Sunday, October 17, 2010

Making Movies in the Mind

One of my greatest "Aha Moments" as a teacher happened early in my career.  I had a student who was reading a book and listening to the story on a "Walkman" at the same time. For you youngsters out there a Walkman was an individual cassette player with headphones.  I was teaching in a juvenile detention center and this student was about 16 and a struggling reader.

When "Sam" finished the book he looked at me with a very satisfied smile.  Then shared "Wow, that was a great book.  That was the first time I could see a movie in my mind when I read."

I looked at him with total surprise.  I had no idea that there were readers who didn't see the movies in their mind.  For me this conversation was a "Touchstone Moment".  Since then I have learned that many students can't make pictures in their mind as they read.  This conversation with "Sam" has influenced how I teach and one of my major goals - letting kids discover the movies in their minds.

Ralph Fletcher is a terrific writer.  I love his writing for the wonderful words and rhythm.  His books are great for "seeing" pictures in your mind.  I read "Hello, Harvest Moon" to my students.  It has great illustrations and rich vocabulary.  I am a big fan of Ralph Fletcher, and have learned a lot from reading the professional literature he has written.


1 comment:

  1. I love those times when students suddenly realize that reading and books are all about story and enchantment. Wonderful that you saw that unfold and made it your goal to help students discover the movies in their minds.