On Saturday we babysat two of the grandkids. The rest of the gang was coming later in the afternoon. Wild reader, Tony, decided to grab a book while he waited for his boy cousin to arrive (the girls he happily played with last summer have become "girly girls" this summer).
He browsed through the pile of Dav Pilkey's Ricky Ricotta books, deciding on which one to read.
"Are these any good?" I questioned. I was trying to figure out what he liked.
He shook his head yes and then said, "But I'd rather read Captain Underpants."
Going into second grade, he has a favorite author and a favorite series.
He's way ahead of many of my high schoolers.....
Back when I taught 7th graders, I had a student who read nothing but R. L. Stine books. And by nothing, I mean, nothing. I was always trying to suggest other books to her. But. Nothing else. She wanted to be a writer. I tried to convince her she needed to be widely read in order to be a writer. But. Nothing else.
Flash forward a few years. She is in high school and in my creative writing class. We laughed about her obsession with R. L. Stine books. And she told me something I will always keep in mind when working with student readers, "They were comfortable for me. I always knew how things were going to happen. I guess they were safe choices."
Both of these stories remind me that all wild readers show preferences. Sometimes we have to find ways to expand their preferences, but we can only do that when we really know them as people. We also need to model for them a wide range of reading. I try to do that with students, but sometimes even I get stuck in a reading rut.
|The top of one shelf. Shows a part of my reading influences.|
I love all the forms included in the appendix of the book. While I won't probably use them all (time will be a factor) I definitely plan on having them use the Genre Requirement Form and the Reading List to keep track of what they read in a semester. And I will also have them fill out the Wild Reader Survey on the first day of class.
The Selection Reflection will make a great blog post as will the Reading Influences form. Both have great questions that will really get students thinking about what they read and why.
I think my biggest take-away from Reading in the Wild is the need to talk with students purposefully about their reading. While I talk with students every day, I want to make sure this year that I focus those reading conversations and use them to help move students into independent lifelong readers.
I've loved connecting with all of you during this summer's CyberPD. My husband and I have decided to take a little trip next week, so I'm not sure I'll be available for the Twitter chat.