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Taking a Blog Writing Break

Although I am not on my school break, I have now declared this my non-writing blog weekend. Come back next Saturday for my next post.
FYI- There are only 5 more Saturday posts left for me this year. Have an idea you'd like me to post about? Let me know. I still have two requests that I have not followed up with...

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Angela

Hello Laura,

You are too sweet. I am sad about the blog coming to an end as well, but at the same time my energy/writing ability is a little low right now. AKA- I have lost my writing mojo at the moment.

In regards to using novels for guided reading...I have written about this before, but it is lost in the comments somewhere (400+ now). Honestly, this would not be an area I can comment too much on because I avoid novels like the plague for guided reading. Why? I am not so sure, which means I am, again, not the best person to ask. Probing a little more, I watched teachers demolish novels with very scripted "jobs" for each student within literature circles. Ex- The "word" detective. I just couldn't imagine enjoying a novel if I was in charge of looking for interesting vocabulary words (that usually have to be turned in on a worksheet). Yuck. Really, just think about that.

So, with this said, my only suggestion would be to dig deep inside yourself and ask yourself what YOU would like if you could imagine reading a book with 4 other adults. To me, my husband is such an important step in my reading. We often read the same books (including the Twilight series and N. Sparks' books), and it is the authentic conversation that helps me enjoy and understand it better. If there is any way you can model what real talk about writing looks and sounds like, I'd take that route. Thinking back on our last read together, Eclipse, he was a tad ahead of me. I probed on what might happen next, but mainly, we just gossiped like it was a soap opera. THAT made me want to keep on reading. Talking to him about the book becomes the motivation and many of my thoughts started with sentences like-
~ Do you think X is better than X?
~ Are you more like X or X? (Jacob or Edward- my husband says Jacob. Hmm.)
~ So, what does X mean?
~ Why are they doing X? I don't get it.
~ So, I don't think X is going to happen...
~ Just tell me what happens next!!! (but it never works on my husband).

Okay. It is time to sleep. I am sure my husband would have a total heart-attack knowing I am sharing his ability to read Nicolas Spark books and the Twilight Series for pleasure. Please forgive me Brayan, but the truth is, he enjoyed it. I know. We talked. :)

Angela

Random P.S. - Three Weeks With My Brother, by Sparks, is a great read.


Laura Sims

Hi Angela,

Today I reminded a couple of my grade-level colleagues that you only have a few more blog posts left to write this year. They all groaned simultaneously! We frequently remind each other, "We need to look on Angela's blog to see what other things we could do (in reading and writing)." You're definitely to us what Beth Newingham was to you! (Though she rocks too!) So please know that you've been quite the inspiration for us!

One thought about a future blog post.... Do you ever "teach a novel" to the whole class? That's the way our district has us teaching whole-group guided reading. I love it in a lot of ways, because we read lots of historical fiction novels that correlate really well with our Social Studies curriculum, and that really helps the kids connect to the past. But I always feel like I'm so focused on the SS connections that I don't do all the reading skills justice. Unfortunately, we DON'T use Readers Workshop as our framework for teaching reading (even though I know it's way more authentic), so Reading mini-lessons and anchor charts are not utilized by many teachers. Do you have any thoughts on how do use whole group novels more effectively?

Thanks!

Comments are closed. Please see Classroom Solutions, our new blog for the 2009-2010 school year. And stay tuned for Teaching Matters with Angela Bunyi and Beth Newingham.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Inside Angela's 4th Grade Classroom are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.