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Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I've been reading some other bloggers' posts about balance in their lives, and I am struggling with finding balance as well. I am seeking the optimal balance between fun and formal instruction in my lessons.

See, the main goal I am striving for with all the classes and lessons I teach is motivation! I want these kids to LOVE reading and to WANT to read. Giving them meaningful and enjoyable experiences with books when they're young will hopefully be the foundation of a lifetime love affair with books and reading.

There are also literacy skills I work on with my kids while we're having fun with our books and stories. And I strive to incorporate the learning and practicing of these skills into our lessons in a fun way. Sometimes that's easy, sometimes it's a challenge.

This is the third year Literacy Launchpad has been in existence, and this balance has been something I have struggled with since the beginning. How much formal instruction do I incorporate into class? Do I sacrifice fun to do that sometimes?
I feel like I'm constantly torn between these two elements, sometimes feeling like I let one or the other monopolize my lesson too much each week.

Anybody have any thoughts to share about this? Parents? Teachers? Anybody?


AngelaTIC said...

Hello Amy. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I too have been questioning the balance of early literacy instruction lately. I think you are absolutely correct when you say, "Giving them meaningful and enjoyable experiences with books when they're young will hopefully be the foundation of a lifetime love affair with books and reading. " I think as long as you keep the experiences meaningful and enjoyable you are doing what you need to do to build that foundation. The difficult part for me has been to define meaningful. I have found that many adults think reading is something they should do for entertainment or when they are seeking information. These are both great reasons to read, but they aren't the things that keep me reading. How do we define meaningful when we are talking about reading? How do we show even our youngest readers why reading is a meaningful activity?

Jen Barney said...

My daughter is three. She loves story time at school!!! Like you, her teacher not only teaches concepts that she is unaware of at this age, but she also makes it so much fun.

From a parents view, that is what I want for my daughter. To build this special bond with books. For her to have in her head that books are so much fun and take her to another place.

I think that "meaningful" for a pre-schooler should be enjoyable and fun. As I look back as a child, I read because it was enjoyable and fun to let my mind be free in a book.

From what I read on your blog, I have no doubt that what you are doing is so important. You are their foundation!

Sarah Amick said...

It sounds like you have a pretty great balance already. I agree that since they are so little you are the foundation for enjoying reading and good books. As a parent of a 5 year old and 7 year old I am constantly trying to instill the joy of leisurely reading. My daughter loves to read the same books over and over which is exhausting but when I walk in and see her reading the book on her own I know that I have supported her. There is so much to the art of reading. Keep going, the balance will come.