Saturday 13 October 2012

October Challenge Goals Continue with Penguins & Plants

Well this week has seen a few more of the alphabet goals (here) for October knocked off.  The first goal of the weekend I am crossing off is (Goal J- Join in a discussion with someone, anyone, about a book.)

Today I went to Salamanca Market with my friend K. and her daughter S.  As we sat on the lawns eating our mini pancakes with ice cream and maple syrup I asked 13 year old S., year 7,  what she has had to read for school lately. We then talked about the appropriateness of this book for her age group.

Her assigned book was Witches by Roald Dahl.  She told me it is a chapter book but she got bored because she has read this book about 10 times already and was ready for something with a bit more substance.

I asked her why a Grade 7 child wouldn't read something more challenging and she said the teachers need to assign something that will appeal to everyone however she didn't agree with this choice. She is a very prolific reader and was keen to get stuck into something else. I guess this is a problem if only one book can be chosen and there are many different levels of reading ages in the class. How do you prevent the excellent readers from getting bored? An age old question.
Is this why people stop reading? Do they get books assigned that are too easy and so they don't really get into thinking about it? Or are books too hard so everything goes over their head?  I don't have children and my dogs and cats aren't reading yet, as much as I think they'd like to at times from the way they have carried some of my books around.
How does one select appropriate reading material for a grade 7 curriculum when students are coming out of the simpler, more illustrated books into books with more text?

After our book discussion we continued through the very busy market and I found some plants to put into my back garden. (Goal S- Saturday Salamanca Market - Go- Buy one Penguin and at least one plant for garden)

Ronunculus are just coming out now
Love the little cat's whiskers pansies
I found three strawberry plants that I am anxious to plant. However when I got home I was able to plant the flowers I purchased yesterday because the area where I am putting those is under cover.
However the strawberry plants will need to wait until tomorrow.

The other part of the Salamanca Market goal was to find another vintage Penguin book I didn't have. I actually found four. I love the covers of all of them and they look like good reads too. Both the books and the stories are new to me.
Penguin No. 1428 Published 1960- 1st
So the Salamanca market was a big hit with both of my dear friends finding things they wanted too and after eating the pancakes then ate Huon Valley tempura mushrooms, very fresh. The food in Tasmania is always first rate so if you don't succeed shopping you are certainly guaranteed good eating.

 I also had a pleasant afternoon lying in a lounge chair in the front yard the other day that is fenced for a lovely play area for my dogs. (Goal L- Lie in the sun and read. It might make summer get here quicker)
I finally found time and sunshine to lie in after the cold cloudy days and rain we've had recently.  I finished up Zuleika Dobson out there while my dogs kept bringing me their toys to throw. Finally I convinced them they must entertain themselves so I could concentrate on the book.
I am happy to say I have now finished Alphabet goals J, L and S in the past couple of days.
Penguin No. 2815 Published 1968-1st

I chatted to my friend, K, who also loves books, about the on line Classics Club Challenge (here) moderated by Allie, Jillian, Adam, Melissa, Sarah and Heather.

Part of me really wants to do it (read 50 classics in 5 years) but I have to admit I find the thought quite intimidating. However after reading Laura's post on Musings (here) today I feel more inspired.  For some reason I always think the classics are big door stopper chunks of books that take ages to digest. But I do have a lot of the classics amongst my Penguin books collection on the shelves and I have always wanted to read more American classics and some of the English classics as I never got around to most of them due to my profession in the health area. Too busy learning neuroanatomy in school as well as staying abreast of current research in the speech pathology field.
Penguin No. 1788 Published 1962- 1st
Penguin No. 2619 Published 1968- 1st
So I guess it's now or never if I want to do this, and I really do want to read these books. I think this group would be great motivation. So I have decided to start my list of the 50 books and begin it with the new year, 2013. Seems like an appropriate time.
I am really enjoying having books taking up so much of my retirement as I read a great deal in my youth and now am ready to revisit those happy days of reading that I remember so well and fell out of in the intervening years. So stay tuned...

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