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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Long Reserve Lists

I love long reserve lists. So far this month the longest list winner is Extreme Animals: The Toughest Creatures on Earth by Nicola Davies. I read the cold parts of it aloud last week. Tough cold weather creatures are polar bears (with 3 inches of fat under their black skin), emperor penguins (with unbelievable layers of heat-encasing feathers), and sea otters (with almost a million hairs per square inch on their bodies). The author's other books are checked out and have reserve lists (especially What's Eating You?), as are books about the extreme animals mentioned in the read-aloud book.

Most interesting to me were the discussions about how we read non-fiction differently than fiction. Readers could articulate what they need to do when reading information compared to when they read stories. They have the metacognitive tools to revisit a line that does not make sense and reread a passage to solidify it in their brains. They also know how much easier it is to read something they like versus something about which they have no interest.

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