Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Monday, April 23, 2012


Knowing the importance of reading, having a personal passion for it, and studying it in class just makes me smile to look at these pictures from a few months ago.  Pictures of my kids doing what they do best: being weird.

Adam's requirement from school is 15 minutes per day of reading.  We've finally established the ideal system where he reads after we've put everyone to bed.  But before finding that ideal moment of focus, we'd tried reading right after dinner.  

Usually he reads from chapter books, but sometimes he really just wants to read to Dylan.  

Dylan is usually less than willing to be the audience.

But somehow, donning Adam's backpack and heading out to the garage ("Why the garage," you ask?  I have no idea...), he managed to sit and listen to Adam read for at least 7 or 8 minutes.

Then Adam patiently allowed Dylan his own turn at reading.

And then it was all downhill from there.  Adam figured out that if he read in a silly voice, so would Dylan.  Sneaking a video from a cracked door, I captured what got logged as reading minutes but could more accurately be described as mayhem.

Speaking of mayhem... Reading 530.  That's my current class.  And I think the 530 refers to the number of hours I'll be spending on homework during this course.

This time around, I have one of those "expect not to get full credit on every assignment" teachers.  

Challenge accepted.

I've securely attached my "innocent until proven guilty" chip to my shoulder and determinedly set out to force him to give higher grades than he's used to giving.  
I do love a good challenge.

I also love having a present focus on reading.  Nearing the end reading aloud Hatchet to the kids, I'm finding our in-class discussions about readability particularly relevant.  But I'm not sure I agree with the methods.

In Fry's readability, you choose a 100 word passage and count both the number of sentences and the number of syllables.  Plotting that on a special graph gives an output of appropriate grade level.  But there's no accounting for subject matter.  In the case of more informational science texts, there's no accounting for the fact that science just has big words.  So, the jury is out on the usefulness of the readability graphs.

We've also been discussing our favorite children's books, a topic I could gush about forever.  But in teaching us about children's literature, it seems our teacher intends to read aloud to us during a portion of class.  I never had the attention span for that as a child, and I certainly don't have it as an adult.  I'm not a books-on-tape kind of girl; just give me the book, and I'll read it, thank you very much.

I'm going to go to the store to get some silly putty.  I used to bring some to my undergrad classes so my hands had something to do when I was forced to listen.  It seems that may be necessary if I don't want to keep getting in trouble in this class like I did in my last class.

Or maybe I should just adopt Dylan's hand-over-mouth technique.


Evette Mendisabal said...

I've NEVER heard Dylan make so much noise!!!! That is one cute video.
As for reading, well, I'm a huge fan, and being an ex reading specialist I have my own opinions of reading tests sand their accuracy.

Matt Adams said...

Gary Paulsen was one of my favorite authors in elementary school. Silly Putty? I love it! Maybe I'll try that next General Conference.