Monday, June 22, 2009

Vacation and Reading

Yes, this was our view while on vacation in New Hampshire. We were on Lake Winnipesaukee for eight days. Eight days filled with friendship, food, rest, exercise, sun, water, rain, wildlife, and plenty of time to read. I saw my first porcupine, my husband took photos of a mother black bear and her cub from a kayak while they were on an island in the middle of the lake, and I kept hoping to see a moose near one of the moose crossing signs.

My reading. What joy I found in reading books of my adult reading preferences. I began planning my trip reading before school was out and reserved two titles I wanted to read from our local library. The first book I read was Cross Country by James Patterson. I really enjoy reading mysteries and Alex Cross is my favorite detective, I've now read them all. I was surprised how fast I read this book and was just so excited to be reading something for pure fun. When I started my second book The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks I knew I would be reading something realistic fiction but was surprised with my initial pace. This got me thinking about my own reading life and how it was just like the students I have worked with over the past few years.

Alex Cross is a series of books I have read written by James Patterson. Reading the same character over and over builds fluency and comprehension. I'm very familiar with the writing style for these books, I can do a little predicting about the story elements and couldn't wait to read what Nana, the grandmother in the story would have to say to Alex. I like the twist and turns these books take while Alex is trying to solve awful crimes. I even noticed these books have shorter chapters, I could read one while cooking dinner. What was more interesting was the ease in reading this book with more white space between the lines.

As I switched to The Lucky One, by Nicholas Sparks the chapters were longer, the lines of text were closer together and I was finding myself concentrating a bit more. For a brief moment I thought about abandoning it and then realized I could work through these text-writing changes to enjoy a great book. I can always count on Nicholas Sparks for a good realistic fiction, taking place in North Carolina, a love story with a twist or two. I have now read all of his books and feel I have accomplished something. I think this is how my students felt when they were on a mission to read all the Geronimo Stilton books in the classroom and beyond.

Then I read the Element, How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything by Ken Robinson, Ph. D. I bought this book because fellow bloggers had reviewed it and thought it was great. You can find one by Franki, here. This book is a must read for everyone. I felt this book was thought provoking personally, professionally, and as a parent. This book made me think about creativity, balance, learning styles, connections with others and curriculum. I was thankful while reading this book to have begun blogging and connecting with a "tribe" of people who share the same thinking and passion for teaching.

This type of thinking about my three books I read would be a conversation I would modify and share with a group of transitional readers. We all need mentors and this would help them learn and think about their own reading lives.

Another note about reading. I so enjoyed hearing my oldest N share a book she was reading with her Dad and offering this advice. "As you read this, you will need to pay attention as the chapters change because two people are telling the story." Thanks Sally Oddi for the book which was an ARC from my trip to Cover to Cover.

Photo - compliments of my husband.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you're back and had such a wonderful time!! sounds incredibly relaxing!

    Great thoughts and connection about your own reading!