What Reading Is About

#cyberpd Post 1———-Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading by Vicki Vinton

 

During the summers, I do not like to participate in much just so I can rejuvenate myself.  Being an introvert, teaching has a tendency to sap me of my emotional strength.  I need to regain my balance and do so through reading as well as being schedule-free.

But, when I came across #cyberpd through a Voxer group my plans changed.  I already purchased Vicki Vinton’s book to participate in a Voxer chat, so I was set to learn with others.

I began reading and immediately felt as if she was speaking the same language as I.  Being a member of the choir, helped me gain some clarity and Vinton also broadened my world. There are so many resources as well as parts that just boosted my energy.  The message and quotes made me think that I am doing the right thing with my students.

Vinton’s book is a great companion to Who’s Doing the Work by Burkins and Yaris.  Both books are helping us develop as teachers to let the students learn.  We, as teachers, need to guide our students and gradually release them as P. David Pearson has always made clear, but this is not how teachers are trained or mentored.  Generally they are given a teacher’s edition, a curriculum guide, strategy instruction, or the Common Core as a playbook.  Rather, than just sitting back and generating conversation or guiding them to trust themselves.

As Vinton states in the Introduction, we prep them to read a passage/book through building the background/content knowledge and vocabulary, but we do not have a tendency to let them think as they read and that is what reading is about.  As a reader we need to connect and make meaning, but teachers are showing the students what to think and how to think.  This needs to change and Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading is taking us down a better path as teachers.  With her book, teachers will learn what reading needs to be in order to create thinkers and students who will develop into deep learners.

One section that I connected with is the “productive struggle” according to Kay Merseth (p. 13) from Harvard.  The term “productive struggle” identifies students in today’s classrooms because they are trying to give the teacher the correct answers to the questions.  For example, I have several students who able to choose texts to read, think, and interact with.   Our conversations about the text lead to such insightful observations, but when they are tested on the material in the basal the students are failing the tests.  These students are not providing the correct answers and their anxiety is so heightened that they don’t even care to answer the questions correctly.  What is that teaching them about reading, about school?

As a teacher, you need to ask yourself what type of reader are you?  What do you want out of a book?  Is this what you are transposing upon your students?  Are you just giving life to the patterns/strategies that were inflicted upon you as a students.  As a teacher, you need to read this book and learn what reading is all about.

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