Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Reading Professional Materials

Question: “I’m a school librarian. We get a good number of professional books and journals, but the faculty won’t read them. I put up notices and posters, write quips for the faculty bulletin, mark articles as pertinent for certain grades and areas, yet the response is very poor. What else can I do?”

Answer: “I can offer only a few additional thoughts. (1) Are the materials easily accessible? Can teachers take them home? (2) Can you get a few teachers to write summaries for the faculty bulletin?....Why not boldly ask teachers why they’re not reading materials. Maybe they’ll tell you.”

Comment: Explain to the teachers how I (RayS.) read professional journals. I read the title, sub-title, the first paragraph and the last paragraph of the article. If I know enough about the main idea of the article and have no questions about its details, I jot a brief summary as a record of the idea. If I have some questions about the details of the article’s ideas, I read the first sentence of each paragraph between the first and last paragraph. Then I write the brief summary. RARELY do I ever read the entire article. If I do, it’s because I WANT to. These techniques will give teachers the essential ideas of the articles in professional journals. I try to find time to reflect on the ideas of the article as I do in my “Comments” in this blog. I answer  the question, “What does this idea mean to me?”RayS.

Title: “Q & A.” John J. Pikulski. The Reading Teacher (May 1984), 924.

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