Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Connecting With Books

On Monday I wrote about one of my first graders who was being somewhat uncooperative during a guided reading group.  When he joined the group he was giggling, making his voice sound strange, and basically messing around.  I sent the other readers back to their reading spots because I needed to have some one-on-one time with this little guy.  If you would like to hear more about what happened yesterday with this little one, you can read about it here.  To make a long story short, I wouldn't let him off the hook and insisted that he participate in what we were doing.  What he was really doing was going through the motions (of reading).  He wasn't putting his heart or his thinking into it.  After all, reading is thinking.  When readers are engaged with the text they are making meaning, applying reading strategies, and enjoying the text.  He was reading as if he just wanted to get it over with.

Today when this first grader and I met to revisit the text.  The first thing he said to me was, "I read the book to my mom last night."  "That's great!" I responded.  Then he went on to say, "You know yesterday, I was having a bad day."  My reply was, "I'm glad that you are having a good day today!"  He agreed and then proceeded to read the entire book to me perfectly and without hesitation.

I don't know why he was uncooperative and a bit off-kilter when we met yesterday.  Today he obviously had a change of heart (or change of attitude I should say).  A few questions ran through my mind as I reflected on the situation.

  • Did he mention our encounter to his mom and had she scolded him?  
  • Did he realize that his uncooperative behavior was unnecessary?  
  • Was he simply trying to avoid the task because he thought he would not be successful?
This first grader recently completed 12 weeks of reading recovery.  He didn't successfully discontinue but he has grown a lot as a reader.  In these last few months of school I know I'll need to spend a lot of time keeping him connected to books.  My goal for him this summer is that his books will become some of his best friends.  I'll keep you posted.

How do you keep your at-risk readers engaged and connected to books during the school year and especially over the summer?  I would love to know.

1 comment:

  1. Love that you connected with this little guy. Awesome he admitted to having a bad day. With the littles I work with on reading intervention, I tell them that when it is in quotations that is their que to be an actor or an actress. They have to read it as the character in their head would say it. I love when they go back and re-read in a different voice. With the older kids I try to find books I think they will like and ask if they've reached a certain part when I see them in the hallway or when they come to group. Love when they catch the reading fire. Good luck with your little guy! :-)