Saturday, May 14, 2016

Reading Wellness: How Well Are You?

A few months ago someone told me about a book titled Reading Wellness. The title intrigued me, so I had to check it out. Over the next several weeks I'll share what I am learning with you chapter by chapter.

The premise behind the book...
To help teachers find new ways to meet the demands and pressures of standard and accountability measures, while remaining connected to their broader visions of students as readers, thus helping them to establish habits that will support a lifetime of reading wellness

Wellness is about...
the ways we blend together all of the aspects of our lives to be our best selves

How do we apply this idea of wellness to reading?
Reading wellness goes way beyond skills and strategies. The ultimate goal of teaching any reading strategy is not the skill or strategy itself, but rather it is becoming a lifelong reader.

Reading wellness includes all facets of readership- from finding favorite books and authors, to reading magazines and working on fluency, to knowing when comprehension is breaking down and determining which strategy to use in repairing it.

Reading wellness includes the skills and strategies needed to read the text, as well as enjoying the text, having ideas, and developing identity and agency as a reader.

Burkins and Yaris offer four "intentions" for teaching and learning-  
Intention 1- Alignment- Keep your sights set on long-term outcomes and the ways in which your instructional decisions affect who children will grow up to become, focus on lifelong learning

How does the lesson show your students their power as learners? Are you excited about teaching the lesson? If so, why?

Intention 2Balance- Teachers need to recognize the role of standards and standardized instruction in today's classroom, while also balancing it against their own inner teacher self

I love this question from the book- "How does this lesson marry the goals of my inner teacher, the immediate considerations of accountability, and checks against my own biases?"

Intention 3- Sustainability- Sustainable lessons teach processes, strategies, and routines that support learning across all contexts. Due to a multitude of classroom constraints, we must teach lessons that serve purposes beyond the work at hand.

How will what students are learning and doing in this lesson make them more "well" as readers?

Intention 4- Joy- The moments when you and your students are engaged in work that matters to both of you- work that brings on lifelong learning habits and results in growth in both accountability standards as well as in an agentive life of learning.

How does this lesson cause students to love learning? How does it make them forget they are learning? How does it inspire them? How and why is it memorable?

There is overlap in all four intentions. They are not categorical, but rather connected.

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