Digital Writing About Reading

It’s late, but I think I’m going to make Margaret Simon’s Sunday link up on digital literacy. Thank you, Margaret, for the push to write about this part of our lives.  slide11This past week I’ve written a lot on Google docs for my cyber book group. I’ve tried this work before, but never on this level.

The idea came together on at TCRWP Summer Writing Insitute in a bookstore.


I think it’s interesting that while all of our book club discussion was digital, the genesis of the club was a book, a bookstore, and a Summer Writing Institute session. Face-to-face interactions, hardcover books, brick-and-mortar stores, and classrooms with teachers and students are still necessary ingredients for learning.

Last week we read and wrote (a lot) about our thinking while reading Cynthia Lord’s book A Handful of Stars.  Our thoughts and notebooks were personal, unique. Each readers’ ideas offered a snapshot of the inside, what was going through our minds as we read.  Mine was unorganized and messy. I was inconsistent in my jots. And, it felt a little risky putting it out there.  There were times when I felt not very smart. Pretty basic retell. Ugh! I hoped no one was grading my thinking. Fortunately, I was among the kindest of colleagues.

BUT,  I thought more deeply about this book than I EVER could have if I had read it alone. The book is still with me. I’m puzzling over some things. I’m re-reading and writing those lines I loved. Images are still fresh. And I’m asking myself, what did it really mean? I’m still putting pieces together.

Would I want to do this for every book I read?  NO. It’s too hard, and I can’t read as much. It breaks up my flow.

BUT, is there a time and place for this type of work? If I did it from time to time would it make me a better reader?  Do we need a little discomfort for growth? I think so.

Now for the $64,000 question.

Can I transfer my experience (the good part) to students while supporting the love of reading?

Curious?  Join us on Twitter, Tuesday, 7/14, 7:30 EDT for a chat on Writing About Reading — #WabtR.



4 thoughts on “Digital Writing About Reading

  1. With the move and all its attendant chaos, lack of internet included, I wasn’t able to write as much as I’d wanted. Still, the process gave me insight into what my students must experience having to write about what they read. Looking forward to this chat, Julieanne!

  2. Your willingness to risk an idea brought us all together. And in such a profound way. I really got more out of this activity than I have reading any professional book. Something about actually practicing writing about reading not only gave us insights for our teaching, but it gave us insights into ourselves as readers and writers. Looking forward to Tuesday’s chat.

  3. What a great post and definitely KUDOS for organizing this. It has been FUN to see the varied responses as everyone has worked hard to participate (it is summer after all)! Doing the work was so important and is a great reminder for all teachers!

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