Wednesday, July 8, 2015

#cyberPD Digital Reading Ch.1 and 2

I decided to do a double-entry journal for these chapters, where I write a quote from the book and my thoughts on the quote.  

page 3: "Students who are engaged and motivated readers read more often and read more diverse texts than students who are unmotivated by the reading task. 
This made me think of "The Matthew Effect" where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.  Kids who are already good at reading are the ones who keep getting better.  The gap gets wider each day between our proficient readers and those who are struggling.

page 4: "Digital reading experiences must be part of the opportunities we give students on a regular basis.  If not, we're discounting much of the reading they will engage with in the future."

This was such a good point I thought. I use digital reading and writing daily myself, so why wouldn't I incorporate those opportunities into instruction? Digital reading/writing is only going to grow- it's not going away.  Students need to know how to navigate this world. 

page 5: Quote from Sara:"I know school is important and I want to do well because that's what everyone expects of me. But if I really want to learn something, I do that outside of school."

Ouch....but true.  I've felt that way myself as a student. I always thought "school reading" was boring but loved to ready my own self-selected books. Now, with so many digital resources for learning, students can find information at any time.  They need time in school to use these resources to explore ideas they are interested in, at least part of the time.  I had my highest level of engagement this past year when students came up with their own wonderings and topics to explore.  Instead of everyone studying frogs, one student researched Amelia Earhart, another studied who created Legos, and another student read about the sinking of the Titanic.  

page 7: Quote from Kylene Beers and and Robert Probst: "The most rigorous reading is to find what those words on that page mean in our own lives."

I love the return to this focus after the first few years of Common Core when most people were saying that your interpretation and feelings on a text don't matter anymore- just state what the author says.  This never sat well with me as I believe that reading is most certainly a transaction of meaning-making between the reader and the text.  What we bring to what we read becomes part of the experience.

page 7: "For our students to experience a reading life in which reading changes who they are and thus changes their worlds, our definition of reading in the classroom must expand. Although reading in the digital age still includes reading powerful novels, it must also include digital pieces and digital tools."

It's not an either/or situation- it's both! Reading takes many forms and medias and as a teacher, I read from all different places each day.  I read books in paper form and electronic form and most of my other reading comes from blog posts and articles I find online.  I do get magazines sent to my house (though they sadly sit in a stack and wait for me to read them).  I buy professional books mostly in paper form as a conscious choice to want to hold it in my hands.  I use digital resources to take pictures of charts in these books or to write about what I've read.  This book is making me realize I need to be more explicit and purposeful about teaching kids about all the types of reading they can do, including digital.

page 12: "When they always read books that are a stretch for their comprehension level, students find it hard to read closely and to be thoughtful about the text."

This is another excellent point.  I felt some of my third grade readers this year plowed through books without really stopping to understand and then got insulted when I suggested the book might not be a good fit or they need to spend time reading more carefully.  I think many have gotten used to reading the words and not stopping to think, question, or wonder. 

page 13: "As with any text-based media, our worry remains the same for these transitional readers: if they continue to read, view, and listen without true understanding, their expectations for meaning are diminished, and they begin to expect that these texts will not always make sense or have meaning.  They become passive consumers who read and view in a very simple way."

This is why teachers are so important for both traditional and digital reading.  We need to help students to become active readers.

page 16: "While no single tool makes the difference in the literacy workshop, collectively these tools change everything about our teaching and our students' learning.

Agreed! Teachers cannot think, "Well, I'm using ___" and feel they have checked off the digital box.  It is more of a way of living to incorporate many different tools and mediums throughout time.

page 22: "And we believe, that, more than all this, it is the habits and behaviors of readers that define a digital reading workshop."

This has not changed, despite the introduction of digital reading and tools into the workshop.

page 23: "It is in our digital reading workshops that our students will learn the power of community, both inside the walls of the classroom and beyond."

I love this point.  I feel like I have 2 communities I belong to now- face to face and online.  My online community is actually several different communities I belong to online, but these connections have become a very important and powerful force in helping me grow as a person and a teacher.  I cannot imagine a life now where I do not participate in online communities.  We need to show our students the power in that.

I am truly enjoying this book and feel my philosophy towards digital reading and tools growing and changing.  I look forward to the continued conversation!