Get into Your Bubble
I long to have students experience that magical moment when they are reading independently and they loose track of time and are completely immersed in the story. To get to this point takes some conscious work that starts with the student being able to choose a Just Right book, having a positive attitude and perception, and a place where they can feel comfortable. Some students come by this moment of being in the zone very easily and others may have never experienced it before. I like to call this mystical moment "getting into our Bubble" and once we are there its like floating effortlessly, until our Bubble is popped of course.
We talk openly as a class about those times we are reading a story but can think of something else while we are reading. "Have you ever been reading and got to the bottom of the page and then realized you have no idea of what you just read?" I am pretty sure we have all been there, at least I know I still continue to struggle with this attention issue to this very day.
So, I am guessing that if an adult reader is struggling with this issue then my 11 year old students are too. I think having this open discussion brings to light a very natural reading experience that we all have however, I always ask the students what do we do once we realize that this is happening during our reading? Usually I hear, "go back and reread," but are they doing this independently?
Here is another variable to consider; how does this meta-cognitive strategy work while we read on the computer? During our class periods where we are digging through Databases or Directories we talk about the mighty mouse that allows us to move very quickly through an article which can be very distracting. I push the same kind of deep reading strategies while they read on the computer but it is incredibly challenging and I am not convinced that we ever really get into the flow, according to Csikszentmihalyi, of reading while sitting in front of the computer.
Even as an adult I truly struggle with getting into my Bubble when reading through blog posts, PDF articles, or whatever I am reading online. Perhaps this is the nature of the beast with link upon link that allows us to go "deep" into a particular subject. For me, it simply creates a great deal of frustration on how to organize it all. This is where I have been working with Google Docs, wikis, and Google Notebook.
I am getting there but look it, I have been paper trained and there is a part of me that longs to write and read on the "old" medium. I know we are spending more and more time online and its up to us as educators to help our students manage a massive amount of data and then organize, synthesize, collaborate and then share all of that which they come across globally - and believe it or not I am still struggling with this myself.