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Brainy Apples: Notice & Note Book Study- Post 1
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Notice & Note Book Study- Post 1

I am so excited that today is the FIRST day in our summer book study of Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading by Beers and Probst. I read this book last summer, after I had been implementing Close Reads for a year in my classroom, and I wish I had read it sooner. It definitely changed some of my thoughts regarding Close Reading, and it brought up new points/ideas I had never thought of before. There were so many amazing suggestions in this book, I need to read it again so I can pick up new information. DillyDabbles is leading this post over at her blog today, so be sure to head on over to read her thoughts, and then at the bottom of her post is a linky where you can either link up your post about today's sections, you can comment on her post, you can jump and read the posts others have written in the linky, or you can be an overachiever and do all 3! :)

2014 Notice and Note Book Study

Part 1
Question 1: Is Reading Still Reading?
I am going to give my brief thoughts here about the first section. Today's section is in Part 1, Questions 1 and 2. I love the first question of "Is Reading Still Reading?" With today's technological boom, I think we can all agree that reading has changed from when we were in school. Whether you agree or disagree with the path reading is taking, as teachers, we have to adjust. And, honestly, when we think of ourselves as readers, I am sure most of us can say that some of what we read is paper and some is electronic. I, myself, prefer paper books to e-books (except when I am traveling…then carrying 6 chapter books becomes a task when you can just lug on iPad around!). I think I just like the smell of the pages, and it is nostalgic to remember when I began reading as a child. But, whatever your preference, we have to acknowledge the way our students and our own children are accessing information is changing. And I also like how the authors brought up how reading is becoming more of a social event. Think about adult book clubs, or the newest book-turned-movie. How many of us LOVE sitting around discussing the plot twists and turns? Our students are no different. And I know I get even more excited and passionate about a book when I converse with others, so why wouldn't our students have those same sentiments?

Question 2: What is the Role of Fiction?
Hmm…now this is a hot topic, especially with the "push" for the reading and understanding of non-fiction texts in schools today. But the authors still contend, as do I, for the importance of still including a good bit of narrative in your classroom. How boring would it be as adults to read JUST non-fiction (aside from people much like my own 11 year old son who ONLY wants to read non-fiction because he thinks reading fiction is a waste of his time because he isn't learning anything new). And think of those students who struggle with reading. Those struggling readers usually have an easier time reading fiction because they can use their imaginations and plots from other stories to help them understand it (yes, I know Close Reading is supposed to be "within the four corners of the text" and not draw on personal experiences…I will happily tackle that in a future post), but if we expect our kiddos to read rigorous text, how can we expect them to WANT to read it if they STRUGGLE reading it? We need our students to fall in LOVE with reading first. And, for me, if that means relying heavily on narratives at first, then that's what I will happily do. Needless to say, I was very happy and felt reassured that my stance on including narrative in my classroom was reinforced by Beers and Probst.

Today's post was pretty short, but still had 2 deep questions. What do you think about reading today and the role of fiction in the classroom? I would love to hear your thoughts! Don't forget to head over to DillyDabbles for more on today's section and hit up the linky at the bottom! :)

Be sure to come back here Thursday for when I lead the discussion over Question 3: Where Does Rigor Fit? and Question 4: What Do We Mean by Intellectual Communities?

**Please excuse any typos as I don't have the super power of being perfect :)

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  1. Hi Heather,
    I love the new social aspect of reading. What really struck me though was in Beers and Probst's Introduction: "Our concern was that we still saw too many readers who plow through a book giving it little thought; too many readers who finish the page or the chapter and then, rather than express a thought, ask a question, or leap into conversation, look up at the teacher and wait." That sounded so much like my classroom. Lately though I've tried to turn it on them. I'm the one who waits and when they realize they can't rely on me, then they start to really think. It's funny how, despite our best intentions, we teachers sometimes get in the way of learning.

    1. I agree! The hardest change for me was allowing the room to be silent during our book talks. It was SO painful! But soon my kiddos realized they were the ones who were going to be discussing the book and elaborating, and sometimes they needed that silent time to think about how to communicate their thoughts.

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I also love reading fiction with my students. The shared experience really helps our classroom atmosphere go to the next level. We become closer because we experience books together.
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    1. And reading those books together allows you to be able to make connections with the class and everyone will understand where you are coming from! I totally agree with you :)

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