- our kids need to read a minimum of 60 pages a day and their reading life needs to be a balance of fiction and nonfiction
- we need to help our kids build reading identities in both fiction and nonfiction - in the latter, we need to help them identify areas of interest which they will want to pursue and read about independently
- as teachers, we should know what our kids nonfiction areas of interest are and then channel these into purposeful work
- as teachers, we should think of the topics our kids are interested in as gateways into their nonfiction reading lives - getting them interested in treading more and thus building up their reading stamina
Mary talked about digital reading as the best way to access lots of reading material for our kids - we can send or post links to articles for them to read and discuss in class. One of her former interns, Cornelius, is now a teacher who has created groups of students who are each interested in certain topics - they meet and create reading link lists for their classmates once a week which they then email to the entire class. I loved this idea and need to noodle around with how to make it work for my particular sixth graders. Doing this, Mary said, would teach our kids to have agency in their own reading lives - so true.
We studied the 9 skill sets within the Common Core through the lens of nonfiction, and experimented with several articles and video clips to see how we could use these to build a bridge between reading strategies in fiction and nonfiction. Some questions we can pose to encourage this type of thinking:
- "give me a sayback - what did we learn?"
- "what have you noticed about the text - the way the information is put together?"
- "What is this text about? main ideas and supporting ideas"
- "what are the big ideas and how connect the details - the different parts of the text?"
My hope is to create a reading bank for nonfiction, which becomes part of our reading week. How this will look, I am not sure of quite yet. I want to make sure there is accountability, but I don't want it to be busy work....so, a lot to figure out!