for some of my most reluctant readers who could see (beyond our classroom walks) how reading can be an enjoyable practice – And reinforces my own formative assessment/descriptive feedback that shows that I emphasize that you are enjoying what you read and my assessment can be done in a variety of ways including journals, activity check-ins and conversations.
And for me one of the highlights was having the kids become aware of a sequel for the Wild Robot and then hearing groans because it’s not available until the spring. Now they know how I feel when I’ve had to wait for “the next book in a series” whether or was a Gunslinger story, a choose your own adventure series I loved as a kid – one came out each month and we tied in trips to the nearby city to go their bookstore – or even now waiting for the next George R Martin addition to A Song Of Ice And Fire. Anticipation means that there is a connection to the book…and that is a great way to fan the flames of reading excitement!