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#1 of 19 Old 10-24-2012, 03:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, duh! Of course would say they are--I'm an English teacher! But, my very bright 2nd grader has decided she's not interested in them any more. She's been tested, and her strengths definitely are in that area, but her interests are more in science, animals, and making things. Her teacher is sending her home with 15 minutes of nightly reading, and I asked if she'd like me to ask her teacher if a chapter book is OK, rather than the books that the teacher is sending home. DD said, no, she'd rather read books she can read in one sitting. 

 

To put this in ability context, she did an assisted reading of Harry Potter this summer--we read the first few chapters together, then she read the remaining ones on her own in the matter of a few days. She was tested this past summer with the Woodcock Johnson III, at age just-turned-7, her broad reading grade equivalent was fifth grade. She easily reads chapter books for her grade level (Junie B Jones, Ivy & Bean, etc.) in less than an hour.

 

I'm just wondering if I should let it lie, or if I can be doing something to encourage a love of reading. I've always loved to read--no one had to encourage me--so I don't know how to do this with her. I get so many really good readers in my class who hate to read, and I don't want her to follow that path!


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#2 of 19 Old 10-24-2012, 04:07 AM
 
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I wonder if she would prefer non-fiction?

 

My daughter had pretty much the same interests, but she HATED reading fiction. We did a lot of chapter books on tape during road-trips (6hr drive from their Dad's once a month). The rest of the time? We looked for non-fiction. Bios, animal encyclopedias, etc. My Mom still had all of our Landmark books from when we were kids, and those were very useful. As she got a bit older, she chose ore adult books/topics (i.e. The Nuremburg Trials, etc.).

 

I wouldn't sweat her not liking chapter books, per se.
 

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#3 of 19 Old 10-24-2012, 06:41 AM
 
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The best way to foster a love of reading is to let her take control.  As long as she's reading, give her the freedom to choose what she wants.  Clearly she's learning just fine, right?  No need to push anything.

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#4 of 19 Old 10-24-2012, 06:53 AM
 
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I think they're important to a certain degree, but there are a LOT of interesting, high-level picture books out there. The options for young advanced readers aren't great; the content can become "boring" or inappropriate to them. Ask me about my mom's reaction when she walked in on me reading one of her bodice-ripper "romance" novels when I was 7. Hey, it was probably at my reading level... whistling.gif Some kids fix this by reading things that are inappropriate or boring (I would literally read the Kleenex boxes in the bathroom if I forgot to bring a book in with me), some fix it by not reading unless it's interesting.

 

I don't think there's anything wrong with reading novels/chapter books together (maybe transitioning into her finishing them on her own, like she did with HP1, once she's invested and interested), and letting her read picture books on her own. Love of reading is love of reading, you know?

 

So yeah, look for more advanced picture books. There are some doozies out there... some with junior high-level vocab and sentence structure, though of course I can't come up with any off the top of my head. Non-fiction is a good suggestion, too.


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#5 of 19 Old 10-24-2012, 07:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Geofizz View Post

The best way to foster a love of reading is to let her take control.  As long as she's reading, give her the freedom to choose what she wants.  Clearly she's learning just fine, right?  No need to push anything.

 

 

I agree 100%.

 

But I'll add that reading a chapter of an excellent book out loud every night out loud as a family (or just as mother and child) is one of my parenting tricks. First, its a lovely way to spend time together. Second, a child listening to their parent read a wonderful book it fosters a love of the written word that no amount of reading to ones self can. Third, it allows the child to naturally develop other skills necessary to enjoy longer works, such as the ability to picture the story in their head. 

 

Pick wonderful books, and read them to your child. One chapter at a time. Eventually, they get bored with that and finish the thing on their own because they want to find out what happens.

 

But keep it mellow -- don't force them to read out loud if they don't want to, don't turn this into a chore. Take the scenic route, and just enjoy the books with your child.

 

My kids are 14 and 16 and we still read a chapter of a book out loud most evenings.


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#6 of 19 Old 10-24-2012, 07:54 AM
 
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As an English teacher, I'm sure you know that most picture books are actually written at higher levels than those Junie B type of chapter books. They are meant for adults to read to children and so the vocab and sentence structure can be more complex. The stories can be quite rich, good for discussion, clever and fun! Non-fiction reading is valuable too. Both my kids went through stages where they read little fiction but tons of non-fiction. It didn't seem to hurt them in the long-run. Honestly, I wouldn't stress about it. She's in 2nd grade and she's reading very well. Let her read what she likes. She will eventually take interest in non-fiction again. 

 

Personally, I LOVE picture books. My kids do to. We have a huge collection. Every couple years, we try to pair down but even at 12 and 15, all I hear is "NO, NOT THAT ONE!"


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#7 of 19 Old 10-24-2012, 09:02 AM
 
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Yep, I agree with letting her read what she likes. For a lot of people that's non-fiction. There's a line in Helene Hanff's 83 Charing Cross Road where she says she could never get enthusiastic about made-up stories and things that never really happened. Real life experiences and history were so much more interesting to her. I think there are a lot of like-minded readers out there. 

