Reading with My Head and My Heart

After reading a blog post about the benefits of reading a book a week, I decided to give it a try this school year.  I’ve got shelves full of professional books in my office–imagine how many good ideas are there, waiting to be rediscovered!  I’m starting, though, with a brand new book:

Disrupting ThinkingDisrupting Thinking: Why How We Read Matters by Kylene Beers and Bob Probst

It only makes sense to follow the authors’ suggestion to reflect on my reading by thinking about what is

In the Book

  • To get the readers we want–responsible, responsive, and compassionate readers–we must make some changes in our practice.
  • I like the authors’ friendly, conversational tone. I’ve seen both authors numerous times and follow them on Twitter; the book made me feel like I was having a professional conversation with old friends.
  • I like the way they have asked us to reflect on the things we do and the reasons we do them–especially in Chapter 10 when they ask us to think about instructional and procedural practices we remember from when we were students that are still in practice today.



In my Head–

  • Their discussion of whole class novels in Chapter 14 stands out as significant to me. I was surprised by the citation from 1927 that “intensive study of a novel does result in more negative attitudes toward reading.”  If we’ve known it that long, why do we continue to do it?

In my Heart–

  • This reaffirms my belief in teaching kids to read for reading’s sake. I am going to become more of a cheerleader and less of a teacher when I talk to kids about books. Go Books!
  • I’m also going to become more of an advocate for student choice among my English teacher colleagues. Too many English teachers are still teaching whole-class novels because that’s how they read in high school.
  • Finally, this was the perfect book to kick off this year-long challenge: “Reading ought to lead us to thinking that…sets us on a path to change, if not the world, then at least ourselves” (161).


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