Thursday, October 19, 2017

Read and Write like a Pirate

I encourage students to read like Barbary pirates; looking for treasure in every sentence and passage, high adventure in every chapter, and treat all vocabulary words like Spanish doubloons. Students must attack and analyze "pillage" as they read, leaving nothing behind, taking no prisoners. 

Reading for many of our students is a passive activity or worse they are just fake reading. Dead readers tell no tales and give no answers! Hold fast! How do we keep the reading ship sailing in the iPhone age (especially the first few weeks of school)? This means each crew member must be knowing the ropes mate (Be highly trained and informed about reading and writing strategies, and task), to survive the illiteracy storm. Pirate teachers must inspire, they must at times point the cannons at their own rules, sinking the ship to put a fire in the bellies of their reading buccaneers. All exceptional reading teachers break the rules. like 5th grade teacher Rafe Esquith and The Hobart Shakespeareans, teaching Shakespeare to 11-12 year old kids! What a madman or genius. Creating desire and passion comes from the teachers’ example, but students must hunt for the deeper meaning of the literary journey by attacking,analyzing, and savoring each discovery. Students discover that treasure found with great effort is more precious than swag easily given over. Students who parley or surrender when they read will be defeated and captured. Don’t let students wait to be motivated by a book; shoot the cannons at the deck; hit them with great demanding literature and force them to seek the treasure therein. Teach students to use the questions devised by brilliant detectives like Holmes, Watson, and Drew: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? 'Why' takes the most time to discern and the deepest understanding, but such questions probe the highest levels of reading and writing. These qualities can easily be explored in the greatest literature by the most enlightened authors. Teach students to dive into every story, book, or poem with curiosity, anticipation, generosity, and open-mindedness. Never decide in advance that a book is boring, or student attention reading is a waste of time, or you will negate the possibility of a wonderful and new experience. Books come in a million flavors. Students will not like every story they read. Yet, they must be taught to be willing to bring a curiosity and limitless desire to the actual learning. Encourage students to let their minds actively anticipate in the wonderment, magic, miracles, and beauty that authors create. Students 'hear,' but are they truly 'listening.' Not listening is the most horrendous deficit most students exhibit, and this deficit insures defeated readers. Students must learn how to defeat this jabberwocky (unyielding intimidating dragon; Alice in Wonderland) very quickly and learn self-monitoring. When drifts, strays or fades, they must read and reread passages to gain meaning. 

Reading thoroughly and rereading for enhanced, deeper understanding trains the mind's focus. Students must read actively. This can't be stressed strongly enough. If you skate through a museum you won't see the art. Creating active listeners takes repeated practice through dictation and recitation. The fastest and easiest way to teach active listening is to turn on a popular song and ask the class to write down the lyrics to the song Creating Passion “Ganas” Reading Strategies "Focus"

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