Friday, June 22, 2012

Abandon ship?

It is time to abandon ship, Pirates!  Sometimes you just gotta know when it's time to pack it in.  Heave ho!  Time to roll!

No, I'm not referring to the end of our summer reading, nor am I announcing the end of this blog.  (Whew, right?)  However, it is the end of our week-long vacation by the lake, and we are packing up, getting ready to head back home. We spent the early part of our day sweeping up sand and packing our bags to prepare for our journey back home tomorrow morning.

Along those lines of departure and thoughts of farewell, however, I have discovered that the Boys were also having some abandonment issues this week.  Our trip has been jam-packed, but I've always gently urged them to use their down time to read.  Checking in on them, I found that they had not progressed in their books as much as I would have thought, and so we had a parley (heart to heart).  P.J. finally admitted that, although he was trying hard to read and enjoy his chosen book, it was not keeping his interest.  He was shocked when I suggested that he abandon it.  He said that he was afraid to tell me how he was feeling and thought I'd be mad and make him finish it.  I told him that it is much better to abandon a book that doesn't float your boat than sink with it (and lose motivation to read.)  So throw it overboard!  Avast Ye!  Shocking, right?
Not really.  Thinking about my own reading, I find myself picking and choosing and even abandoning books that don't interest me.  Why plunder through when all it stirs up is muck and bad energy?  Reading should be enjoyable.  So - if what you are reading stinks, then Stop It.  Find something else.  It's OK.  And, as a added bonus, this line of thinking is supported by much smarter people than me.  Reading researchers Fountas & Pinnell, CAFE' authors Boushey & Moser, The Book Whisperer Donalyn Miller, (and more), emphasize that when students are discovering books that are a "good fit" for them, they need to know that abandoning books is a part of that process.  However, as teachers, many times we forget or do not emphasize that important reading skill.  Somehow, during his education, P.J. learned that he HAD to finish, for better or worse, when he started reading a book.  This revelation prompted an "unlearning" lesson today:
With a smiles on our faces, P.J. and I started searching for Something Else.  And he tried Something New.  And read for an hour and a half straight.  Whoo hoo!  Here's to jumping ship!  (Now, the caveat: jump around until you find a book that helps you finish your journey, because it is not ok to sail around endlessly in circles.  Eventually you must reach a destination- and treasure.)

Here are this week's reviews, mateys!

This is P.J. I fully agree with what my mom said that it is ok to abandon a book if you are not enjoying it like I abandoned the book Dead end in Norvelt because it just got boring for me and my mom introduced me to the book H.I.V.E. (Higher Institute of Villainous Education).  So far I really like it. I believe that I was not reading the other book a lot because I was not enjoying it even though I thought I was. I realized today that I should read other books if I am not reading them a lot because that means my subconscious is saying I don't like the book. This book is different, because I now know I like realistic fiction, history, and fantasy (not faerie tales) and sci-fi, and I will use this knowledge to pick books in the future.

Hey wazzup wazzup! Its C.J. here and today I read some more of Mockingjay! So far Katniss, Prim, and everybody else from district 13 is hiding underground from bombings from the capitol. When I left off everybody was running down to hide underground to protect themselves. Then Katniss gets to her room with her mother. When Prim (Katniss's sister) isn't there they realize she went to get her cat. Katniss quickly ran to the doors to block them from closing. Fortunately Prim got back safely. Now I have to go play some minecraft (and yes it does help with math and science :). SEE YA!

So, off we go into the sunset.  Ahoy, mateys!  Until next time...

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