Sunday, September 2, 2012

Commitment: How Readers are like Olympians

We started class Friday by reading about Olympians and thinking about how their journeys might be similar to readers' reading journeys.  Remember that your task was to highlight or circle words or phrases that were written about athletes but could also apply to the reading process. I walked around and noted on a sticky the most common highlights I saw:

The biggest word on the Wordle -- and therefore, the word that came up most often on your papers -- is commitment.  It's an appropriate choice, given that we then focused our talk on committing to reading goals.  As M. pointed out, it's easy to put off reading, but if you commit, then you have to fulfill a commitment.

Everyone should have his/her first reading goal ready to roll.  We'll add them to your planners for September, and at the end of the month, we'll work together to figure out what worked, how you need support (help with your schedule, book recommendations, a reading buddy, etc.), and what a revised October goal should be.

In the meantime, if your biggest obstacle is finding the time to read (this is the most common obstacle I hear), check out your tips for COMMITTING time to reading:

  • Read on the bus home from school (if you're on a quiet bus!)
  • Read on the bus on the way to school (ditto)
  • Read for a half hour after school
  • Read in the car on the way to tournaments
  • If you get carsick, listen to a book on CD/iPod
  • Go up to bed a half hour early and read
  • Read during Study Center (my Study Center is always quiet)
  • Have a friend, family member, or teacher to check in with -- tell them how many pages you'll read a certain night or week, and have them follow up with you
  • Partner up with a friend to read the same book -- the mini-book club will hold you responsible for reading
  • Cut back on TV or video games. Notice that I didn't say to cut them out completely (depending on your household rules!), but reconsider your use of time.  I compare it to eating chocolate cake.  Boy would I LOVE to eat a whole chocolate cake -- it would taste great at the time, but then afterward, I know that I wouldn't feel great (and if I did it all the time, it would be bad for my health!).  I'm sure it's fun to play four hours of video games, but I also bet afterwards, you feel groggy and out of it.  All cake and screen time in moderation.  Do something good for your brain, too (read) :)

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