sep 6, 2012 - Grades 11 and 12 English Class
In grades 11 and 12, the English classes transitioned to a more independent method of instruction. The teachers expected the students to read a couple chapters of the assigned novel each night, and then would have discussions about the chapters during class. In high school, I was engaged in many extra-curricular activities and homework from other courses, so it was difficult to find time to read every night. One evening I did not have time to read the chapter, so I looked up the summary online. I found that I was still able to not only follow, but contribute, to the class discussion. As we got further into the novel, I began to read the summaries more often than I actually read the chapters. This amplified when I was expected to read The Tempest independently. Even with the notes within the book, the storyline went right over my head. This started the pattern of not finishing any more of the assigned novels throughout the remainder of high school.
This story highlights a significant aspect of reading, which is student engagement. If students are not finding a novel interesting, the educator must find ways to keep the students engaged. More thorough and complex discussions would have required me to not only understand the storyline, but also be able to predict what would happen next or analyse the decisions made by characters. Small group discussions may have also benefited my engagement, especially if I had a specific role. This way, I would feel motivated to read and understand the story for the benefit for my group members. It would have also been beneficial if the novels were applicable to my life through creating a rich performance assessment task to be paired with the book.
Added to timeline:
Personal Literacy Story