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rschwartz's picture

Journal week 3- excerpt

In my first journal entry, I wrote – very briefly – about reading with my parents: I know that my parents read to me, but I don’t actually remember sitting with my parents and reading books. When I look through my old picture books, I remember them. I remember the stories and the illustrations; I remember that some scared me; and I remembered which books and which pictures I really liked. When I posted my journal entry, another student commented that she “wonder[s] what the implications are of what parts of our early literacy we choose to remember.” I’ve been thinking about this question, especially with the literacy autobiography due soon. I’ve been trying to choose a literacy-in-the-home memory to use, but a lot of my memories of reading—memories of the act of reading, rather than memories of the books themselves—are really hazy. I remember a lot of stories, characters, book covers, that sort of thing. I just don’t remember learning to read, or sitting with my family and reading, or even reading on my own. But I think this weird memory gap reflects an important aspect of my literacy experience. For me, literacy was about stories, whether getting lost in a story (I do remember “sneaking” a flashlight into my room, so that I could read after lights-out) or telling stories of my own (I used to love creative writing, and my friends and I kept blogs through middle school)....

In elementary school, each class had one library period per week—an hour (or something) to visit the school library, to check out books, to learn about card catalogues, and so on. The librarian often read to us, and in fourth grade (I think), I was chosen to read to the class. Every week, I sat at the front of the room and read from Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, a book I’d read already and loved. I have no idea why I was allowed to read to the class—maybe I was so excited about the book that I’d been calling out and giving it away, who knows—but I so looked forward to library class. Everyone loved the book, which absolutely thrilled me. Looking back, I wasn’t just showing off (though that was happening, too); I was really excited to share a story with the class, to tell a story that people wanted to hear, to know something they didn’t know—and to share it with them. 


Brooke Kelly's picture

I feel the exact same way

I feel the exact same way when it comes to completely lacking any memories about my own learning-to-read experience. I know that it happened sometime around kindergarten or first grade, but the specifics are gone. I've been wondering lately what this means on my part. I wonder if reading came so easily to me that the logistics of it were deemed insignificant by my subconscious or if it was so difficult that I chose to block it out. Maybe this is why the idea of how students learn to read is so interesting...because it is an experience that, to us, is so familiar yet so foreign?