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Friday, October 23, 2015

Reading is a Magnet: The Lightning Thief Adventure Begins

Yesterday I had the privilege of choosing a book for a small group of readers that I work with a couple of times a week. I had met with the students a couple of times already and had a good idea of their reading interest and needs. I chose The Lightning Thief, and happily the students were very excited about the book and none of them had read it.

We started by talking about how important the first chapter in a book is because the first chapter introduces the main characters, problem, and setting. I mentioned that it's important to take that first chapter slowly so you don't miss any of that important information. Then I offered to read the first chapter. As I read, I noticed that all the independent readers around our group started listening. I could see their heads reach back and their ears perk up.

Then as I continued to read, those independent readers started pushing their chairs back towards the table and eventually turned and joined our group. By the end of the chapter rather than the small group of three, we had a larger group of about ten listeners who confided that they either had read the book and loved it or had always wanted to read the book. My small group was delighted to see the interest in "their book." I was also delighted because as the math teacher I had not read aloud in a while and it was such a pleasure to read such a wonderful book to children.

One or two of those listeners may join our group because I could tell they weren't sticking to their independent reading. As for the others, I imagine some will choose to reread or read the book for the first time on their own. And for my small targeted group, we're ready to dig into this wonderful Percy Jackson adventure with a mix of teacher read aloud, student read aloud, read on our own, writing, and discussion--it's an adventure I welcome.