Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wonder Wednesday #1...

Another new feature to the blog that I'm calling Wonder Wednesday

It is my intention to either blog about something I'm wondering about or a wonder I have seen or experienced. 

Today was the 11th day of summer school.  To my surprise, I'm enjoying this type of teaching.  The pace is slower, the class size is smaller, and the recess breaks are longer.

During this outside break time, I get to chat with the other teachers who are also teaching summer school.  Some of the "chit-chat" is personal and social related, and of course the rest of it is school and student related. 

My focus has been to give my fourth graders (soon to be fifth graders) lots and lots of time to read and be exposed to books.  We begin our morning with picture books.  They are given a good 20-30 minutes to read and enjoy these books.  They also have a BIG chunk of time to read from books of their choice.  Some of my students are reading graphic novels, some are reading beginning chapter books, and some are tackling longer novels.  Each day I give them more and more time with their books.  They are taking this time and running with it.  It is such a joy to observe!

As I talk with my colleagues during recess about what we are covering during the language arts block, they talk about the skills, worksheets, and assigned books they are teaching.  This just doesn't seem right to me.  They talk about there not being enough time for the kids to have time to read from books of choice. 

I wonder why they think this way? 

I wonder why they don't realize how important it is to give children the time to read?  Especially students that are struggling readers!

I wonder why I don't speak up and share with them the importance of giving our kids great amounts of time to read and be with books?

I wonder why teachers in 2013 are still stuck back in the past about the best ways to reach students and share the love of reading and books with them?

I wonder if I should only be concerned about my "little" world in room 113 and just worry about the students I work with?

As you can see, my summer school teaching (and yearly teaching for that matter) has given me a lot to wonder about...


  1. I like this post. I wonder a lot of the same things. I wonder why teachers don't connect the loss of learning with the lack of reading. If we read more and gave kids more time to just read books, introducing them to slightly harder ones and giving them one-on-one conversations about books and skills, then wouldn't kids do a lot better? I wonder why districts feel the need to use a basal instead of the wonderful books that are out there. I wonder why districts feel the need to dictate the order of what you teach in regards to reading instead of just trusting that the teacher will do a good job teaching each child what they need to learn to improve. I wonder a lot of these things too. Maybe on my blog I will have to start a Wonder Wednesday too. :)

  2. Thanks for your reply. Great wonderings! I think there are many of us out there wondering the SAME things...