The final two chapters of Book Love by Penny Kittle were a great way to finish out the book. Throughout this whole book, we have read about numerous ways that reading is beneficial in the classroom. These two chapters kept expanding on that in ways that I have not thought of.
In chapter 8, Kittle discusses “An Order for Literature”. Something that really stuck with me is the goal for students to see that their personal reading like has a purpose. Most of us in this class enjoy reading as a hobby and this is something that we want our students to develop as well. As Kittle says, there is so many possibilities in literature that the opportunities are endless. What is important in a classroom is that we allow students to discover these things for themselves. Students learn best when they make their own discoveries not when they are lectured at and told what the discoveries are.
Still in chapter 8, Kittle talks about quarterly reading reflections. These are a great idea for students because they are learning what kind of reader they are through self-reflections. They are able to understand what makes them want to read books in the first place and things they avoid. With this information, students and teachers can set up conferences and set goals for the student’s to reach that will help expand their reading life. The thing I love about reading reflection is that they can be used for almost any grade level.
In chapter 9, Kittle talks about how standardized testing does not effectively measure what we want as teachers. The main thing I found irritating is the need to read quickly in order for students to score well on the ACT. As we know, everyone reads at a different pace and that is not an issue. If the student is still retaining what they are reading, it does not matter how quickly they can read. The ACT is difficult because the tester only gets eight minutes to complete the passage. If a student is a great reader but cannot read quickly, they are automatically at a disadvantage.
Chapter 9 also has a section where is talks about how to work through obstacles in a reading classroom. While these are all helpful, an issue I have been working through in my years at CSC is how to get a student to read when they don’t want to. Kittle talks about having a variety of different literature in the classroom. This is helpful because I did not think about newspapers or magazines in an reading classroom. If it gets them to read something, that is what I care about.
Overall, I found this book incredibly helpful in my studies. I have found myself making connections from this book to other classes that I am in and real life situations. I can see myself referring back to this book frequently during student-teaching and once I start teaching.