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Reading Reflection 2013-14
Transcript of Reading Reflection 2013-14
I decided to do the challenge at the beginning of 2nd quarter after I realized how many books I actually read. I didn't think it'd be that hard.
I decided if I was going to challenge my students to read 40 books, I'd better do it myself!
Top 2 Books
Well, this is not surprising. I put The Eye of Minds in my top two because I absolutely love James Dashner as an author! I love reading his books and thinking things are one way, but then he always throws a HUGE curveball at the end of the first books in his series that blow your mind. Love it!
I also put Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different in my top two because I really enjoyed reading about his life. It was admirable that his parents promised Steve's birth parents that they'd send him to college, only to have him drop out after a semester. I also enjoyed learning about his personality and how difficult he was. I had no idea he was so moody and got stuck on certain ideas. It's always interesting to read about how people became successful, and this was no exception!
Bottom 2 Books
I put The One and Only Ivan in my bottom two because I did not really enjoy this book. I found it depressing to read about mistreated zoo animals. Beyond that, I found the friendship theme a little too simple for my tastes.
I put Flora and Ulysses in my bottom two because this book did not hold my interest at all. I came pretty close to abandoning it, but decided to finish it because it's such an easy read. Part of why I didn't like this book is because it's geared more towards elementary school kids and I am definitely more interested in YA and teen lit.
Both of these books are Newbery Award books, so it doesn't surprise me that they are in my bottom two.
How I Changed
As of today, I have read books! I am so close to finishing!
I wouldn't say that I've been drastically "changed" as a reader because I was an avid reader before the challenge. I can say I am more open to different genres. If the genre requirements weren't there, I probably wouldn't have read The Ghost of Graylock and I know for sure I wouldn't have read The Haunting of Gabriel Ashe. What a sad world that would be!
I found my author! I read the Maze Runner series a few years ago before it got popular and absolutely loved it! After reading The Eye of Minds this year, I can say I'm hooked!
I became a better writer because of the book reviews. Reading a book that counted as two and having to summarize it in only three sentences forced me to become better at using commas and phrases without ending up with a run-on sentence.
My Reading Journey
Good things about the challenge
The challenge has definitely encouraged me to read more than I would have without it. I find myself having more time and energy to read books during certain units of class, and this point in the school year is generally not one of them. I am rather busy reading five in-class novels with you all and am about to have Andy Rooney rants and essay tests consume my life! However, I feel compelled to finish the challenge, so I am committing to find the time to read three more books!
I have also really enjoyed reading others' book reviews on Kidblog. A few of the books that I read this year were first read and reviewed by students, but they looked good so I read them too! Ways to Live Forever was from Olivia, which led to me reading The Reason I Jump and passing it on to her. I read Gone from Grace's recommendation and thanks to Emma for leaving it in my classroom over spring break!
I found that I actually read eight more books than I have written on my sheet because I read a series of four books that counted as two apiece. I didn't write them on my sheet because they are definitely teen books, not YA.
I have struggled with the Myths/Folktales/Legends category. I don't want to read any more Percy Jackson books, but I'm at a loss for one more book to read that fills that category. I wish there were more free choice books and fewer book requirements in certain categories.
Future Reading Goals
This summer, I definitely plan to read a lot! I really look forward to the time off when I can "catch up" on my list of books to read. It was a challenge for me to read 10,000 pages last summer, so I don't know if I'll set a book or page goal for myself this summer. I will keep track and see how far I get! A lot of books out there are dystopian, which I think I've had enough of, so I will look for other types of books after I catch up on all the other books I want to read.
Next school year, I definitely plan on doing the book challenge along with my students. It was awesome to be able to talk about books with you all this year!