Blogging Slow and Steady!
I am like a turtle emerging from my shell...slow and steady, sauntering forward, staying the course. For the next 20 days, I will use a challenge I found on Twitter that links to Kelly Hine's blog "In the trenches: Thoughts and Ideas from a Classroom Teacher". My hope is this challenge will get the ideas flowing (force the blog to continue:/!). The challenge can be found here: http://kellyhines.wordpress.com/2013/12/22/self-initiated-blogging-challenge/.
Thanks for the motivation, Kelly!
Day 1: Sharing a Book Idea
Challenge: Tell about a favorite book to share or teach. Provide at least one example of an extension or cross curricular lesson.
I recently visited the library with my 4th grade daughter and decided to check out audio versions of children's books that have captured my interest. The Clockwork Three by Matthew Kirby was in my possession the moment I eyed it on the library shelf! I began listening to the story on my commutes to and from my schools. I was deeply immersed in the characters, puzzles, and connections...smiling, gasping, and even talking aloud!
The story was read through the voices of Marc Thompson, an actor and voice expert! As a reader, it made me think about books that are read by me and books that are read to me, which made me think about my behaviors as a reader and my behaviors as a listener. Hmmm...this type of metacognition can lead to a discussion in Reader's Workshop to understand the similarities and differences in reading and listening behaviors, which might lend itself well to having discussions with students about those listening standards.
Because the characters were molded in my mind by the voice I heard telling their stories and speaking their thoughts, this impacted my understanding of who they were and their relationships to one another. This impact was positive--Marc Thompson does an outstanding performance in bringing this book to life! This leads to another interesting question to discuss with young readers...does your understanding of the characters change when you experience reading a book vs. hearing a book? I know when I go back and "re-read" this story, Marc's voice will fill my head.
My possible extension into the classroom with this book continues! As I was delivering a literacy module to staff last week on the use of conferring notes and reader's notebooks as formative assessments, the topic of unmotivated readers surfaced and the practice of book talks was discussed. I know you think I am going to recommend this book as a book talk to motivate young readers, but the story is so much more interesting!
I shared that I used this book at home with my own 3 children in a book-talk-sort-of-way. Catching snippets of the story while I transport to basketball practice, church, swim practice, and school, my children wanted to hear more about the characters and understand where Fredrick came from when we were listening to Giuseppe's story that morning. My response is probably familiar to teachers..."You'll have to read the book!"
The interesting twist to my book talk? I found the author, Matthew Kirby, on Twitter and tweeted out my compliments. He responded and brought Marc Thompson into the conversation. When I shared this tweet and its response at home, my children were hooked! The Clockwork Three has been heard at my house all weekend! Giuseppe, Frederick, and Hannah have sat with us at the breakfast table, baked cookies with us in the afternoon, and shared their stories into the night.
For me this has been a lesson on reading and listening comprehension, author (and actor) influence, the power of educators being connected to Twitter, and student engagement in literature. I love that the lesson has been professional and personal! Thanks for connecting, Matthew and Marc!