Friday, July 13, 2012
The Reading Life
My summer reading is heavily influenced by the Religious Education Credentialing program. My goal is to complete the Anti-Racict/Anti-Oppression/Multicultural and the Worship sections of my portfolio, so I need to read all the required books for those sections.
Soul Work seemed like a pretty lame idea for a book, because they took the papers presented at a conference and then added a summary transcript of the dialogue that followed each paper. I was honestly dreading reading it because this concept sounded like a great way to get a deadly dull book, but I've been more than pleasantly surprised by how engrossing it actually is. The readers of this book would be a small bunch, as it is about UU Anti-Racism and anti-racist theology (so, the reading public for this book would be UU's, mostly ministers), but I would happily recommend it to anyone interested in the subject matter.
I'm also reading Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Social Justice. So far, I also like this one and the author has a lively and interesting style.
And then, on the bottom of the stack is the novel that I get to read in small snatches when I decide I've done enough studying for one day. I'm reading What Alice Forgot, which has the premise that a woman wakes up after a fall in the gym, and she thinks it's 10 years ago. She has no memory of what has happened to her in the last 10 years - including her 3 children's very existence. It seems to be a clever way of examining how a person can change over time, and how our lives unfold in different ways than we had planned. I'm enjoying it, so it's a distraction.
I also read The Book Whisperer, which is written by a successful 6th grade teacher who has developed a program that gets every one of her kids reading. And the program seems to boil down to: give them the expectation that all will read, give them choice in what they read, give them lots of time to read, and model a love of reading. So nice and simple, it seems obvious, but apparently this is not obvious in many schools.
And then I've been reading Playful Learning, which is written by a teacher who began educating her own children at home. I thought it would be more theoretical, but it is actually full of simple activities you can do in different subject areas, complete even with pages you can photocopy to use as templates. I'm going to do a few of these activities in the church camp I'm leading next week. There is also a chapter on "playful learning spaces" that just gave me school-room envy and made my efforts in our school room look very uninspiring. :)