This week we read a couple of more chapters from Penny Kittles, “Book Love.” I have honestly really enjoyed reading through this book over this past semester. It has helped me think through things I have wondered about in the classroom and made me conceptualize things a lot more as well. The whole idea itself of approaching reading in a classroom is difficult and this book has helped me work through some of these events through my head before I am confronted with them in the classroom and caught off guard. Mostly this books just gives suggestions about how to keep kids interested and excited about reading which I found really interesting to read about. Chapter 8 in this book is called, “Nurturing Independent Readers in a Classroom Community.” this chapter starts off discussing an activity that Kittle does in her class which is called, “Big Idea Books.” This activity had several different notebooks that had a certain type of theme on the front. These books are handed down from year to year so they have tons of stories in them. The students have to either continue a story that was written in the book before or create their own in accordance to each theme. I thought this was a really creative idea as it is kind of like collaborative journaling which I am always an advocate for.
The next chapter I would like to discuss from Penny Kittle’s “Book Love” is chapter 9 which is called, “Creating a School Community of Readers.” This chapter gave a lot of helpful hints and tricks to apply inside the classroom to create and maintain a community of readers. In this chapter, we read about Kittle’s experience with trying to gain the importance of reading in her school. Some tips that she gives are to, “provide access to books.” (pp. 143, Kittle) This can be implemented in the classroom with some sacrifices in either the schools budget or most likely the teachers budget. Having adolescents being around different choices and types of books can help them expand their reading horizons and hopefully find a genre that is perfect for them that motivates them to read more. Another tip was to “maintain silence.” (pp. 144, Kittle)This can be really crucial in the classroom as the reading times that we will have in the classroom will require absolutely no use of phones, which is most likely what I will do in my classroom as adolescents already spend too much time on them. Without having the use of music or headphones, students will have to try to keep their attention and that will better happen if everyone understands the importance of silence. This would be a time where they could just debrief and focus in on a book that they are interested in. In all, I really enjoyed reading Kittle this semester and I plan on reading many more of her literary contributions.
Kittle, P. (2013). Book love: Developing depth, stamina, and passion in adolescent readers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.