Thursday, July 7, 2011

Classroom Surveys

Have you ever given a written survey to your homeschooled student? I've gained insight from my kids about certain topics before, but I have never handed them a written survey to complete.

In The Book Whisperer chapter entitled "Whisper: Surveys", Donalyn Miller discusses the concept of classroom surveys, and even has an example of the one she has used. What a great idea to get students, especially non-readers, to think about their interests, likes and dislikes, put them in writing, and submit them to someone who could decipher them and help them find books they would like to read.

I know that some of the best books I read are as a result of a recommendation. Perhaps my students would be more excited about reading if I, or a library professional, was able to take their interests and recommend a book or series based on those interests.

I know that this has been a problem with Dawson. We go to the library, but he is so overwhelmed with the vastness of selections that he doesn't know where to start. He will take several books off the shelf only to put them back because he is unsure about them. Brynne has an easier time because she will choose a book based on whether the cover illustrations look interesting. She has such a wide set of interests that she doesn't care if she pinpoints just one area. At least not yet. Once she gets older she will appreciate reading books recommended to her based on her greatest area(s) of interest.

Will I give my students a survey at the beginning of this year to get us started? You bet! I can't wait to see their answers to the questions. Then I am going to enlist the help of some friends and library professionals for recommendations.

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We all know that in this crazy world of homeschooling, we need all the (adult) support we can get. Please leave a comment if you so wish!