Responding to Reading Through Writing- Nonfiction
Last week I had the opportunity to attend a literacy training on the Common Core for fourth grade provided by our county. At the training, they talked a long time about how reading and writing should be integrated. They stressed the importance of making sure students are spending equal time each day reading and writing. A great way to do this is to have students respond to their reading through writing. In my classroom we write in a readers notebook every day. Students use the skill that we talked about that day and apply it directly to their reading. This worked wonderfully for fiction because students were able to analyze the characters, make connections, find places they made an inference etc. However, I am having a harder time with non-fiction.
The rest of the year our curriculum is based significantly on non-fiction in both reading and writing. This is both exciting and scary at the same time. Non-fiction is something that students either love to read or hate to read. This week I have had a hard time keeping students engaged in their non-fiction texts, even though they are self-selected texts that are of their own interest. Another challenge that I have had is how students can respond to their reading through writing in their readers’ notebooks. We have talked about text features and text structure thus far. Text features were easy to write about because of their widespread availability. However, text structure has been difficult. Since many different text structures are present within one book, some students are having a hard time identifying text structure within their text. This brought about a lot of conversation within my team. We all had ideas but were not sold on any of them.
How do people get students to write about their non-fiction reading every day? They stressed the importance of students having to write about their reading every day, but I am having a hard time determining what is the best way to do so. Is there anyone who has had success with writing about non-fiction that could easily be modified for a fourth grade classroom?