Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Building Stamina

Reading Workshop in first grade was noisy. First graders read aloud, alot. They aren't talking but they are "whisper" reading for about 20 minutes. It's hard to confer, it's hard to maintain focus for some students, but we got through it. This year I have noticed that most of my kiddos are drifting off and really valuing this precious time that I give them. At first they chatter while getting their books, they find their spot, and then the room falls silent. They are growing as readers.
Today we discussed our stamina. I used myself as a runner to model this new word for them. I talked about how I used to just walk the dog, then I started walking faster, and then I started running. I kept mentioning that all that time I was building stamina. Readers build stamina when they dive under with great books (this is an analogy we came up with when we talk about how readers dive into books. Like a SCUBA diver, they don't experience the above water world, only what is going on under the water, their in their own little world). We discussed that when they go to their reading spot that they need to have enough books to maintain their stamina.
When they marched off excited to read a pin could have dropped in that room.
I pulled up to a person who was reading just a simple Dr. Seuss book, I asked, "Why did you choose this book?"
"I'm working on my fluency, Mrs. Amick! I'm going to practice with this book (the Dr. Seuss book) and then I'm going to really dive under with this one!"
In one reflective moment I realized how much they have grown as readers. Not only do they value this time, they have built stamina, but they also know what they need to read to build themselves up as readers.


Zsofi said...

Hi Sarah,
What is the best way to contact you?
Zsofi McMullin
Stenhouse Publishers

Cathy said...

Yay!!! How wonderful! I love it when you get these kind of conversations!

Sarah Amick said...

My email address is ssamickz@verizon.net
If you email me I can relay my phone number.
Sarah Amick

Zsofi said...

Hello again,
Sorry, but my message keeps bouncing back from that address. Could you e-mail me at zmcmullin@stenhouse.com