Thoughts on the Connection Between Reading and Writing – Kylene Beers
JUMP TO WORKSHOP
Kylene Beers is a noted educator exploring ways to help struggling students become proficient readers and writers. In an interview for this project, she talked about the connection between writing and reading in a classroom writing community.
Listen to the audio.
“When you read like a writer and you write like a reader, what you're beginning to do is wear two hats at the same time. What I want kids to do when they read . . . the first thing I want them to do is just be in the story. I want them to be experiencing the story, moving through it, getting whatever information they need to get through it.
“But, if I want that kid to read like a writer, I want them to go back and use post-it notes perhaps (if they're reading a text that they can't write on.) And mark places where they were surprised or where they were confused or where they just like the way the author put a couple of words together and then go back later on and even in notebook paper capture what they had noted on that post-it note.
“And say I really like this because. And then they are reading like a writer. They're stepping out of that reader's role. And they're saying what did the writer do? In the same way, when a kid is writing, I want them to occasionally just get caught up in what they're writing.
. . . . .
“When you're writing like a reader, what you're doing (first, I hope) is you're just writing. Tom Romano uses a phrase where he says trust the gush. Just be in that as those words are coming out. But as you're putting those words down, by the very nature of writing, you're reading. As you're looking at those words, as you're experiencing what they say, this is something that's hard for younger kids to do.
“Older kids, we want them to begin to step back and not be that writer, but be the reader and ask themselves as they're going through it as a reader, where is it making sense? Where does it need to move faster? Where's the part that was the most beautiful? Where was the point that it became confusing? And so that they're learning that reading and writing are the same coin, just two different sides. And as we ask them to look through text as a reader or as a writer, they're beginning to see different sides.”