Are We Reading This Book Again?
Monday October 01st 2012, 3:01 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Recently, my staff has had many discussions about the books we are reading in our classrooms.  Books our students read on their own, books we use for shared readings, and books we read aloud to our students.  As we have adopted the Common Core, we are paying more attention to book choices we make and help our students make as well.  We are working towards making sure the books we choose to read are complex texts that help prepare our students for college and career readiness.  A text’s complexity is evaluated by looking at aspects such as structure, language, and background knowledge demands.  It also takes into consideration who will be reading the text. 

One of our conversations led to the fact that multiple teachers are reading some of the same books to their students in different grade levels and find that they are complex texts for both.  For example, some students hear the book Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White read to them aloud in first grade and then read it themselves in fourth grade.  While initially some teachers were apprehensive about the idea of multiple readings of the same text in different grades, many teachers discussed the idea that students would be learning different things from reading Charlotte’s Web in first and fourth grade.  The focus and purpose for reading the books would most likely be different.  Hearing or reading a text more than once should be something that students do often, whether it is in the same grade level or different grade levels.  I believe multiple readings of the same text benefits students and helps them grow as readers. 

I enjoy reading books more than once.  In my own experience, each time I reread a book I have previously read, I catch new things that I didn’t pay attention to before, better understand the author’s intentions, and my comprehension about the subject increases.  As first graders, I ask students in my class read books more than once to help increase their fluency rate and comprehension.  While some students would prefer to run straight back to the library for a new book as soon as they finish once, I find that my students are able to discuss the book with more detail and read it smoothly after the second time.  This usually ends up with my students enjoying the books they choose more and they can’t wait to have a reading conference with me to show how smoothly they can read or tell me all about what they understood.

So while the converstations about reading books multiple times continues with my staff, I would love to hear some other opinions on this topic.  How do you get students to reread books?  What effect do you see rereading texts has on your students?  Should certain texts only be used in certain grade levels?

3 Comments so far

I think it is important to have students to reread books more than once, because like you said you catch a lot of information that you did not catch the first time reading the book. I also believe that it helps to build the fluency of the students when they read a book more than once.
Discussing the issues with reading the same read aloud twice in different grades I think is fine, because the teacher is hopefully teaching different concepts and skills in first than if they were reading the book again in fourth grade. I feel that as a teacher that is your right to read a book in your grade level. But this is an issue that we discuss in our school as well.

   jaymea on 10.14.12 @ 5:45 pm    Reply

Greatchen, I like your thoughts about re-reading and the importance of it. I am one of those teachers who sees the benefit of re-reading because of the continued increase of comprehension and application of new skills. However, it is harder in the upper grades. Students don’t read that many books over the year, so if they spent time re-reading their books, they wouldn’t be exposed to the variety of texts that I would like them to be. Also, I have found that some of my students really benefit from re-reading and others hate it. I am one who doesn’t like it because I already know how the story ends, so I understand where they are coming from. My students who re-read but don’t like it don’t read it the second time as carefully because they feel they already know the story. So, I just think it has to be a careful balance. It is a very important skill to learn (re-read and find it in the text) but this can often be achieved using smaller texts for students who struggle with the desire to take re-reading seriously.

   andersem on 10.14.12 @ 11:57 pm    Reply

I think re-reading is an essential part of the reading process. At all, re-reading helps with fluency and comprehension. I have my students keep the same books for a week because I want them to really understand what they are reading.

Here is an example of what I have my readers do: Day 1 – I have the students read the books to themselves
Day 2 – Read to Someone(they read the book only),

Day 3 – Re-read the book or books to themselves or the teacher
Day 4 – Read to Someone by taking turns reading each page
Day 5 – they read the books to their book buddy (3rd graders) Then their book buddy reads to them a book they have brought to the class.

(The days vary from student to student.)

My Kindergarten students seem to really enjoy re-reading their books.

   wilkes1 on 10.20.12 @ 1:48 pm    Reply

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