Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Reading Goals

Instead of doing my traditional "where are things in the library" orientations for 3rd-5th grade this year, I decided to do a reading interest inventory and goal setting activity with them instead.

Over the summer I had been looking at reading interest inventories from Pernille Ripp's website  and Donalyn Miller's book The Book Whisperer and then with my librarian friend, Natalie Watts, combined ideas together to form one of our own.  

 So after reading Hooray for Books to them and talking about my own reading goal for the library this year (read about that here) we went through the reading interest inventory.

There were check boxes about what types of books they like to read.  What were their three favorite books?  What was the last book they read that they liked?  What was the last book they read that they didn't like?  But one question that I was most interested in was... about how many chapter books did you read from start to finish last year? And then I had the answers of  zero, 1-5, 6-10.  I explained that I wanted them to be honest and that maybe they hadn't read a chapter book last year because they only read nonfiction or graphic novels. Or maybe they hadn't found a chapter book they liked so they kept abandoning in the middle.  I had a feeling there were quite a few zeroes and I wanted to let them know that for whatever the reason I wanted them to be honest.

At the end of the inventory, I asked the students to think of a reading goal.  It could be a small, short term goal or a bigger, year long goal.  I told them to look back at their answers on this inventory to maybe get some ideas.  I gave some examples like if they checked that they only read graphic novels that maybe their goal could be to try a different genre.  Or if they did not read for pleasure at home, maybe their goal could be to read for 15 min at home for a week and see if they like it.  We did talk about being realistic and reasonable for their goal.  

Each afternoon that first week after school, I was very excited to sit down and look at these inventories.  I must admit, I was a bit disappointed, I thought I was going to find some profound answers to and revelations in them.  That I was going to finally have the answer somehow to getting our students to read for pleasure.  Most of the students set a number goal... to read 11 or 15 books.  But here are a few other goals that were set by my students...

This student had not found a book that they "loved" yet.

I liked this one so much I had to tweet and Facebook it!

And while most of the students had a goal that had SOMETHING to do with books or reading, you know there always have to be one or two of these in the bunch...

It is a goal, but...

So while I didn't solve the reading problems of the world, I realized that we are not used to setting goals for ourselves.  I did learn a lot about what kind of books my students like and don't like based on their answers.  We are going to revisit these goals in the middle of year and check our progress.  So more conversations to come. 

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Books are Meant for Sharing

One of my big goals for our library this year is to talk about books and reading more... to become more of a community of readers. That is not just me, the librarian, talking about books, but the students and teachers talking and sharing about books as well.

During the first week of school when the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders came to the library for the first time, I started by reading Hooray for Books! by Brian Won.
This book was perfect because turtle had shared his favorite book with zebra and when he went back to zebra to ask for it back, zebra had liked the book so much he had loaned it to another animal who had loaned it to another animal and so on.  Which demonstrated my goal that books should not be kept a secret!  Books are meant to be shared and when we find a book we like, we should talk about it! I explained to the students about my goal for us to talk about books more and share books that we like with each other in different ways this year.  

I am excited about this goal this year and can't wait to see all the sharing of awesome books we do!