Me and Doubting Me Have a Book Talk

Me:  Today I read aloud to two kids who were starting a book club book.  They’re reluctant readers, and I thought that if we did a little bit of a read-along, it might help them to get more  invested in the book.  

Doubting Me: Yeeeeahhh, and you just wrote about how much you miss reading aloud to a class.  Sounds like someone is doing a little rationalizing.

Me:  Well, the reason I said I loved read aloud was because I felt like I was inviting kids into the world of a book.  That’s what I was doing today.

Doubting Me:  Uh huh.  And did you even give them a chance to enter that world on their own?

Me:  Well, the book was at a level we thought they could navigate, but the print was really small, and I thought it might be a bit daunting.

Doubting Me:  Is that why you were stumbling over some words?

Me:  Yeah that, and I didn’t have my glasses.

Doubting Me:  So, how did it turn out?

Me:  I think it went pretty well.  P. made a prediction that Nick was going to show his father that he wasn’t a “cripple.” He also said, “I have a few things I’d like to say to that dad.”

Doubting Me:  Okay, that’s pretty good.  But what about C. How did he do?  

Me:  When I stopped reading and said I had to head to another class, he said, “Can you PLEASE keep reading?”

Doubting Me:  Right.  Isn’t that sort of a selective quote? 

Me: What do you mean? He really said that.

Doubting Me: Yes, but you’re also leaving out  something else that he said.

Me:  Selective quotes are a kind of author’s craft.  I think I’m allowed to do that.

Doubting Me:  Uh huh, but don’t forget, I was there, too.  I think you should say what he said right after, “Can you PLEASE keep reading?”

Me:  Fine.  He said, “Cuz I hate having to read it myself.”  But see, that doesn’t make for a very satisfying ending to this conversation.

Doubting Me:  Well, then maybe you should just say what all those crafty serial writers say.

Me: What’s that?

Doubting Me: Just say, “To be continued.” 

13 thoughts on “Me and Doubting Me Have a Book Talk

    1. I like this inner dialogue that you are sharing about the ins and outs of your book talk. We all doubt what we do at some points in our teaching but it also sounded as if your students were engaged-even if they didn’t want to read the book on their own. Sometimes it’s all about just doing the thing, doing it consistently and knowing you’ll reach one or two kiddos.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What a great structure for a slice. I love the two sides and their well-rendered tones. We were just talking about a read aloud that just is a read aloud and how much we miss having that in our classrooms. What a lovely way to invite these two students into the wonder of a book and motivate them to continue trying to access it independently, even if it is hard. Another great slice!

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  2. Ha! I love the structure of this post. This sounds a lot like me, having conversations in my own head with my self-doubting alter ego, the voice in my head who sometimes tells me what I need to hear, and sometimes can put a sock in it. =)

    Glad you were able to get your read-aloud fix in, and I’m glad your kids responded so well to it. And hey. C, who said they didn’t want to read the book themselves? I’d chalk that up to a strong sense of self-awareness. Let’s go for the silver lining, shall we?

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  3. Magnificent inner dialogue – loved every line of it! That Doubting You is wonderfully adept at dimming the optimism of You. As for C, who hates to read the book by himself… well, now, I might have to tangle a bit with Doubting You and say what’s wrong with hearing a fluent model by someone who loves reading? Might it be a way to make a believer out of the child-? The humor throughout this piece works because of truths (forgetting glasses, wanting a satisfying end to the conversation) – so well done.

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    1. After I read a chapter, I doubted the level that had been paced on the book. Level Q books rarely have a word like dilapidated. Turns out the book is a level V. So, I let their teacher know that they’re not likely to navigate that book independently…which might be good for selfish me!

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