 

For fiction, you may also want to look for short story anthologies, old schoolbook readers, and that sort of thing. With the usual caveat about scanning for offensive content when you've got older published materials. The short story is an art form of its own. When I was a kid, I loved reading the British anthologies, eg. Girls' Own etc. It's too bad they don't seem to be published as much anymore. With the market emphasis on the 600 and 800 page doorstoppers like Harry Potter the short story seems to be dying out, at least for junior readers.  Alice Munro seems to be doing okay. 

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#8 of 19 Old 10-24-2012, 09:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post
 The short story is an art form of its own. When I was a kid, I loved reading the British anthologies, eg. Girls' Own etc. It's too bad they don't seem to be published as much anymore. With the market emphasis on the 600 and 800 page doorstoppers like Harry Potter the short story seems to be dying out, at least for junior readers.  Alice Munro seems to be doing okay. 

 

It's interesting -- both my teens are avid readers, but this is the first year that either has been interested in short stories. I credit the Science Fiction Literature teacher at their school winky.gif

 

I think short stories can be harder in some ways to read for all the same reasons that books in a series are popular with new readers. There's a certain amount of effort at the beginning of any new book (or story) and its easier to put in that effort if you already know you will like it. You start reading it because you already care about the characters. With short stories (or even books not in a series) you have to push yourself a bit to get into it. Honestly, I still struggle with this and that's why I'm in a book club!

 

Pictures books (even ones written at a high level) usually visuals  to draw you in.

 

For my kids at home, I've used reading to them to draw them in.


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#9 of 19 Old 10-24-2012, 09:30 AM
 
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There just isn't the same reading / sharing culture around short stories, and they're much harder to market, so there isn't that much fodder available. 

 

The Junior Great Books Roundtable anthologies used for the upper-grades have some good stuff in them. Example. These have been well-vetted for mature subject matter.

 

Jane Yolen has written some great short fiction (Twelve Impossible Things Before Breakfast, for example). Gary Paulson (Shelf Life) and Neil Gaiman (Stories -- some more for mature audiences) have anthologies of short stories that have been published in recent years.

 

Sometimes you can find those old Readers Digest anthologies of abridged stories in thrift stores. We have a few. 

 

And graphic novels have really taken a more prominent place in publishing. Graphic novels with actual literary merit. Perhaps they're appealing to some of the same audience that would previously have enjoyed short stories. 

 

I love short stories. As an aside, I've become addicted to The Moth podcast, which is live true story-telling. Not necessarily for younger listeners, but many of the stories, and the tellings, are brilliant.

 

Miranda


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#10 of 19 Old 10-24-2012, 09:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

 

I think short stories can be harder in some ways to read for all the same reasons that books in a series are popular with new readers. There's a certain amount of effort at the beginning of any new book (or story) and its easier to put in that effort if you already know you will like it. You start reading it because you already care about the characters. With short stories (or even books not in a series) you have to push yourself a bit to get into it. Honestly, I still struggle with this and that's why I'm in a book club!

 

 

 

That's a good point and an Interesting view. I was focused on the OP's statement that her DD would rather read books she can read in one sitting.

 

Short stories seemed to fit, but you are correct, she refers to series books like Junie B. It's possible that the girl loves reading but is working on gaining reading fluency and series books fit that need right now. Even if she tests as a proficient reader, she may still be developing her skills. 

 

It could also just be a matter of personal taste. I think there has been a real bias in the past few years to getting very young children to read lengthy chapter books. Parents worry if their kid hasn't read Harry Potter by the time they are 8 y.o., nevermind that it wasn't written for 8 y.o's. Personally, I've realized that I often lose patience when I read about long quests. I still haven't finished LOTR even though last year I swore I would finally conquer it. That middle book when they are just walking (walking, walking, for heaven's sake more walking) does me in every time. It feels like my own death march. The Neverending Story was like that for me too - yikes, the author was serious when he called it neverending, it sure felt that way. I recognize all the elements that make these books well-loved classics, but they aren't appealing to me personally. Maybe the OP's DD feels the same way about some of the longer chapter books right now. Her tastes may change in time. 

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#11 of 19 Old 10-24-2012, 06:21 PM
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I agree 100%.

 

But I'll add that reading a chapter of an excellent book out loud every night out loud as a family (or just as mother and child) is one of my parenting tricks. First, its a lovely way to spend time together. Second, a child listening to their parent read a wonderful book it fosters a love of the written word that no amount of reading to ones self can. Third, it allows the child to naturally develop other skills necessary to enjoy longer works, such as the ability to picture the story in their head. 

 

Pick wonderful books, and read them to your child. One chapter at a time. Eventually, they get bored with that and finish the thing on their own because they want to find out what happens.

 

But keep it mellow -- don't force them to read out loud if they don't want to, don't turn this into a chore. Take the scenic route, and just enjoy the books with your child.

 

My kids are 14 and 16 and we still read a chapter of a book out loud most evenings.

 

 

  Agreed!

