Assignments, Being a Reader

My Life as a Reader

When I was working on my music degree, I loved the fact that I was required to practice playing the piano and memorize difficult pieces for a purpose. It is very similar with this class. I find it very enjoyable to ignore the world and snuggle in with a book since it is homework.

I have always done this at the end of my day, but I’m allowing more time than usual due to the class requirements.

My taste as a reader has not changed very much in my life. I enjoy non-fiction or stories with a grain of truth or history behind them. I also enjoy picture books with rich illustrations of many styles.

I keep returning to Dave, The Potter, for example. I borrowed it from the bookmobile, but it is one that I will be buying for my own.

In children’s literature I enjoy books which spark the imagination of the reader. I imagine reading them out loud to a class. I imagine their responses. Since I’ve been back in my home town for teaching, I have one other memory of why I love reading.

My own Great-Aunt Frances spent every Saturday morning in our little park with a herd of kids gathered around her as she read stories. I don’t remember the stories, but I remember her devotion. I also remember being mad at the other kids for calling her “Aunt Frances.” She was MY Aunt Frances. She truly was. Most of my childhood was spent with her. I think it’s time to pass the torch.

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I’m finding that I don’t particularly care for books that ramble very much. This will be part of next week’s response, so I won’t go into too much detail.

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Apparently, an author could write any book about a horse and I would love it. I re-read my old favorite, “Norah’s Ark,” by Patsey Gray, and immediately knew why I loved it as a child.

It was very well written, and I enjoyed it still. My other favorite which I read again, even before this class, was “Misty of Chincoteague.” I still have my copy from grade school. Such a treasure.

I have enjoyed the honor books of all genres which focus on people, especially those people who were historically real.

I prefer reading upper elementary books, since that is the grade level where I am teaching. I’m finding new ways to spark interest in my students. I’m finding that most of my students enjoy reading that relates to themselves personally.

One of my projects to spark reading interest has been to take portraits of my students with their books. They are printed out for a bulletin board. Many are quite creative with their poses!

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8 thoughts on “My Life as a Reader

  1. The last picture of the student with the book is so great! How much fun for students to have their pictures taken with their books. I agree with you that I like books that are based on historical events. These have been my favorite as well. I also enjoy upper elementary books. There can be so much information in an upper elementary book! I have been surprised how educational children’s books can be and have learned a lot of new, interesting facts from reading them!

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    • The photo idea was a spark to get my reluctant readers in gear. We are also keeping a timeline of where their books are taking them, and where they are traveling to.

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  2. It is fun to have homework that is fun to do. I like that the kids not only are reading but that you take picture of them and post it also. I love the picture of the kid looking scared with his book. I like educational and Historical books too.

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  3. Love that photo! What an expression! Have you read Henry’s Freedom Box yet? I think you might also like It Jes’ Happened, which is a nonfiction picture book biography of folk artist Bill Traylor. Maybe also try A Splash of Red by Jen Bryant.

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