Thursday, October 23, 2014

Is Your Teacher Making You Read?

The class was having SSR (Sustained Silent Reading) and I noticed a girl scooting around in her chair. I started watching her and every little bit she would glance at her book and then look all around the room. She looked one way and then the other. She tried to see through the blinds on the windows. She wanted to take a restroom break. She looked at her friends trying to catch their attention. The one thing she never did was read her book.

This girl obviously was only reading because her teacher was making her. She does not like to read. She can't even fake it well. SSR clearly makes her miserable. But of all the reasons to read, reading because your teacher makes you is the worst.

She could read because:

1.   She wants to learn;
2.   She found an exciting book;
3.   She is on the fourth book in a series and the first three books were awesome;
4.   She can't wait to see what happens next;
5.   She wonders who did it;
6.   She can picture the story;
7.   She imagines herself as the main character;
8.   She loves books by that author;
9.   She likes scary books like the one she is reading;
10. She wants to solve the mystery in the book;
11. She hates the main character and wants to see if something bad happens to her;
12. She saw the movie (Maze Runner, Divergent, Hunger Games, Twilight, Holes);
13. She wants to read the book before she sees the movie;
14. She isn't a good reader and wants to get better;
15. She knows she will have to write about the book;
16. She wants to have intelligent things to say about the book on her blog;
17. She heard it was a great book from her friend;
18. She and her friend are reading the book and talking about it;
19. She wants to know how the main character will solve a problem.

Reading should be fun. Reading should be exciting. Reading should be a story in your mind where you can't wait to see what happens next. If it is not this way, here is what you should do:

1.   Get a different book;
2.   Try an easier book;
3.   Try a different author;
4.   Try a different genre;
5.   Ask a friend for a recommendation;
6.   Ask me for a good book;
7.   Pay attention to when you stop getting a picture;
8.   Reread, a page, a chapter, or the whole book until you get a picture.

Whatever you do, don't just read because your teacher is making you.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Why We Read in Class

I have always believed reading makes the best readers. That is the reason behind the Read at Home assignment. Recently I found an article on Twitter that talked about reading in school and how some teachers and their assignments kill students' love of reading.

One part states:

I don’t have time for in-class reading.” Have you ever said this? I used to say it all of the time. If you commit to instilling a love of reading in your students (the most important part of education), then you must make time to read in class–every single day! Two or three times weekly isn’t good enough. Readers read daily; it’s this simple. The single best lesson I ever learned is this: books are the best teachers. Books are more important. Let your students read.

I can't say it any better. This is why The Reading Workshop is based first and foremost on reading.

Image from http://msrosenthalsclassroom.wikispaces.com/

Thursday, October 2, 2014

"You Gotta Have Heart"

Eric Thomas is a former NFL player who played for the Cincinnati Bengals, NY Jets, and Denver Broncos. Eric fought through an extremely difficult childhood, including dropping out of high school. Eventually he followed his dreams, and went to college at Tulane University. Now, he speaks at conventions, high schools, and colleges. He preaches about success, passion, and driving to achieve your goals in life.



In this video, Thomas talks about three keys to success:

1. You gotta have heart
2.  Be able to sacrifice what you are for what you will become
3.  Pain is temporary but if you quit it lasts forever. At the end of pain is success.

He is also famous for his quote on success:

WHEN YOU WANT TO SUCCEED
AS BAD AS YOU WANT TO BREATHE..


How does this video and Thomas's message relate to you Reading Workshop students? What are your thoughts about success?

Monday, September 29, 2014

What Harm Essay


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Fantastic Commenter

Emma A. comments on blogs almost every night. She has great things to say and she says them well. Her spelling, punctuation and grammar are correct. She takes her time to make others feel great.

That is why she is the first student this year to receive the Reading Workshop Outstanding Commenter Award. I give this award as a way of saying thanks and great job to students that make the extra effort to comment on their peers' blogs.

This star is on the sidebar on Emma's blog, Exciting Tales of Me. Great job to Emma! If you want this badge of excellence on your blog, just take a little time and make some comments.

Friday, September 19, 2014

What Happened in the Book Last Night?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Trait of Your SSR Book

Reading Workshop students, please complete the form below to submit your post on a trait of the SSR book you are reading.


Monday, September 15, 2014

In Conclusion . . .

When writing a closing paragraph, you summarize what you have written about in your essay.  The first step is to think about the main point that you want to get across to your reader. You can use your introduction as a guide saying something similar with different wording.  

You may also want to look at what each paragraph says. Use this information and restate key points from the essay. You can end with a question, thought, quote or opinion that gives your reader something to think about or consider.

Good conclusions usually do one or more of these:
  • Restate the thesis or main point
  • Offer a suggestion
  • Share your opinion
  • Make a recomendation
  • End with a question

Here is an example from an essay about character in a book.

I would definitely recommend this book to others, because I think a lot of girls could really relate to the main character, especially most of my friends. Also I would still recommend this book to boys, because even though it's a girl's book, it's not about being girly, and all about girls. Some boys may be able to relate to the three boys in the story! The book Spells & Sleeping Bags is one out of my two favorite books. Also, I think the author is very talented with writing her books. She's my absolute favorite author. I think Sara Mlynowski is very talented because I can really get inside the characters mind, and really get into the book as if I were the main character.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pick an Element of Your SSR Book

The next assignment for Reading Workshop students is to pick one element of the book they are reading and write about its impact on the story. The key to this project is to support ideas and opinions with details from the text. Equally important is the need to stay on topic and DO NOT RETELL THE BOOK!

Students can choose one of the traits listed below or choose another aspect of their book. 

Setting
Character
Problems
Action
Adventure
Conflict
Mystery
Essays should begin with an introduction that gives the title, author, and topic of the writing. Below is an example using The Maze Runner featuring setting.
The book The Maze Runner by James Dashner takes place in an amazing setting.  This group of kids are locked into this mysterious place with no way to escape. Each day they try to run a maze outside their camp to find a way to get out.

Monday, September 8, 2014

New School Year Writing Assignment

Please copy and paste your post, The New School Year from the Question Board or your blog to be graded. As we discussed in class, grades will be based on use of supporting details in your writing, correct punctuation, grammar, and spelling.