Saturday, May 7, 2011

Tell me what you read and I’ll tell you who you are is true enough, but I’d know you better if you told me what you reread. ~Francois Mauriac

I stumbled across this quote while planning a professional development class on independent reading.  I kept coming back to this quote and rereading it.  I started thinking about my reading life…I can name a list of books that I have read over the past months and I can rattle off a never-ending list of books in my “next book stack”, but books I have reread???? The only two times I can come up with in my own reading life that I reread are professional books/chapters on literacy and when sharing a new picture book with a colleague or students and seeing their reaction to this “new find”.  So…do you know me better now that you know what I reread?  Would we know our students better if we asked them what they reread or encouraged rereading in the classroom?

I started observing my own children.  My third grader constantly rereads so…I finally asked my third grader why.  The answer: I enjoy it! My third grader went on explaining the personality of the character and discussing the structure of the text. As I looked at my kindergartner sprawled out on the floor rereading books, I found that she was celebrating!  Celebrating the understanding of the structure of a story, being able to retell a story from pictures, noticing words she could not read before, and enjoying all the ideas a picture book can bring. So…what about in the classroom and not just in my family room?

In the classroom, our primary goal with rereading is not to just focus on the storyline of one specific book but to provide the opportunity to see more of you in the book.  Rereading brings opportunities for celebration and enjoyment but also for clarification, reflection, and acknowledgement that each time we reread we bring more of ourselves to the book and the reading experience.  Now that I examined my belief on rereading…where is the evidence of it in the classroom?  Could it be as simple as adding a rereading question to a reading interview, making a spot for books that have been reread on reading logs, creating a “reread” basket for the classroom library, modeling rereading during reading workshop mini-lessons or read aloud?  Or can it be just as simple as using language in the classroom that encourages rereading?  Reread this blog.  What do you believe about rereading in the classroom? 

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