Cris Tovani writes I Read It, But I Don't Get It in this kind of patient adventure tone so that you feel like you're in Ms. Fritz's class, riding on the Magic School Bus. Her students who struggled to read were put into her Reading Workshop and felt things like, "It's too late for me to read" and I love how personal and professional Cris Tovani is, like how real she is when she describes her own reading history of fake-reading for classes up to the end of high school and feeling worried that she couldn't continue with this touching-the-surface style in college (YES, ME TOO, OMG re: Shakespeare) and then connecting/relating to her students with this information. But Cris Tovani is like, "no, you adjust to the level of difficulty in the text: slow down when it's hard, speed up when it's easy" and some things she writes seem like they should be "obvious" but I'm glad to see it stated so explicitly, such as: + book clubs & classes & just discussion: creating meaning together, making sense of the text together + tracking your confusion and distraction (lol: I enjoyed the parts where Cris or the students admit that their mind just wanders off, like the girl who read the word party and started thinking of the party she went to the night before) + two reading voices: the one that pronounces the words, the one that responds with thoughts & feelings & questions + asking clarification & pondering questions before, during, after your reading + lol @ outlandish student responses to text with no evidence and responding that it's their opinion, so it's untouchable re: its in/accuracy.
On practically every page I had a face-palm moment, realizing about my students, "oh, THAT's what they're doing." I knew nothing about teaching reading, but now I have some ideas and a bit of insight. Even when they know all the words, they can't make meaning out of them. And they're not just questions about reading comprehension. I get the feeling they're about comprehension in general; in other words, some of this material is about teaching critical thinking and intentional learning. but often don't do well with tasks that require them to use the words they read... These readers feel powerless because the only strategy they have for gaining meaning is sounding out words." (p. 15) "...he expects meaning to arrive immediately after he reads the words. 18) Why they can't make meaning: "Don't have the comprehension strategies, Don't have sufficient background knowledge, Don't recognize organizational patterns, Lack purpose." (p. 19) Learning to find the purpose of the reading, from different points of view (an exercise) (p. 71) If students are making connections just to finish the assignment, and not to improve their understanding of the reading (p.
I read the cover, look for the name of the Author, find the year it was published, skim through and see if there are any pictures, I always start out good. I start to skip lines, and sometimes I read the first paragraph of a chapter and then skip to the end. Often times when I'm reading a book, different things pops up in my head. Especially if I find a word that makes me think about him, it takes away my focus on the book. When I'm reading and I'm looking at a word that I'm familiar with, it makes me think of something else, and I don't even comprehend. I'm a sophomore now and I know it's not good to have the issue while I am reading a book. The reason why I am writing this essay is to get interested in reading a book. So I can add the reading skills to my head , and connect them to my speaking and writing skills.
All of the strategies she discussed were things that I have been doing with my students for years.
Cris Tovani reminds me that reading is so much more than decoding and pronouncing words - it's a complex process between the reader and what he or she is reading.
After all, don't we all become struggling readers when we read a topic we are unfamiliar with?
Have you ever watched someone speak in English to a person who appears to understand no English?