A happy and joyous new year to all my readers! Thoughts on where we’ve been & where we’re going with the blog by Dr. Sam Bommarito
A Happy and Joyous New Year to all my readers! Since this blog started last February there have been 11,500 views from readers in 85 different countries. That’s quite encouraging and I want to thank you all for your interest and support.
I’ve added a “most read posts” category to the sidebar and put the top five posts for readership there. I will update the top five from time to time during the course of next year. Right now the most read post this year was . https://doctorsam7.blog/2018/08/24/what-i-learned-from-reading-recovery-and-how-it-helped-to-inform-my-classroom-practices-by-dr-sam-bommarito/ . There were over 2,500 views of this post.
I’m trying to stay true to the stated goal for the blog- finding ways to create motivated lifelong readers and writers.
In terms of things to come- I want to continue to explore the topic of code based vs. meaning-based approaches to reading. I want to look at both the strengths and limitations of each approach. Regular readers know that I posit that the reason the reading wars continue to rage is that neither side has all the answers. Too often folks from all sides report only the strengths of their positions and the weaknesses of the other sides position. To move from debate to discussion we must be willing to explore BOTH the strengths and the limitations of all approaches (including the ones we personally support!). I have been on a lifelong quest for common ground, practices that both sides might be willing to support. My dissertation was on that very topic. In that dissertation I found that the two sides to the debate in that era actually had more practices that they used in common than practices that separated them. Is that still true today? We’ll be looking to find out.
My personal favorite blog post for the year was the one entitled “A call for a reading evolution”. Have a look at it:
It envisions a change from debate to dialogue. For that to happen all sides need to admit that there are limitations to their approach (as well as the strengths we are so fond of pointing out). Once that happens, once we admit to how complex an issue learning to reading really is, it might be possible to turn the great debate into the great discussion. Dare to dream!
One new thing for the new year is that I will be pushing into a 4th grade classroom and helping the teacher of that classroom implement a writing workshop program. I’ll be getting to see writing workshop through some fresh eyes. I’ll be sharing insights gained through this process.
Also, I am the Co-Editor of the Missouri Reader. I’m EXTREMELY excited about the upcoming issue, due out in February. David Harrison, a well published author and poet laureate for the state Missouri, suggested we devote an entire issue to the power of poetry. That is exactly what we did. The theme for the issue is “Poetry- a Path to Literacy”. David has written an article especially for this issue. Many other folks will also weigh in on the power of poetry. These includes Tim Rasinski, Eric Litwin, Melissa Chessman Smith and Mary Jo Fresch just to name a few. When the issue comes out, I will devote a full blog post to it. I will also provide a link to this free cyber journal.
Missouri Reader is a professional journal sponsored by Missouri ILA. It has been publishing 2 issues a year for the last 42 years (so yes it was a paper journal before it become a cyber journal). It is peer reviewed (we’re always looking for review board members) and encourages articles from both university professors AND classroom teachers (we’re always looking for submissions, see the last page of each journal for information on how to submit). Here is a link to the current issue https://joom.ag/7fWY. It contains interviews with Jennifer Serravallo and Eric Litwin and a wonderful article by Dr. Molly Ness about Think Alouds. I hope you will continue to follow the blog so that you’ll get a front row seat when the new poetry issue comes out in February.
So…, have a joyous New Year. Help make literacy become something joyous for you and your students. Remember our goal is to find ways of teaching that fit the child. Fit the program to the child, not the other way round! That’s my final thought for this year and my first thought for next year.
All the best to you and yours and I HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL NEXT YEAR!!!!!
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Copyright 2018 by Dr. Sam Bommarito. Views/interpretations expressed here are solely the view of this author and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other person or organization.