I just spent two hours in bed finishing a book. The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jaime Ford. It was one of those books that leaves you emotionally drained and reeling with comments, just the kind of book I like. Luckily we have our book club meeting today.
As a teacher of reading I’ve become keenly aware of noticing my own strategies and habits when it comes to reading. It’s these noticings that make me a stronger instructor and provide personal connections to the mini-lessons I teach. So what did I get out of this book?
1) I noticed that I really do move through the back half of a book much quicker than the first half. If it’s good I get to the point where I need to finish it in one sitting or I lose my momentum as a reader. I think this is a great lesson for kids and something to take into consideration when helping them plan calendars for book clubs.
2) I was keenly aware of my predictions during this book. It’s something that has been in my mind since I went to see Lucy Calkins earlier this year. I had previously sort of brushed predicting off as a skill that was more elementary. How wrong I was. In fact, predicting and questioning are the two strategies that keep me engaged in a book. How I love to be right…how I also love to be shocked!
3) I’m an emotional reader. At one point I gasped so loudly that the dog jumped clear out of the bed next to me. I wonder if my students feel safe to have these reactions in the classroom? I certainly see them laughing to themselves…but what about other emotions? This is something to reflect on as I establish a new reading community at the beginning of the year.
What are some things you notice about yourself as a reader that you use to inform your teaching?