The workshop was DELIGHTFUL. The sisters have such a wonderful rapport and presence that I can honestly say I was engaged 90% of the time (which isn't true for many workshops I've attended). I have been a newbie on the daily 5/ cafe train and was so excited to learn from the masters and they didn't disappoint! In fact, I learned so much that I will probably stretch out all of the information into manageable chunks over multiple posts...the sisters taught me that!
My first reflection and "a-ha" of the workshop was on engagement and motivation. The sisters highly recommended this book: In a Reading State of Mind by Fisher, Frey, Lapp
From their research they noted that students are motivated to read when:
- They have access to a wide range of materials
- We (as teachers) trust them enough to choose what they want to read
- They are given ample opportunities to engage in sustained reading
- They are allowed to socially interact with others about the text
- Classroom incentives reflect the value and importance of reading
Well, duh! As I was sitting there listening to this I couldn't help but think about my own experience with reading especially in regards to the social interaction. I obviously crave that social interaction otherwise I wouldn't be writing this blog! How do you cultivate that love of reading if you don't allow your kiddos to talk with each other about books! I have seen a couple of different ways to do this and I recently pinned an adorable book recommendation chart on Pinterest. I am thinking about making our book recommendations a little bigger this year and I am curious to know what y'all think!
My students in the past have written their own blogs. I use the host site at www.weebly.com and it is free to use and you can sign up students for their own account while you still have administrative access over it. In the past, I would give them a topic to write about and they would go to the computer and write about it. Their friends could go to their site and leave comments as well as parents or other family members who knew the web address. I am thinking that next year I will have the kiddos add a book recommendation page on to their blog. They can write a review of the book they are reading. Family and friends can read it and leave comments. I was also thinking that just like many of us do- the students can leave comments on friends blogs telling them to check out a book review they just wrote because they know their friend will love it.
My wheels are spinning! I learned so much. If you have the opportunity to check out the 2 Sisters, I highly recommend it!