Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Gifted Readers

I teach gifted kids and you would think most of them are avid and rabid readers. Not the case--some of them don't (or didn't) read at all for pleasure. (I call them the 'math/science' kids). Anyway, several years ago I started developing a class library. Many of my older students have out grown the school library or it wasn't getting the series they wanted fast enough. So I have an "Adopt a Book" drive at the beginning of the year. I also carry a list of all the books with me so I can pick them up cheap at our local library's book sales.

Here is an outcome from our class library I didn't expect but has thrilled me---many of my 'non pleasure' readers (mostly boys) have started reading up a storm. AND it's all about getting the right book in their hands. I guess some parents don't have a clue what's "hot" and even some school librarians don't get the right book to the right kid. So--the point? I don't know, but I know there is a book for every kid--it's just finding a good match.

I want to do something with graphic novels but haven't started that yet.

BTW I started reading Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins to my 6th graders today--they love being read to, too. It's wonderful, I read it over the weekend--but for mature readers. I have other great books I could recommend if you are interested.


Mrs. Hanna said...

Our specialist at Daisy Brook went to a reading conference and brought back this info about graphic novels: The author we heard was Terry Thompson. His book is Adventures in Graphica, Using comics and Graphic Novels to Teach Comprehension, 2-6. His website is Teacher@TerryThompsonOnline.com and he can also be contacted at 713-858-2989. He said email is probably best as it is harder for him to be around his phone with his schedule. A website of graphic novels that he gave us is www.rosenclassroom.com. Their toll free number is 800-237-9932. I am going to call for their catalog.

Hope this is helpful.

Miss A said...

I'd like to see a pic of your library!

You read to your students? Do you do voices? The reason I ask is b/c when I read or talk, their eyes seem to glaze over. Do you have any suggestions for keeping students interested when you read to them?

nbosch said...

I do some things that I think may enhance the reading. First of all everybody buys the book (or I get them from my district inter library loan). We usually read brand new books that NO ONE has read. I make a big deal that they are not to open the book, touch it, sniff it, lick it and so on until we read it together.

We sit in a circle (10-24 kids). I read with a lot of expression and I read really FAST!! I never have the kids read even though some of them are excellent oral readers. I rarely stop to discuss until the end of the day's reading.

When reading literature the key is to get a high interest book with gripping characters and plot and rich vocabulary.

What age do you teach? Do you teach History?

I think the key in History is to bring the stories to life through anecdotes, primary sources, films, technology. BUT I think it'll take a few years to know the stories well enough to tell them without the textbook.

Jane said...

Could you provide some book titles? I have a fifth grader who his in desparate need of new books. She is DYING for something new to read. Just ask her.

She is into Greek/Norse mythology, but will also read the typical middle school drivel, Candy Apple Books, etc. She loved the Percy Jackson books and we have the new one on order. She just read the Wednesday Wars and liked it.

She has a reading lexile in the 1300 range, but she is ten. Makes for some challenges in finding age and skill level appropriate books.


nbosch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nbosch said...

I'm reading Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins to the 6th graders, they LOVE it. Read the reviews before you recommend, it is intense. Very strong female lead. My kids also loved Airborn by Kenneth Oppel (plus two sequels--strong female co-lead). The 4th graders last year LOVED The Mysterious Benedict Society (cast of gifted kids) and begged to read the sequel this year--but it's not as good. Also loved Invention of Hugo Cabret (I've read it about 6 times out loud!!) A friend who teaches gifted kids read The Boy in the Striped Pajamas to her middle sons and recommended it highly--Holocaust theme.

Very advanced girl readers enjoyed Libba Bray's books (3) and The Book Thief of course all have read the Twilight Series and the Barcode Tattoo.

I'd be glad to send you our entire library's booklist to see if it gives you more ideas--email me at nbosch@aol.com if you want it.

Theresa Milstein said...

That's great that you're encouraging them to read, even hunting down books for your students. With the stress on tests and achievement, the simple act of enjoying a book is almost forgotten.

My son loved nonfiction, and rarely read fiction. I recently wrote about it, and I thought you might appreciate the post: