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 :)