Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Writing about Reading 12/31

Writing about reading. I have been thinking about these words a lot lately. My relationship with them has been rocky. Definitely not a stable one for my students' reading lives nor with my own.

I move back forth between these two thoughts: 

  1. I want my students to think deeper about what they read.
  2. I want my students to just read and enjoy the book without having a task attached to the reading.
The past three weeks, we read The Watsons Go to Birmingham as a whole class novel. I taught specific standards and did not assess their reading through comprehension questions. We had rich whole class discussions about racism, life in the south, and the Civil Rights Movement. 

However, I did assign a one-pager during these last few days leading up to spring break. It was a way to spark creativity yet keep them on task...if you know what I mean!

I was pleased with my students' work, but I am not sure if this is an effective teaching practice or assessment. My students enjoyed creating them and they enjoyed the book and conversations we had. But I am still left with more "writing about reading" questions than answers, and I would love to hear what you do in your classroom!

Join Two Writing Teachers and other teacher-writers as we 
share a slice of life during the month of March. 


  1. I like the idea of writing about the discussions. Thank you for the sharing the idea!

  2. Great topic of conversation, one that I continue to consider and think about. What your students produced looks honest and reflective. I also agree with discussions. I have outright asked students about ways (after me modeling) how they think they can really show deep understanding of the text they are reading. Huge fan of annotating, then book talks, then responding to one or two questions. Will come back to see other's thoughts here!

  3. I think about this all of the time, too. I have used one pagers, Socratic discussions (with question preparation), 3-2-1 reflections, RAFT writing, and journal prompts. I will have to come back to see what others say, but alas, next year we are going to a scripted curriculum.