Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Notice and Note Post #5

Today I participating in the Summer 2014 Blog Book Study of Notice and Note by Beers and Probst.

This section is being hosted by

Hop over to see their post and link up your own if you are participating as well!
How Do I Judge the Complexity of a Text?
Having spent the last few years in Kindergarten, common core text complexity is kind of unfamiliar territory for me, so my eyes kind of glazed over when I started reading about quantitative measures, qualitative dimensions, and reader and task considerations.  But then, I had to stop and go back and reread again because this will be important to me in 3rd grade. 
Who has time to rate books on the Worksheet for Analysis of Text Complexity of a Literary Text? Not me, that's for sure... So, again I am searching for something in this section that can help me out.
I could be missing a lot from this section, but I guess what it comes down to for me is this:
1.  Make sure that your students are reading books that are just right for them and that challenge them without frustrating them.
2.  Make sure that the text, even though it might be at their level, isn't too complex for them in a qualitative way- the structure of the text isn't too difficult to manage, the ideas/themes of the book aren't too mature or abstract for the student, the knowledge demands aren't beyond the student. And, if it is, and they still want to read it, be sure to provide support for them along the way.
3.  Make sure that the student is interested in the topic and has the knowledge base to understand the text.
A little side note here- putting on my mom hat- I mentioned before that my son loves dystopian novels and in 3rd grade he read City of Ember and The Unwanteds-  books that were probably at this reading level but might have been a bit too complex in theme etc...  Then, he found Hunger Games- this was before the movies came out.  His 3rd grade teacher had read it, and when he found it, she didn't discourage him from reading it even though it was beyond him- not in level so much but in "levels of meaning".  And, that began his great love of that genre of book.  He went into 4th grade with this great knowledge of the dystopian fiction  (we talk a lot about these books because I love reading them too) and his 4th grade teacher continued to encourage his reading of these books- some even beyond his AR level. He's generally a reluctant reader, but if he finds a book he's interested in reading there's no stopping him- even if the text is technically too complex.  His teachers knew he was interested in this type of book and didn't tell him he couldn't read it because it was beyond his level.  
So, for me, the big Aha from this section is that you need to know your students and know your books.  Challenge them to search for books that are just right for them on all levels. 
Just make sure that the students are within the correct Lexile Band by the end of the year or you won't get your bonus that's attached to student achievement (sarcasm intended). :)
Are We Creating Lifelong Learners?
"School ought to be a place where you go to develop a passion for learning- for a lifetime of learning. You ought to leave at the end of twelve years with a profound sadness that a time in your life when your primary obligation was to learn, to discover, to wonder, to try, to fail- and then to try again- has ended."
Wow- we do have a long way to go to achieve that goal.  It's depressing to think that this is not the case for so many students.  There are so many reasons why this isn't true (for students, but teachers as well).  We, as teachers, have so many things placed on us - the latest being the common core standards and high stakes testing- that it's hard for us to create places of discovery, places of wonder, and true intellectual communities.  And, if it's hard for us to create these places no matter how much we want it to be that way, it's hard for students to think of school that way.  
I often force my son and husband to listen to my education rants, and I was talking about this book with them.  I was telling them about the Signposts and talking with then about how cool it is that these signposts show up so often in books.  I was saying that it would be so amazing if a whole school adopted the teaching of these signposts, and I was probably going on and on a little too much about it because I was really excited about the idea.  My son says to me, "Mom, you could really change the school with this!"  From my 6th grader who says that school is a prison, no fun and boring.  Maybe there is a tiny bit of hope.  

Happy Reading,


No comments:

Post a Comment