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on Tuesdays throughout the year.
I love catching those readers.
It is April. We have five weeks left in our year together. Five weeks is one half of one quarter of the year. My students wish we had five days left. Don't you wish we were a week into summer already? Somedays I do (because we're going to the Grand Canyon!) But most days I gasp at how little time we have left. As students begin to anticipate the end of the year, they sometimes fall away from routines and systems we established early on.
At least I hope that is what is happening. I hope the problems I'm seeing with readers in the room are some kind of post spring break, post standardized testing miasma that will run its course without a long course of antibiotics or other official treatments.
We track our reading progress using a Google spreadsheet that students and I share access to. Our Reading Record has worked well to capture pages and titles of books students have read. I wrote about how I digitized our status of the class here. I've been notice a change in how students are tracking their reading on our Reading Record. Suddenly I have students sampling books from the classroom library yet recording entirely different titles on their Reading Records.
I see students browsing books, but talking about the weekend or talking about their lunch or an outfit or upcoming officer elections. Usually, I hear book talking at tables. Usually, if students are reading, that accountable talk, as Stephanie Harvey calls it, bubbles up. Readers in my classes will spontaneously recommend titles to each other or they share opinions books to movies, movies to books. That sort of talk is happening much less and the behavior of the reading herd seems to have shifted. The conversation has taken a turn away from books which makes me wonder about my readers and the records we are keeping.
My big take away today is that a status of the class is not enough to monitor the readers in my room. I have to find ways to confer with them, to talk to them about the books they are reading and to listen in and capture the talk I hear them sharing with their peers (about books other topics). I need to be more systematic in how I confer and keep my anecdotal notes about the readers in my room. That's my goal for the remainder of this week. Time to get back to it!