Friday, September 21, 2012
Two fourth grade teachers invited me to their classrooms this morning to share how I PICK books to read. The students have been learning the acronym I PICK, and they reiterated its message: I look at a book; Purpose; Interest; Comprehend; Know all the words. I also shared Daniel Pennac's Rights of the Reader to complement the choosing strategies. Then I began to talk about the stack of books I'd brought with me.
I started with a book recommended to me by staff at the Red Balloon and from reviews: Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms. Though I knew it had been positively reviewed, I just couldn't get interested in it. I showed them the very thick classic The Swiss Family Robinson and told how though I thought I should read it, I found myself rereading too many lines, thus indicating I probably was not comprehending it as well as I could. I showed them the eerie cover of the first Animorphs book and read the first paragraph; science fiction is my least favorite genre. Then I held up four different covers of A Wrinkle in Time, the 1963 Newbery Medal Winner. Again, I knew I should read this book, but it has never been one that keeps my interest. Finally, I read the jacket flap and beginning of Touching Stars by Erin Moulton. It has received good reviews, and the character name and summary appeal to me. That's the one I finally selected in my demonstration.
Interestingly, several readers wanted the books I did not choose!