|I'm reflecting on summer reading through the first quarter. There are two posts|
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Instead of writing about summer reading work, I'm going to share a student's reading journal entry. This particular student is enjoying content-area literature circles in her AP Environmental science class. She's been reading Hiaasen's Chomp, discussing it with her book group in science class and writing about it in her reading journal in my class. Cross-over course work makes such a difference in students' literacy lives. Instead of seeing such work as double dipping, I tend to see it as double time. be It works. The students who have rich reading and writing routines in courses other than English get the kind of practice they need to be successful on challenging assessments.
This quarter students are practicing close reading and argument writing in their reading journals. Some students photo copy a passage from their independent novels, others write a short passage or a collection of quotes on the left side of the entry. On the right students practice analysis and argument. I ask students to sustain their analysis or argument for two, front pages. This is weekly practice work. More authentic than decontextualized worksheets, but less authentic than the writing workshop pieces students choose, craft and share. My student writers need both. Once the practice has made the routine or thinking permanent, it will go away. I will release students' from the responsibility of writing in the reading journal. Until then, we work together on it.
In this writer's practice I can see purposeful annotation: cause and effect, sound imagery and notes about decisions the characters are making. On the right, the writer starts with a claim about the need for good decision making skills. She supports her assertion by paraphrasing a decision made in the passage she pulled for close reading practice. I can see the writer using a mix of paraphrase, summary and direct quotations. When we talked about the entry I praised her close reading and reviewed when page numbers are needed in text and when they are not. In the last paragraph on the page she used a parenthetical citation for a paraphrase but not the direct quote. Understanding how to cite work in text is a lesson that spans genres and weeks in my room. This is just an initial practice and I'm pleased to see the concept forming in this writer's work.
We are off to the beach this afternoon. There is a tropical storm off shore and good waves are a guarantee. Time to get some surf time in.
Have a great week!