Thursday, July 7, 2016

Dr. B's Summer Reading Log

Pictured: Dr. B's summer reading log of Marc Prensky's book, Teaching Digital Natives.

I've received a few emails from parents and students about Vinalhaven School's summer reading program:

"What should my student read?"

"Do they have to read one book? Two? Three?"

And, "What is a reading log?"

[ Note: At the end of the school year, I sent home instructions for our summer reading program with all high school students.  If these got lost or you weren't sure you saw them, you can download our summer reading instructions here. ]

To help illustrate what students' summer reading logs should look like, I've included the picture (above) from my own summer reading log! I'm currently finishing Marc Prensky's book, Teaching Digital Natives, and thought it would be a great example of what students and I will be doing this summer.

The basic format for the log is this:

Record the—

Book Title and Author

  • Date: #/#/#
  • Pages Read: #
  • Time Read: #
  • Response: Any thoughts, notes, or questions you had while reading.

If you can't read my handwriting in the picture above, here is a typed up version:

Teaching Digital Natives
Marc Prensky

  • Date: 7/7/16
  • Pages: 149-158
  • Time Read: 10:25—11:15 a.m.
  • Response: 
  • Chapter 8, "Teaching Students to Create," is one of my favorite chapters in Prensky's book because it emphasizes the important role students have in their own education as creators.  In traditional classroom models, students all read the same book and all wrote the same assignments (whether it was a book report or essay).  In classrooms with "digital natives"—students who are adept at using new technologies—assignments are flexible and can be tailored to a students' individual interests and what communication technologies they like the most.  In the twenty-first-century classroom, students can use YouTube videos, animation software, podcasts, rap songs, you name it, for the same target.

On the next page (not pictured), I wrote the question: "What technologies are Vinalhaven students comfortable with and/or interested in most?" This guiding question will help me see what tools students would like to incorporate into their English coursework when we return in September.

So, as the temperatures reach higher and higher, I encourage all of my students (parents too!) to take twenty minutes, thirty minutes, or even an hour (if you're so inclined), to just lay in the sun and read.  You may record your log in the format I've outlined above or on a YouTube video page like some of our incoming freshmen.  Remember, summer reading is supposed to be fun! And, it makes you grow smarter and taller....