Reading Choices

Some of us have had a lot of success this spring working with student generated texts, thanks to Michele. Having kids generate written texts is but a natural extension of having kids make verbal suggestions during stories. If verbal suggestions in stories work to personalize our instruction, then if follows that their written material can do the same for a class of CI.
One might be able to even say that there is a continuum of input that naturally ends up as output. If a child experiences a story, and then reads that story in class the next day (both of those are input activities), then it stands to reason that the next step, writing, will be much easier for the child, because of all the input that preceded it. Basing writing (output) on known information (input) makes writing a lot easier for the kids.
So, the time required by us at the end of a day of stories to write a reading for the next day – tying the reading to the story instead of something else like a novel – is worth the effort. Reading from books that were not written by the kids is o.k., but is not as good as reading and discussing texts that they are more invested in. 
I try to remember that when I write up stories into readings for the next day classes, I am also preparing the kids’ base of vocabulary for writing in a way that is possibly easier for them, because of the uniform and known established vocabulary from the story and the reading that was purposely connected to it.



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