Yesterday’s post addressed a literary New Year’s resolution practice of setting a specific number of books to read for 2021. This is a fund, collaborative class project too.
Today’s post includes a review of one of the books on my reading list from the end of 2020 and the first few days of this year.
The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book made such an impression, that I ordered it mid-way through the audiobook (audiobook via Hoopla through my library). Yes, one dismissive point-of-view can be that it is depressing. Another point-of-view also is the resilience of spirit of Americans. I choose the latter p.o.v.
Improve upon the usual New Year’s Resolutions to forego carbs and embrace exercise, by setting a reading goal of books for 2021. According to the Pew Research Center, the average person in the U.S. reads about 12 books per year. You may decide to vary your Literary Resolution with more or fewer books, include audio and e-book titles as well. MentalFloss (2019) has a fun “test” to speculate the number of books to read.
Goodreads has the most effective reading challenge support. Goodreads combines analytics with book descriptions, reviews, community encouragement, and reviews. (See tomorrow’s post for a book review activity for you and your class.) Already, Goodreads has over 2 million readers participating in the 2021 Reading Challenge!
My Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2021
Please consider a Literary Resolution for 2021!
Debczak, M. (2019). This Test Will Tell You How Many Books You Can Read in a Year. Mental Floss. https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/570929/how-many-books-to-read-year-test
Perrin, A. (2019). Who doesn’t read books in America? Pew Research Center. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/09/26/who-doesnt-read-books-in-america/
Who doesn’t read books in America?
Summarizing with Drawings: A Reading-Comprehension Strategy
by Janine Elliott
Science Scope, v30 n5 p23-27 Jan 2007
Description: When teachers ask their students to read something in class, they often encounter students who just wait for everyone else to finish reading before they do. These type of students are the ones most likely to dislike reading and they are just content to wait it out. Teachers may counteract this by requiring students to answer questions in writing or by requiring them to skim the reading until they find the answers. In this article, the author shares a strategy she developed to motivate students and engage them in the reading process. Her strategy requires students to read an article and then draw pictures that summarize the main ideas of what they had read. (Contains 6 figures and 6 resources.)
“When students summarize by drawing they must form a visual representation of the information they’re trying to convey. This provides an opportunity for students to elaborate and encode the information in a personally meaningful way. In addition, drawing after reading encourages students to reflect on what they have read and allows time to process the information. In some cases, I found that students admitted reading more carefully when they knew they would have to draw. In essence, they paid more attention to what they were reading in order to be able to do the drawing activity afterward. Finally, drawing can be used as a motivational tool. My students generally found it enjoyable, partly because they felt it took less effort than having to complete a written summary.” ~Janine Elliott
A motivational strategy for students acknowledging that there is a personal value (drawing) attached to the task of reading. Elliott scientifically tested her strategy in class and describes the breakdown of specific data in this short article.
Elliott, J. (2007). Summarizing with Drawings: A Reading-Comprehension Strategy. Science Scope, 30(5), 23-27.
National Science Teachers Association Web site: http://www.nsta.org
In this TED Talk, “How a Boy Became an Artist,” Jarrett J. Krosoczka tells how he grew up to create beloved children’s books.
As one of my grad students wrote, “Jarrett Krosoczka mesmerized his audience…and me…as he picture talked through his life from the addicted artist that was his mother through the punctuated moments his teachers and grandparents made, to significant events like art lessons and a video camera, to his first publishing, and beyond. It appears that the teachers who impacted him were the ones who gave him the skills, his first grade teacher, and the teachers who gave him the opportunity to use his creativity in authentic ways, such as the cartoonist for the high school paper.”
Hope you agree!
TED Talk Video Link: https://www.ted.com/talks/jarrett_j_krosoczka_how_a_boy_became_an_artist?language=en
Remote Learning and Remote working has shoved and pushed us into learning and working online. That means that reading, writing, thinking, and creating often occurs online.
How does digital activity inform the affordance of Digital Reading and eBooks?
“Digital will continue to grow for a while at least, and continue to exist, because it is becoming part of the world we inhabit at a level below our notice, no more remarkable than roads or supermarkets. E-books are here to stay because digital is, and quite shortly we’ll stop having this debate about paper vs. eBooks because it will no longer make a lot of sense.” (Harkaway, 2014).
Access More Nerd Research Minutes Here
The ATEMS Children’s Storybook Project is a collaboration between students, teachers, and the Abilene, Texas community which loves reading, storytelling, and art!!
Learn more at this link: https://www.reporternews.com/story/news/columnists/ronald-w-erdrich/2020/10/24/atems-students-collaborate-childrens-storybook-project-niccil-abilene-reading-texas/3739933001/
Younger learners can have their own online book to read as they learn from home!
The Case of the Haystack Kitties (Hank the Cowdog Book 30) is free for the next couple of days as an ebook on Amazon. (It’s normally $4.79 in digital format.)
Story Summary: Hank has his paws full when he discovers a mother cat and six kittens trespassing in a haystack on his very own ranch. (Have we mentioned cowdogs don’t like cats?) Join Hank as he is trapped in a runaway pickup, surrounded by a herd of stray cats, and forced to battle a raging bull. Can Hank stop the cats from taking over his ranch?
Thanks to Lori Gracey of TCEA, for the news of this offer!
Watch as Ms. Wright explains her strategy for engaging young learners with books!
Why Is This Strategy Effective?
Growth in reading requires building knowledge and vocabulary. This occurs through conversations about books with students and the students’ own reading experience, especially independent reading .
Beck, I. L. (1997). Questioning the author: An approach for enhancing student engagement with text. Order Department, International Reading Association, 800 Barksdale Road, PO Box 8139, Newark, DE 19714-8139.
Kerns, G. (2019, October 15). The Truth About Non-fiction Reading [Webinar]. In EdWeb ELA Webinar Series. Retrieved from https://www.edweb.net/.5c4f5a7b/