“I hate reading” That is how one of the flipgrid videos started in my class the other day. The student would go on to explain that it wasn’t reading that he didn’t like so much as writing about it, reflecting on it and reading books that do not interest him. Today I showed him my new collection of Choose Your Own Adventure books, he wasn’t in to them and that is ok because I am totally into them haha.
The flipgrid comments of my students made me reflect and question my practice for the umpteenth time this year, not because things are not going well but because I think they can always be better. I get to know my students better and they get to love or at least like reading more. But like Pernille Ripp says in her latest book my reading journey is not my students. We may share a location we read in, conversations around books but I can only provide support they have to choose their own path.
I have spoken a lot about journals and my love for them because they let me see what my students are thinking about as they read. First round of journals checks completed for 2/3 of my classes and I have been pleasantly surprised. We have adjusted and negotiated on how much I require. To answer that question I ask for at least 1 post if it displays skills they need to display according to our standards. Summaries, Personal Reflection and Character discussion are all part of the curriculum so I ask they have entries that display this. The kids pick their favourite posts and I look through the book and look at all of them. My single point rubric has worked really well. Over the next week we will be looking at the rubrics and they will have a chance to show me where they think they should have a higher evaluation, maybe their words do not express enough what their voice can? I will make room for that. Here are a few current examples of journals in one of my 8th grade classes.
We are working on the Notice and Note Signposts and I am pleasantly surprised by the conversations already. These kids have not really experienced the fiction signposts or BHH before. They are understanding it at their own levels and using it in their own ways. I love journals as a form of not just assessment but reflection. As a way to have discussions with my kids and for them to have discussions with each other.
As I read Passionate Readers by Pernille Ripp I am impressed with the community she builds in her classroom. I hope that allowing my students to use their voice to express what they do and do not like about reading it will help them set their own path. To choose their own adventure when it comes to reading and in a large part how they interact with the text will hopefully ignite a passion in them. I know I can only join them in their journey I can not provide the only path.