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Finding Joy while Reading

Do you and your students feel joy while reading?  Chapter 6 of Reading Wellness provides strategies for helping your students connect to texts on a personal level, leading to greater enjoyment and discovery of favorite authors and texts.
Today is the final day of Adventures in Literacy Land's blog study on Reading Wellness: Lessons in Independence and Proficiency by Jane Miller Burkins and Kim Yaris.  Make sure to check out my previous posts (IntroChapter 1Chapter 2, Chapter 3Chapter 4, & Chapter 5) as well as those over on Lit Land. Don't forget that you can access the book online (currently free from Stenhouse Publishers) if you want to check it out before purchasing.
Do you and your students feel joy while reading?  Chapter 6 of Reading Wellness provides strategies for helping your students connect to texts on a personal level, leading to greater enjoyment and discovery of favorite authors and texts.

Importance of Joy

Have ever heard the story of the town of Roseto, PA?  This final chapter of the text has a segment about it and I know I have read about it somewhere else as well.  Basically the town was settled by immigrants from Rome, Italy.  Even though heart disease was fairly common all over the United States, it was basically non-existent in Roseto.  This had nothing to do with diet, since the people ate lots of fatty foods from their homeland.  Studies of the community eventually led to the conclusion that the reason the people from Roseto were living longer and not suffering from heart disease was simply because of their happiness and relationships with one another in the community.  Lesson?  Joy is important. Burkins and Yaris stress that we need to have joy in our lives and then we can have (and express to our students) joy while reading.

Rethinking "Just Right" Texts

What is a "just right" text?  Chapter 5 of Reading Wellness suggests there is a broad range of texts that are appropriate for independent reading.  Learn a fun, hands on analogy you can use to help describe different levels of texts.
Today is all about Chapter 5 for Adventures in Literacy Land's blog study on Reading Wellness: Lessons in Independence and Proficiency by Jane Miller Burkins and Kim Yaris.  Make sure to check out my previous posts (IntroChapter 1Chapter 2, Chapter 3, & Chapter 4) as well as those over on Lit Land. Don't forget that you can access the book online (currently free from Stenhouse Publishers) if you want to check it out before purchasing.
What is a "just right" text?  Chapter 5 of Reading Wellness suggests there is a broad range of texts that are appropriate for independent reading.  Learn a fun, hands on analogy you can use to help describe different levels of texts.

Promoting Independence

Have you ever had to do something difficult and just given up before you even started?  Or maybe you plowed through and just did it anyway?  Odds are that if you worked through the difficult task, you felt quite successful upon completing it.  Our students are the same way.  They often feel that they cannot do things...but feel beyond proud of themselves when they DO complete these seemingly impossible tasks.  One of my daughter's favorite phrases right now is "I did it!"  She's only one and lights up all the time when she says this.  I'm not even sure where it came from.  Hopefully it was from me encouraging her, but who knows.  

In this chapter (really, the entire book), the authors emphasize independence.  Kids cannot always be relying on adults to be present and help them when something difficult arises (in and out of school!).  This brings us to reading.  What criteria have you used to teach your students to select texts?  How often do you find yourself telling students that the books they have chosen are too hard or too easy?  The authors suggest that we need to rethink "just right" texts.  Students need to learn how to approach many levels of texts independently.

Practicing Mindfulness while Reading

Do your students practice mindfulness while reading?  Chapter 4 of Reading Wellness provides a fun, concrete lesson to teach your students how to slow down and think deeply about their reading.  Great for making inferences.
My post on Chapter 4 from Reading Wellness by Jan Miller Burkins and Kim Yaris is up over on Adventures in Literacy Land today.  Head on over there to check it out and come back tomorrow for Chapter 5!

Aligning Print and Meaning while Reading

Do your students attend to both print and meaning while reading? Does your instruction give equal attention to both? Chapter 3 in Reading Wellness provides a fun lesson for helping students learn to do this!
Today the book study over at Adventures in Literacy Land's on Reading Wellness: Lessons in Independence and Proficiency by Jane Miller Burkins and Kim Yaris continues with Chapter 3.   Make sure to check out my previous posts (IntroChapter 1, & Chapter 2) as well as those over on Lit Land. Don't forget that you can access the book online (currently free from Stenhouse Publishers) if you want to check it out before purchasing.
Do your students attend to both print and meaning while reading? Does your instruction give equal attention to both? Chapter 3 in Reading Wellness provides a fun lesson for helping students learn to do this!

Print or Meaning?

Chances are that if you are a first grade teacher, you spend a lot of time getting your younger readers to attend to the text itself while reading, right?  Much instructional time is spent learning sight words and phonics skills.  If you are a fifth grade teacher, the opposite is probably true.  You probably rarely listen to your students read aloud anymore and you focus most of your instruction on comprehension strategies.

Which of these is correct?  Is there just a switch one day?  When should it occur?  Burkins and Yaris spend this chapter explaining the importantance of students understanding they need to attend to BOTH the print AND the meaning of the text...ALWAYS!  The authors use the analogy of a puzzle and state that both the pieces and the picture are equally important (love this!). 

Teaching Students to Persevere

Need help motivating your students and ending learned helplessness?  Chapter 2 of "Reading Wellness" has just the trick with a concept that can be applied to all aspects of life.  Perfect for analyzing characters in text too.
Adventures in Literacy Land's book study on Reading Wellness: Lessons in Independence and Proficiency by Jane Miller Burkins and Kim Yaris continues today with Chapter 2.   Make sure to check out my intro post as well as yesterday's post on Chapter 1. Don't forget that you can access the book online (currently free from Stenhouse Publishers) if you want to check it out before purchasing.
Need help motivating your students and ending learned helplessness?  Chapter 2 of "Reading Wellness" has just the trick with a concept that can be applied to all aspects of life.  Perfect for analyzing characters in text too.

Do I have to?

How many times a day do you do things that you don't want to do?  Have you found ways to make these tasks more enjoyable?  Maybe you have a long car ride to work so you listen to podcasts to pass the time.  Maybe you hate folding laundry (me!) so you do if while watching your favorite shows on Netflix.   Maybe after a while you don't mind doing these tasks as much anymore and maybe you even start to look forward to them.  Either way, thinking about them positively makes them more bearable, right?

Chapter 2 discusses learning postures.  Attitude towards a task makes a huge difference.  In everything.  Maybe your toddler resists bedtime constantly but you've discovered YOUR positive attitude (or lack there of) makes or breaks it.  How can we as teachers help students become motivated to accept and embrace the challenges we present them with?  How do we keep them from getting discouraged before they have even begun and the learned helplessness that results?

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