 

The Magician's Elephant is a wonderful book to read out loud.  


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#12 of 19 Old 10-25-2012, 01:44 PM
 
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Is it possible that your daughter doesn't want to be different and therefore doesn't want chapter books for her reading?  She might be choosing this type of reading for social reasons.

 

There will be chapter books out there for her whole life.  There are lots of wonderful and challenging picture books.

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#13 of 19 Old 10-25-2012, 05:20 PM
 
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Is it possible that your daughter doesn't want to be different and therefore doesn't want chapter books for her reading?  She might be choosing this type of reading for social reasons.

 

I suppose that's a possibility, but surely there are lots of 2nd-graders reading chapter books? I thought series chapter books were typical 2nd-grade fare.

 

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#14 of 19 Old 10-25-2012, 06:36 PM
 
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I write as a parent who is still truly confused by these reading levels. Are Junie B. Jones and Ivy and Bean really considered fifth-grade level?


As for assigned reading for homework, I personally don't support the way that's being done. There's no research to support that. Have you asked the teacher why she can't just read what she wants? Aren't they in school long enough? [/rant] I very clearly told my dd's teacher that dd reads at least 300 pages a day and I don't see the point in assigning her "15 minutes of reading" for homework, but then her teacher doesn't choose what she reads. We're very happy to opt out of inappropriate homework here.
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#15 of 19 Old 10-25-2012, 10:45 PM
 
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I write as a parent who is still truly confused by these reading levels. Are Junie B. Jones and Ivy and Bean really considered fifth-grade level?
 

 

No, "Junie B." is not considered 5th grade at all. It's more 1st/2nd grade in level and in interest. 5th grade is more like "Tuck Everlasting" (which was part of the 5th grade curriculum in our district) or "Little House in the Prairie." The OP's DD is in 2nd grade and said she read books for her grade level (not necessarily ability level) easily and quickly. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

 

I suppose that's a possibility, but surely there are lots of 2nd-graders reading chapter books? I thought series chapter books were typical 2nd-grade fare.

 

Miranda

 

Yes, lots of 2nd graders are reading chapter books in the schools we've been in. We found lots of 1st graders reading chapter books too. 


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#16 of 19 Old 10-26-2012, 08:13 AM
 
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I agree w/ PP. Chapter Books are 2nd grade level/interest. At that age- the kids see it as a 'step' up.

 

BUT I will say that many picture books are written at a higher level than easy-chapter books. 

 

I would let her read what she wants and maybe do read-alouds of books she may not read on her own.

 

My own 2nd grade daughters read chapter books, picture books, magazines, etc. They go through phases as well.....so it will be all Ranger Rick or all Magic School Bus etc.

 

 

As a side note-- I have administered the WJ-III. The reading is accurate score for comprehension and word identification. But it does not test the ability to 'sustain reading attention' at that level. Some kids absolutely can and do read at that level for pleasure, but to do so for a long time (think 300+ page books) is much different than a short story or paragraph or magazine at the same level. Some kids may chose the 300+ page book and some may rather non-fiction or a magazine. Both same reading level, but much different 'sustained reading attention' levels.

 

Developmentally, some 6/7/8 yr olds may also still like illustrations and most Chapter books do not illustrate much past the 2nd grade level. But a lot of 4/5th grade level non-fiction will have illustrations. WJIII also does not measure interest of common themes for a grade level. So at times, reading ability does not match the material that is available at that level. 

 

Also sometimes there is minor visual issue that may make reading for long periods difficult. Often in 2nd/3rd grade kids get flagged for glasses as their eyes change as they grow. In some kids, these changes may be reflected in their reading choices since reading for long stretches can become 'tiresome' for their eyes and/or get difficult as print gets smaller. Just a thought.

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#17 of 19 Old 10-26-2012, 08:43 AM
 
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You can make a chapter out of anything, so it doesnt reflect on your childs ability to read.   

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#18 of 19 Old 10-30-2012, 07:55 PM
 
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She might like some true life animal rescue stories. My girls have really liked those at times. I got dd2 (3rd grade) a new one from Scholastic just the other week. It was cheap, too. https://clubs2.scholastic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10601&catalogId=10001&productId=369149&parent_category_rn=47202&langId=-1

 

With the new Common Core standards adopted by most states now there is an increased emphasis on non-fiction reading over fiction so your dd's interests may be right in line with what is going on in the classroom.

 

If you want to foster some more reading outside of books from school look at the magazines from Carus Publishing (Cricket, etc). They are all ad free and the content is very high quality. http://www.cricketmag.com/ProductList.aspx?type=M A lot of kids find magazines easier, but these are very thoughtful and really do encourage a love of reading of all kinds of topics.


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#19 of 19 Old 11-05-2012, 10:42 AM
 
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I would just continue to have a nightly session where you read aloud to her. Try out some different chapter book series that she might enjoy (Guardians of Ga'Hoole (owls), Magic School Bus (science)). Read 2 chapters a night. If she gets into the book, she will pick it up after you stop and keep reading on her own.
 


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