I truly enjoyed blogging about children’s literature and the genre books that I was not familiar with or would ever read if given the choice. Although time consuming, reading the books and blogging about them was thought provoking, interesting, intellectually stimulating, and definitely different than what I have ever done in any of my previous classes. The books I have read included many different features. Some of the books included more illustrations than others, some required more real-life connections than others, but overall, they had underlying messages that were great for students to learn, understand, and reflect upon.
I feel that the historical fiction and science fiction books were similar in length for the different age groups, they both had messages for students to learn at the end of the books, all of the books had a happy ending, and both genres contain adventure and mystery.
I believe that all genres should be explored because they can be great reads and like it did for me, it can change your opinion on how fun they were to read. The characters, in both historical fiction and science fiction were dynamic, brave, courageous, likeable, and interesting. The authors can take you on journeys that you have never been on before.
The questions I now have are how come I have never given these books a chance? What other lessons can I make out of these books? Can I use them for a unit plan? Are there any field trips to enhance the discussions that can arise from reading these books?
I think that communicating about the books online to a partner was enjoyable, yet I hope helpful and informative. I think giving a synopsis, a review, and possible examples of questions and lesson plans was beneficial and can be essential if we were to ever have the opportunity to implement it and seeing whether it worked well or should be modified.
In terms of teaching reading, I think it is important to stop every two pages, or stop when a word that may be difficult arises, or where they could make predictions, and ask questions such as what is happening, why it is, do we agree, disagree, why or why not, etc. The students can put themselves in their shoes, stop it look at the illustrations and explain what is happening, and for them to be given opportunities to make connections.
The fact that we had to explain how the books were labeled and considered that specific genre helped allow my partner to connect to the story. The genre’s features and characters were described from the book as well as examples from the text.
Reading outside my comfort zone was eye-opening and rewarding. I was able to truly enjoy two genres I wouldn’t normally read and ones I didn’t know much about. I had many misconceptions that I am glad I was able to explore. I though science fiction would be too fake and far-fetched from reality to be fun and interesting. I found that the stories had real-life characters that the reader could relate to and it took the reader on fun adventures with the joy of scientific wonders and terminology.
Historical fiction surprised me and my previous opinion changed because the stories I read brought out the real issues that were faced in history that transpired into a happy, fun, adventure of discovery and learning. Students can not only read about an interesting story, but also learn about the past and how things have changed. Historical fiction is wonderful for activities students can take part in.
I was able to communicate with my partner by switching books accordingly. We both posted information about our genre, reflected on them, and gave our opinion about them. We commented each other’s posts and added links, videos, and pictures. My partner gave helpful information and suggestions about the books that I didn’t think about, and other times we agreed what may be best for students to learn. We emailed back and forth when we had a question and responded in a timely fashion. I think working with a partner helped view things you may have missed. I am also grateful I had a great partner who was as committed to the readings and responses as I was. If this was not the case, I’m sure my experience would not have been as great.
I was introduced into the world of blogging. I am obsessed with Pinterest but have never created o blog of my own. I chose WordPress because I liked the style, the format, and the organization of it. I was able to follow other classmates also using WordPress for their blogs and enjoyed reading, commenting, and liking their posts.
I separated my questions and thoughts in paragraphs so it was easier to read and see the separation of where my last thought ended and my new thought began. I posted pictures of the book covers to give visual representation and inserted links to other lessons, websites, and articles that gave insight into additional information about the books and information worth noting, as well as book reviews.
My partner Diana used a different blog site and it was formatted quite different. I was able to maneuver my way around the site and she even included music! She included videos and helpful links to other websites that gave valid information. Her comments were shown on one page. In my blog, you had to click on the comments for them to be seen.
I liked blogging although I think it would be easier if everyone used the same website to blog. Their new posts would then be in your feed, and can be viewed and commented easier.
This experience will impact my teaching of children’s literature by giving me strategies to use when reading aloud to students, how to dissect literature, critique it, ask open-ended questions, encourage students to find hidden and underlying messages, discuss their opinion and views on the readings, make predictions, etc. My partner and I explained many ways that reading could transfer into writing stories, drawing illustrations, creating works of art, etc. It is always import to strike up rich conversations and allow the students to explore different aspects the book may touch upon. Reading can build vocabulary and reading comprehension when a word seems too difficult and we have to find the meaning, students can explore characters and be encouraged to make connections throughout the book.