Do we do we do more of the same and not make the difference or do we change what we are doing and make the difference?
-Dr. Jannie van Hees
After hearing Dr. van Hees make this statement, I felt that I had been given "permission" to simply "roll with it" during our oral reading session. I am reading a novel to my class called "My New Zealand Story: Harbour Bridge" by Phillipa Werry. I chose this read aloud because our school topic focus for the term is Physics: Force and Motion. My hope was to engage my students (especially the boys) from a different angle using something that is part of their everyday life.
We are having a great time reading this story, and having many discussions about New Zealand history along the way. My class is beginning to feel empowered to further their own understanding about a topic they come across while reading. We have learnt about Opo the dolphin and after hearing from Dr. van Hees, we spent some time exploring famous bridges of the world simply by looking at pictures.
Students were asked to share what they saw with a partner and then report back to the class what their partner said. I took some time to record what they shared on poster paper so we could use them again at a later date.
It was awesome seeing how engaged by students were and how they were making connections between the bridges by comparing and contrasting what they were seeing.
We may not have done any actual "reading" sessions that day, but I believe the learning that took place in my classroom was far more valuable. My students are now fascinated about bridges around the world and want to know more.
I think I may have found a future reading assignment for later in the term.