Monday, April 2, 2018

Pre-Reading as Schole, or a Mid-Year Update on My Reading Journal

Happy Easter! I hope you had a blessed weekend.

I'd like to start off the week with another peek into my Reading Journal in honor of my chat with Brandy and Pam on Schole Sisters about pre-reading as schole and how keeping can transform your teacher prep time. (Go have a listen!)


In case you missed my last post on this personal keeping assignment, here it is! I explained what I keep in this particular notebook, why I started it, and what products I'm using.  I also shared inside the first half of my book.

The short version: this is part of my pre-reading for AmblesideOnline Year 6. I keep other notes too (more teacher prep stuff like lists of proper nouns, notes, and potential discussion/exam questions), but this is a creative twist on a commonplace book that invites me to adopt the posture of a student as I do my weekly prep work.

I can't tell you how this has revolutionized the way I think about my weekly pre-reading. By adding elements of keeping, little by little, over the course of the past couple years, I have seen so much fruit in my engagement with the material and with my students.  It has made my teacher prep time much more enjoyable, ordering my attitude toward those tasks from busy mama trying to keep up to delighted co-learner.

And besides that, it's just a lot of fun. :)  I'll definitely be keeping another of these next year. And every year!

Just to be clear: it is not as if a notebook like this (or keeping of any kind, really) is required for pre-reading to be schole. But if you're a box-checker like me and find that as much as you LOVE the books, your temptation is just to "get it done" and not fully engage, then maybe this strategy will help you as much as it has helped me.

We're not halfway through Term 3, so it's an awkward time to peek in: I'm only five pages from the end! I'll probably pop some final pages up during some end-of-the-year round-up.

For now, here is a look through my pages from where I left off last time, as well as a look back at some in-progress pages from that first batch that I have added to since then (like my timeline and maps)...
























in progress :)

I hope that gives a sense of the variety that this format has enabled and the organic approach that is possible with this assignment. Adding little by little each week has really created something meaningful to me.

And I talked all about this on the Schole Sisters chat, but just a reminder: none of these drawings are out of my own head. They're all "drawing copywork": finding a drawing I like in one of our books and copying it into my book. And I have a personal goal to have something colored and something drawn on each page since my default mode is just ink + words.

Side note: I have been excited by all the moms who have told me they have started keeping a book like this after reading my post at the start of the year! You can see a couple here: MacKenzie's at BRC Banter and Arenda's at The Upcast Eye. If you keeping a pre-reading commonplace like this, let me know! I'd love to take a peek. I'm currently scavenging ideas for next year's iteration. I am always on the hunt for fresh inspiration. :)

13 comments:

  1. Celeste, this is truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing your beautiful work and for challenging us, as mothers, to be more engaged in the learning process!

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    1. Being engaged with that learning is what I think keeps me from getting burned out -- I really feel like it's self-education as I prep. :)

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  2. I finally listened to your chat at SS podcast today! I was very encouraged to up my pre-reading game :) And how I appreciated you saying that we, teachers, don't have to have all the skills set to keep a book like that, we can learn alongside our students! I've been doing that :)

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    1. I do that in lots of areas, Mariana! I am so thankful that we can learn alongside our kids because there are so many ways I need to grow and this home educating is giving me the opportunity to do just that, little by little! <3

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  3. Love all your pages. After finishing pre-reading Year 6, will you find it necessary to pre-read again when your littler ones are in Year 6? I'm trying to work that out in my mind. I think I'll be able to remember general things, but not enough to have these grand conversations. Are the quotes you pick to put in your pre-reading book ideas that will trigger your memory? Andrea

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    1. The quotes and such definitely should spark my memory enough for big conversations! BUT I keep some regular pre-reading notes too, with actual discussion questions written down. You can see some examples here, where I explain my process:
      http://joyouslessons.blogspot.com/2017/01/my-weekly-planning-pre-reading-session.html

      Between my Reading Journal and my pre-reading notes, I don't anticipate needing to reread. Hope that helps!

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  4. Celeste! What a beautiful exercise in storing up truth. I did not realize you were doing this when I planned yesterday to keep a little notebook strictly for my (advanced) pre-reading of Twain’s Joan Of Arc. I saw Mariah’s Joan notebook on IG, and I thought it would be beneficial to take all of my commonplace entries from Twain and gather them up in one little notebook. I’ll have to go back and read your earlier post on this habit. Thank you, as always, for being über inspiring!

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    1. I look forward to seeing your notebook as it develops. I hope you get as much out of the practice as I am! And we'll be doing Joan of Arc next year. :)

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  5. You inspired me with your first post. And I did well for a time for my own reading(not school reading), then slacked off. Reading this post inspires me once again to get back to it! Maybe you should show us some of your entries every month! ;)
    Karen

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    1. Hahaha! I hope it "sticks" this time! :) Really even intermittent keeping of this kind is well worth the trouble! ;)

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    2. Yes, I'm hoping it sticks this time too! (In my comment above, I hit anonymous on my comment. Ha! Sorry!)This past Sunday I bought a really nice journal to start my Year 5 pre-reading schole-fied. :) Do use watercolor pens/markers/pencils by any chance? I thought you mentioned those sort of things you used in one of your posts but I just can't seem to find it. Maybe it was on the Schole podcast? Anyway, I looked at a number of different things when I was out shopping Sunday afternoon but only bought the journal. I hesitated to buy any of the pens/markers/pencils because I just wasn't sure if they would be good or not. I want to be able to do some lettering which requires specific types of pens/markers. So I want to buy those as well. I do have a set of watercolor paints that's in a palette form....but I'm not overly impressed with them. Although it could be that I'm just not used to working with them. ;)

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    3. Oooo....I found it! It's in the post you did on Lettering for Kids...you mention what brush pens you can use, etc. So the only question left then is do you use watercolor pens/markers/pencils and if so, which ones do you recommend?
      Thanks!

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    4. Hi Karen! We have watercolor pencils that we use for art stuff: https://amzn.to/2vsa1ip I haven't tried them in my journal. I think they might require too much water to blend -- we have only used them on watercolor paper, and the paper in my journal is lighter than watercolor paper (more like cardstock). But they are fun to experiment with!

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