Why Kids Think Sharing Matters
It’s no secret that kids love to share about their reading. They are brimming with excitement because their character was saved after being lost in the woods. Or the horse barn burned to the ground, but the horses were freed. Or a robot on a deserted island finds an unhatched goose egg in the mud and rescues it. Whatever is happening, kids are dying to share it. It’s a time of celebration for many reasons. For one, kids get to have a voice. Also, kids see how smart their thinking is when they’ve been able to notice in their reading what their teacher taught them and urged them to look out for during the minilesson. Unfortunately, sharing is the part of workshop that we tend to cut out or skip because we simply ran out of time. If this is the case for you, I hope you read on and feel inspired after reading kids’ thoughts on the matter, to create a time for sharing tomorrow and everyday.
In our classroom today after celebrating and when we were coming to the end of our sharing time, I asked the kids one more question. It was this: Why is our sharing time such an important time for us as a community of readers? While we’ve talked about this before, it was earlier in the year, and I wanted to hear their March perspective. I wanted them to reflect on this now that we know each other well and we have a safe, established community of readers. Their responses were both sincere and thought provoking.
“We can share what we’ve read about, but in a really smart way because we learned more about how to be more expert readers in the lesson.”
“It’s a learning time for the teacher because she gets to see how we’re thinking and feeling.”
“Kids can do a lot of self-reflection and evaluation while we’re listening to others share so we can do an even better job the next day. I can ask myself things like, ‘I wonder why I didn’t think about it that way?’”
“We can get our emotions out. When I’m reading sometimes I’m so sad or so worried, I just want to scream. I can’t wait to share with my buddy or with the group all the crazy stuff going on in my book.”
“Sometimes when I’m listening to others share, I admit to myself that my book really isn’t a good fit book and I need something different.“
You feel really happy for someone when they are really into their book and when they’re empathizing with their characters.”
“We get connected to each other. Sometimes you don’t realize you have stuff in common with another person in the class until they talk about what they’re reading and learning.”
“If we have a problem we can get solutions from the group.”
I think what they’re telling us is that it isn’t enough to come to workshop and watch a minilesson. It isn’t enough to read a good fit book independently. And it isn’t enough to work in partnerships or small groups. Kids need and long for the kind of reflection, communication, and joy that comes only when the entire reading community comes together and is given the privilege to share.