Children's Books

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Let the Data Speak for Itself

Independent Reading Engagement Feb/March
     Almost 2 months ago I started this blogging journey, and many of my posts have told the story of 4th graders growing as readers.  I have written several posts talking about a boy I loving refer to as Captain Underpants Superfan. It's been interesting to really watch what he has been doing, support him where he is, and celebrate with him along the journey. At the end of February I found an independent reading observation tool in Donalyn Miller's Reading in the Wild.  I took observational data over a three day period.  To be honest, I was really bummed out by the data I collected.  I had a feeling that some kids weren't engaged, but the observation data gave me an honest snapshot of what was happening.
April 20th Engagement
     Today I had the joy to share my latest engagement observations with Captain Underpants Superfan. We looked at the results together, and I asked him why he has been able to remain engaged during independent reading time now. We were both so excited to see that he had 9 yes minutes circled.  I told him that I saw him at minute 7 when he wasn't reading, and he stopped reading because he was so engaged in his book he started slipping out of his chair.
     Here are a few of his thoughts about his own reading;
*I don't get distracted anymore.
*I pick out books from the library I actually want to read. I used to pick out books that I knew I wouldn't read.
*I pick out fake (fiction) books to read because I can think about the characters.
*I pretend that I am the character in the book. When I was reading Galaxy Zack I pretended to be Zack.
     I've learned that sometimes I need to take a step back and observe what my students are really doing. I don't need to be afraid or feel judged by the data. I let the data speak for itself. The data isn't judging me. It's showing me the present reality. Then it's my job to share the data with kids and work together on a plan.

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