Part One, I focused on thinking deeply about how one single word can change everything and inspire action. During Part Two, I made many connections to this fall and how I wanted to develop a structure for inquiry in the classroom. During Part Three, I found myself reflecting to past thoughts and building a bridge between known learning and new learning. Same book, three sections, three different levels of engagement! (This week is hosted by Laura.)
"But it is equally true that our ability to think alone is substantially dependent on our ability to think together. Individual minds are nutured in the conversations-the interactive thinking-of the community. Thinking well together leads to thinking well alone...But by thinking together...the emotional and relational support we provide for each other in the process of thinking together is usually important for the development of individual minds." (page 96)
My classroom community of readers, my virtual community of bloggers, and my reading life all contain communities. In each of these communities, no one reads alone. Each particular community has members and the members within that community rely on each other to experience the joy that reading and conversations can bring. As readers, we are free to choose what we read, but this choice is influenced by book recommendations, book trailers, and book previews. As readers, we can "jot" and have conversations, but no one can control our own experience and thinking while reading a book. As readers, we need guidance. We need to see how everyone's thinking connects back to the same text that we just read, how it connects to other texts and experiences, and we need the care and support of other readers to try anything new or to understand a new perspective.
Think about the way blogging is set up. We give "blogs we follow" along the side...recommendations. We have a "comments" section so we can virtually talk...conversations. We have a "followers" section so we can see who else we can talk with about a blog....blog partners or blog clubs. We have an "about me" section so we can understand the perspective of the writing. I know that my blogging is inter-dependent as well. I anxiously await comments because I feel I have "put it all out there" and want others to connect thinking back with me. Also, without the care and support of other bloggers, I would not have tried blogging or made Twitter a NEXT goal instead of a YET goal. (That was for you Maria and Cathy...I still have three weeks:)
"The first step (for children to appreciate each other as interesting and as a source of learning), is to arrange for children to be interesting to each other. This requires enabling them to bring their interests, experiences, and perspectives to their work." (page 100)
How happy was I to have a whole section on my One Little Word for the year? And...what a powerful statement as we begin to develop our planned opportunism for the fall. My thoughts fly forward to inquiry workshop, appreciating our wonders through wondering wishes, book partners, book clubs, book recommendations and choice in reading. This section also took my thoughts backwards to listening to Chris Tovani in the spring and remembering my notes that I scrambled down.
How does your thinking connect back to the text? What a powerful use of language! But what I realized most is that connecting it back to the text is the key to getting access to information and putting it all in perspective in our world. Every reader will enter into engagement with the text at a different point based on their needs and experiences. By connecting it back to the text through conversation, we are focusing our discussion on the one thing we all share in common...the text. It is those different entry points that will enrich our discussion and provide opportunity for all readers to find or affirm the point that solidifies their thinking.
Thank you to Cyber PD and to the blogging community for helping me to realize that reading experiences matter and that when we share them...it is priceless.