Monday, February 10, 2014

Inspiring MALE Middle School Readers...How do you do it? AND an ATHLETE CLOSE READING FREEBIE

I come from a very sports-centered family and have quickly realized my kiddos are obsessed with sports, too.  Here are a few pics of my kiddos and my almost 85-year old, Gram, who just had the pleasure of meeting her favorite sport's icon, Geno Auriemma, the UConn Women's Basketball Coach, and one of her favorite former players, Jamelle Elliott, the University of Cincinnati Women's Basketball Coach...
Lilah before her first soccer game ever!

Landon, future Team USA Luge Gold Medal Winner in the 2030 Winter Games

Brennan, my second grade football, basketball, baseball star, and all things sports enthusiast!

Gram and her bud, Geno!

Gram and her bud, Jamelle

As a 6th grade teacher I find that the majority of my lowest readers are uninspired boys.  They have made it to my classroom and developed a "love of NOT reading!"  I get it!  They have yet to find that text that has grabbed their sports-and-competition-minded attention.  I am not saying there are not a gazillion resources out there to grab them, they have just not been guided to find them.  A few authors that cater to the sports genre for middle grade readers are:
  1. Dan Gutman
  2. Matt Christopher
  3. Mike Lupica
But sometimes the problem isn't directing the kiddos to the books, it is getting the books in hand and helping the students to navigate the reading process from the beginning of the text to the end successfully.   I often tell my students, "it is useless to go to the library to check-out a book that you are not going to read, as it only adds to the weight of the stack of materials that have to be carried from class to class."

What I have realized about my reluctant readers is that they need more strategies to help them with text navigation.  No longer do I want them grabbing a book and not caring about completing it, instead I want to add some tools to help them want to read it.  So after countless after school walks home getting skill drilled by my son about the NFL stars on his football cards, I was inspired.

After going through countless rounds of "Who's this?" with my son as he flashed football cards in my face, and doing some A LOT of research on current NFL and NBA superstars, I decided to develop this Informational Text Close Reading BUNDLE to help my sports-minded kiddos.  Here is FREEBIE sample from the bundle.  Questions are also included in the Google doc download.  I'd love to know what you think!

If you like this tool and want more for those student sport fanatics, click on the image below.  Included are the Close Reading Strategies I utilize with my students, graphic organizers to further develop student understanding of informational text, and 8 more close reading passages with answer keys.


At Thursday, 13 February, 2014 , Blogger Creative in Middle School said...

Wow this is a terrific resource. I did not yet look at the rest of the bundle, but I love that it includes those Common Core skills/close reading strategies as well as a high interest nonfiction topic. The suggestion I have is to include more questions. In addition to identifying details, it would also be nice if the student had to identify purpose and/or text structure. My students ALWAYS need more practice with that!

With the boys in my class, they are all into the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. I allow it as an independent reading book in my class because it is something they enjoy and they are actually reading! In my resource class, I have four boys and one (tom-boyish) girl. They all love that series and actually trade books. I love watching the conversations they have about the characters and comparing each book within the series to another. Honestly, without this series, I would not have very motivated readers. (Disclaimer- that is only for independent reading. We do class novels as well.)


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