Week #2 (Part 2) – WRAD Blogging Challenge

Feb 23, 2014 by

On Tuesday, my students and I settled at the rug to share the book Ish by Peter H. Reynolds, and we delighted in the “ishness” of it all! We loved that Ramon came to realize there was no right way for him to create his images, which was the perfect way to launch into answering the questions from this week’s blog challenge. I had made up a sheet with all of the questions and explained about LitWorld’s mission and World Read Aloud Day. I read the questions to my students first, and we talked about the meaning of words like impersonate. Then, I linked what we were about to do to with what we had just read. I told the students that, just like Ramon in Ish, there was no right way for them to answer the questions. They didn’t need to ask, “Is this okay?” or “Am I supposed to…?” or “Do I have to…?” Of course, students these days have been conditioned to believe that when they answer a question, there has to be a right way and a right answer, so they did ask me some questions. But, when they came and asked things like, “Should I tell the name of a book?” or “Am I allowed to say my mom?”, I repeated that there was no right answer and asked them, “Is that what you want to write?” Always, they said. “Yes,” and off they went to write, happily!

The students and I responded to the questions while listening to classical music, and it was bliss. As my third graders finished answering the questions, they took out their independent reading books and settled in to their stories.

Here is a summary of my students’ thoughts on reading and reading aloud. (You can read my responses to the prompts in my “Part 1″ post.)

Prompt #1 – I think everyone in the world should read…

“…Bob the Brussels Sprout’s Wild Adventure” (the student’s recently published story).
“…Pokemon Diamond and Pearl Adventures because it has action and adventures in it, and that is my preferred genre.”
“…1 hour each day. And the series Whatever After. And for the ones that like the funny side of reading would love books by Jeff Kinney.”
“…Flora and Ulysses, and Minecraft Essential Handbook.”
“…because when you read it feels like you’re in a whole different world, and once you’ve read a few books, reading becomes fun!”
“…because it’s educational, to persuade, to inform, and to entertain.”
“…it helps expand vocabulary. Reading takes me places I’ve never been. When I am so lost in my book, it makes me feel like a dancing swan.”
“…because reading brings out thoughts. Thoughts bring out writing.Writing brings out ideas. Ideas bring out stories. Stories bring out thoughts.”
“…Amulet because it is an adventure with a sister (Emily), a brother (Navin) and a fox guy (Leon).”
“…because every word you don’t know, and for the first first time you ever take it in, you expand your vocabulary.”
“…because some people can’t read. Reading is fun.”
“…because when you read, it can sometimes inspire you to do things. Another reason why is because when you read it can make you laugh or teaches you about what you are interested in.”
“…series of books because when one book ends you could read the next one and the next one and on and on and on.”
“…because some people think it’s fun and sometimes it makes people laugh.”
“…nonfiction, fiction, and poetry books.”
“…nonfiction books.”
“…because it makes you a lot smarter and it’s really interesting.”
“…any book that is a good fit and interests them. I also think that people should not judge a book by its cover.”
“…a good-fit book.” (Thank you to the Daily 5, CAFE and The Two Sisters!)

Prompt #2 – If I could listen to anyone in the world read aloud to me it would be…

  • Tavo Cruise (my favorite singer)
  • Mrs. Eckstein
  • my mom
  • my dad
  • my parents
  • Gabby Douglas (a great gymnast who inspires me)
  • the president

Prompt #3 – When I read aloud, my favorite character to impersonate is…

  • Percy Jackson
  • Francis from Big Nate
  • the guy from My Life and an Astronaut
  • Mudkip (from Pokemon)
  • Thea Stilton
  • I don’t have a favorite. I like a lot of characters.
  • Harry Potter
  • Leon (from Amulet)
  • Firestar (from Warriors)
  • Ulysses (from Flora and Ulysses)
  • Clementine
  • Captain Underpants
  • Abby
  • Harta (from Pokemon Diamond Pearl Adventures)
  • Willy the Watermelon (from my story, Bob the Brussels Sprouts Wild Adventure)

Prompt #4 – The genre or author that takes up the most room on my bookshelf (or e-reader) is…

  • Rick Riordan
  • Lincoln Peirce
  • fiction
  • Makoto Mizobuchi
  • nonfiction
  • Shel Silverstein
  • Thea Stilton
  • Mary Pope Osborne
  • Erin Hunter
  • Black Beauty
  • Warriors
  • Sarah Mlynowski

Prompt #5 – My favorite part about reading aloud or being read to is…

“…it feels like you are in the book.”
“…to picture me seeing it with my own eyes, or picturing me doing what the character is doing.”
“…hearing the meaningful words.”
“…how they read clearly.”
“…understanding the story.”
“…is when some people do the action part when the words are BIG, and BOLD. That’s my favorite part.”
“…listening to the adventure or hearing what is going to happen.”
“…because it’s like a song, but slower, and there are pictures to it and it’s being heard by another person.”
“…that I can picture the story in my head.”
“…you get to hear other authors’ imagination, not just yours.”
“…feeling like I am there and those things are happening to me that are in the book.”
“…feeling the expressions that come out of the reader.”
“…I can express my feelings out loud.”
“…that I am able to relax a lot in my bed and fall asleep when my mom reads to me.”
“…all of the expression, all of the jokes and funny parts about the book, and learning new things, and getting to know the story better.”
“…I don’t have a favorite.”
“…the adventures that the characters go through.”
“…voice acting. By far, I like it because I get to show how I think the characters sound like!”
“…I LOVE reading out loud because in some of my book I make funny noises.”

When we reconvened at the rug, on Tuesday, my students and I talked about what it was like to answer questions that had no right or wrong answers. They said things like, “I felt free,” and “It was nice not to worry about getting a wrong answer.” When I read my responses to the questions, students also shared their thoughts, and we had a lot of agreement about what we felt about read alouds and the importance of books and reading.

My students’ insights made me happy because it showed how much they value reading and read alouds and how much this has brought us together as a community. I saw commonalities in their book choices and best loved characters, and I was touched by the reasons  they chose their moms, dads, and me as their favorite readers. It was clear in listening to my students and reading their responses that the bond we form by reading with a child makes a deep and lasting impression. (See my son’s responses in my “Part 1″ post.) I can’t wait to read more books to my students in the morning!

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