I have a confession to make: I almost didn’t buy this book.
I kept thinking that it’s just about making charts, so what is the big deal? However, since many people I know and respect were talking about it, I caved in (after making several other book purchases) and decided to buy it. I’m glad I did because DIY Literacy is not just about making charts, although that is part of it. DIY Literacy is about teachers and kids co-creating tools that demystify and facilitate learning.
Maggie Beattie Roberts and Kate Roberts carefully crafted book provides teachers with a variety of practical tools to take control of their teaching. And, in theory, these tools will allow students to be more self-directed in their learning.
As I was reading, I felt a tinge of recognition, and
Mosaic of Thought by Ellin Oliver Keene and Susan Zimmerman came to mind immediately! Although they were written years apart both books discuss the importance of knowing ourselves as readers in order to become better teachers of reading.
Of the three chapters I’ve read so far, I thought the bonus chapter would be my least favorite, but I was wrong! I love the way the authors help us break down some very “in your head” processes into a few simple, but powerful steps. I like that it’s not about following a recipe, but about revealing our thinking process as we read. Slowing down our reading long enough to think about what we’re doing, allows us to do a better job teaching our students.
How do I think about characters, theme, and setting? How do I make up my mind about what is happening and why in a story? What words trigger particular feelings or thoughts as I read? I don’t need a scripted lesson or guide book to tell me what to do. I simply need to think about what I do when I’m reading and share this with my students. Then, I can help them go through this same process so they can uncover their own thinking.
I look forward to blogging more as I continue to read this book.
Have you read DIY Literacy, yet? What are your thoughts about this book? Share in the comments section below.