Sunday, July 20, 2014

Wild Reading, #CyberPD part 2

Thanks to Laura Komos for hosting part 2 of #cyberpd2014 at her blog Ruminate and Invigorate this week.

Response to Chapter 3 and 4- Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller
Confession:  I have been wanting to finish reading Reading in the Wild for a number of weeks.  I am making the claim that although I hungered to read the book as soon as I purchased it, my life just keeps throwing curve ball after curve ball and I don't seem to have the right bats to hit them with lately...that said, I am now finishing up reading the book as we celebrate the Cyber PD event.

Reaction and Reflection:  I read the book with such enthusiasm and excitement pumping through me and kept thinking about my own wild reading habits.  I thought about the ebb and flow of my reading life.  I feel a strong sense of growth on nutritious professional reads, picture books, tweets and blogs.  The area of nutritional deficiency for me is the YA fiction for grades 3 and up.  It seems like I start these books but I can't commit to finishing them and so I want to get stronger in this area.

Connection:  There were many strong points to be savored and shared as I reflect on my own reading habits.  Here are some of my favorites:

  • Cultivate growth for our wild readers by building relationships and a strong community that supports social and emotional safety for students.  This made me think of the book Mrs Spitzer's Garden, cultivating reading habits based on individual needs that last beyond the school year with students.

  • Broaden the wild reading habits with parents and other community stakeholders about the importance of creating lifelong readers.  I like the idea of having "I'm currently reading..." signs outside each classroom door.  I also like the idea of a graffiti wall of favorite quotes from books as a sales pitch for a next read.  Both of these ideas spark interest in the community for reading to continue. 
I made this graffiti wall via padlet
And Padlet automatically creates a QR code for easy scan access for students to get to it and also includes multiple additional ways to share it with others via social media.

  • Confer to build relationships with wild readers and determine the next steps needed in continuing to cultivate their growth.  Start the process all over again once everyone has met..and find a record keeping system that works to track conversations with wild readers all year long.
  • Connect with people or places that continue to influence growing my wild reading habits (some of these include Tweet chats, Pinterest, and friends).  Use blog posts, tweets, and pins to plan and track ideas for future books to read.  I also try to share my a favorite read aloud each time I open a p.d. session with teachers...
  • Set reading goals and reflect on the progress in reaching them. Encourage wild readers to develop their own reading plans-no plans are needed when someone else does the planning for you...So true Donalyn!  Also, look for ways to add challenge.  An additional key idea that I found important was setting goals for the calendar year rather than the semester-carrying our plans across summer rather than ending with the school year could cultivate wild reading habits all year.
 After reading through chapter 4, I really feel like there is so much more that could be done to cultivate wild reading.  Thank you, Donalyn, for being such an igniter of the flame to inspire all of us to do better.  We can do this.  I plan to share this book and my plans with as many teachers as possible.


  1. Amy, I do not know Mrs. Spitzer's Garden, but I'm certainly curious. I am always game for a good book that will help us jump into important literacy conversations, practices, routines. Also-what a gift that you share a favorite read aloud at the start of your PD sessions. I am hopeful that my new administrator will be interested in small things that could make a difference in terms of shaping our professional team as a community of readers. I think that would be a place to start in order for more genuine reading lives to trickle down to the students. Glad #cyberPD is giving you a reason to get to the book you awaited so long!

  2. Amy.
    I loved the connections you made with Reading in the Wild and your own reading experiences. I have never read Mrs. Spitzer's Garden, but I plan to add it to my read aloud list. I also think it is important to build relationships and a strong community throughout the year. Your graffiti wall Padlet is a great idea for capturing favorite quotes. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Wild Reading and all the great ideas.

  3. Amy,
    I appreciated your reflection and discussion about connectedness in reading. You've provided many smart ways to connect readers across our community. I really like your idea for a virtual graffiti wall to share quotes on Padlet. I am always struggling with a place to keep the quotes I've loved from so many books. Maybe Padlet is the place? Hmmmm….

    I'm glad you have been able to join the conversation. I know life has been busy for you.



I love hearing from you! Please add your comments and let's have a conversation!