Sunday, January 14, 2018

Being Out of My Reading Comfort Zone! {Celebrate This Week}

This week I'm celebrating being out of my reading comfort zone!  I've watched my boys at library check out repeatedly check out Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Captain Underpants.  I find the hardest thing about working with second grade readers is they become good word decoders but don't stop and think to completely comprehend.  So, I silently cringe when these thicker books go home but then I find peace because they have a desire to check something out from our school library and are motivated to hopefully read it at home and maybe they will get help.  I have Baby Mouse and Lunch Lady from my third grade days and really feel right now for these readers they might be a bit hard.

Last week, as I cringed and couldn't wrestle with peace I asked my school librarian for something like Wimpy Kid and Captain Underpants in a graphic novel format but more accessible for my readers.  I tell her I have Baby Mouse and Lunch Lady from my third grade days and really feel right now for these readers they might be a bit hard.  I know they can read the words but I want the comprehension piece of reading easily accessible.  I wanted graphic novels because I thought they might appeal to these readers I kept observing and I thought I might find some with humor along Wimpy Kid and Captain Underderpants.  She took me right over to her graphic novels section, I didn't know our library had one and started rattling off lots of different titles for me to consider.  She was also so proud she left empty space for this section and hopes to grow her collection.  At that the same time, I sent a tweet to Colby Sharp who got right back to me along with a few others to help me find accessible books.

I'm working my way through a dozen books.  I'm learning lots of things about this format for books.  I heard Mary Lee Hahn say once, they are a format and not a genre.  This is not a format I would choose to pick up and read.  My youngest daughter loved Smile but that is the only graphic novel I think we own.  When I was little, I loved the Snoopy cartoon and have some books of Snoopy cartoons I got.  While I'm learning lots about their format, features, and different genres I feel like I'm out of my reading comfort zone.  I feel like I'm going into each book a bit hesitant until I find something that makes me chuckle or comfortable.  Its good to be stretched.  Its good to do something I ask my students to do.  Its good to try.

Thank you Ruth at Ruth Ayers Writes for encouraging us to find daily celebrations in our lives.


  1. While my 3rd grade granddaughter is reading lots of different titles, like Wonder, a few months ago she read El Deafo and loved it. I did get her Smile, too. Good luck with the reading, Mandy. I've enjoyed some for older readers, too, but it is a different way to tell a story.

  2. Good for you Mandy! Graphic novels hooked so many of my intermediate readers. I don't know much about graphic novels for younger readers, but since I have a second grader at my house, I think I need to learn. Keep me posted.

  3. Hi Mandy, Kudos to you for stretching yourself and getting to know books your students love. I now work with some second graders and also feel badly that the books they want to read are a bit beyond their comfort right now.

  4. I must say, the photos on Instagram are interesting looking books. I confess, I am not all that comfortable with graphic texts. My first encounter was with Hugo Cabaret. I didn't like having to slow down and study the picture to understand the story. I bet your students will love the books you've been reading.