Last week we read the first chapter of our newest book Anne of Green Gables.  There are definitely some challenges that come with teaching it, but I think the learning opportunities it provides outweigh them.  

Of course, it is a "girl's book".  Some of the boys will steadfastly insist that they hate this book because it is for girls, and all the while they will be laughing and commenting their way through every chapter.

The main challenge with this book, though, is that it requires a very high reading level.  While it was difficult to find challenging words in Nate Saint, in Anne of Green Gables, some students would probably be able to find 10 or more words on a page that they don't know.  This elevated vocabulary is one of the main reasons we are reading the book.

So far this year, we have been reading easier books and practicing reading strategies like figuring out vocabulary words, inferring, finding important lines, asking good questions, etc.  Now, if the students are going to be successful, they will need to apply these reading strategies during their reading.

Each student has been given a reading strategies journal in which they will record their thoughts and questions as they read.  My hope is that it will reduce their frustration level by giving them a place to write something like, "I don't understand anything on page 3!"  Then, the next day in class, we can talk about it.

Once we get our feet under us, we will have about a chapter of reading per night if we are ever going to get through the book.  If your child is having trouble with this book consider:
  • letting them read it to you
  • taking turns reading to each other
  • reading it to them and talking about difficult passages 
  • asking them about what they read when they finish
  • making sure they don't read when they are tired
  • making sure they don't read in a distracting place
Finally, let me know if you are seeing a high frustration level with this book at home.  The more I know, the more I can help set your kids up for success.  Hopefully, I'm being overly cautious here, but I just want everyone to be in the loop as we start this new book.

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