Friday, September 18, 2015

Reading with Bubby

I read with Bubby, pretty much every day.  Yes, as a second grader, he is required to read or be read to for a certain number of minutes each day, but I also enjoy reading with and to him.  I would read out loud to all of my children if they weren't so busy being teenagers and going all maaaah-om, I'm too old for that on me.

But here's the thing about reading with Bubby.  He keeps talking.  About the story, about his previous knowledge, about what he would do in that situation.

It's all good, because he's making text to text, text to self, and text to world connections.  He's making predictions and backing them up with clues from the text.  He's retelling the story and clarifying in his own mind what's going on.  These are all good things, things that teachers like to talk about (I know this, because for 3 years, I have listened to students reading to me, and my supervising teachers are always talking about these things).

But it takes. so. flippin'. long.

I read a sentence, and then Bubby starts talking.  For 2 or 3 or 5 minutes.  And then he says, "OK, go."  I read another sentence or maybe two, and he's off again.  Every once in a great while I'll get a whole paragraph in before the commentary starts.  Maybe it was the subject matter last night (Magic Tree House's Titanic research guide), but holy camolies.  We were "reading" for about 45 minutes, but I honestly think the actual reading part was about 15, in between all the interruptions.

I now know all about what Bubby would do differently, starting with more lifeboats, and having two sister boats traveling together (so that if one sinks, the lifeboats can head to the sister boat, drop off passengers, and go back for more).  Nerd that I am, I got in a lesson on momentum, which prompted Bubby to change his design so that it was both smaller and slower (but still capable of going very fast, because fast is important).

I'm sure he's still thinking about it, and I'll hear more tonight.

Some days, I approach reading with Bubby as a task, something that needs to get done so we can move on to the next thing (and the next thing is Bubby-goes-to-sleep, so you know how motivated I am to get there).  Every interruption rankles, like so many little pinpricks.  I find myself taking a lot of deep breaths, and consciously practicing patience.

and this is the most important thing,

Bubby is growing and learning through all the interruptions, and I am, too.

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