Welcome to my Professional Learning blog.
My name is Matt Nicoll and I am a high school teacher in New Zealand, interested in improving the classroom experience for my students. I am open to trialing new approaches and hope to use this blog to reflect on my ideas and practices.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Rolleston Reads

Part of Ako time at Rolleston College Horoeka Haemata involves "Rolleston Reads". We read for 30 minutes with our students. Not very ground-breaking, is it? However, this is a big deal for me. I do not read enough. This is going to make me read more.

The other part that I like about Rolleston Reads is the processes we are instilling in the ākonga, and ourselves:

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Today, we got reading. Today, we set up a blog. Today, we made some notes in our notebooks (on paper, not digital) about what we were reading. Once we have finished a book, we aim to write something about it, no matter how much or how little.

Today, every ākonga wrote something small about why they read. It is only fair that I model this practice here:

Why I Read

Ever since my eyesight started to deteriorate (in my early 20s), I have been a reluctant reader. I had a couple of favourite authors, such as Tom Clancy and Michael Crichton. Other than that, I only read non-fiction. I read for information, not for relaxation or pleasure. I want that to change. I still want to read non-fiction and have three books "on the go" at the moment. But I want to read for pleasure again as well.

I am starting off with something easy. I am a huge fan of the discontinued series, Firefly. There are now some graphic novels to complement the television series. I have bought the first three of these and am starting to "digest" them. I love them. I can "hear" the actor's voices in my head when I read their respective characters' dialogue.

Today, I finished reading Better Days and Other Stories. I learned more about River and Book and was left wondering what happened to Wash after the TV series.

A story where River calmly returns after killing a group of scoundrels gave me a quietening insight into her character, and Shepherd Book's. River proclaimed to Book that it was easy...then commented that he has found it easy as well, hasn't he? I can't wait to read The Shepherd's Tale to get more insight into Book's past!

The story told through the recollections of past shipmates of Wash was difficult to read, simply because I wondered about the reason for their reunion. The ending was ambiguous but still left me thinking that Wash has died, but not until after Zoe had become pregnant. The final scene shows a very pregnant Zoe proclaiming that Wash's daughter will also be a helluva pilot...

These stories keep me hooked on the Firefly and Serenity franchise, despite their demise as a television series. Who knows, maybe Fox (or some other channel) might reboot Firefly. It seems to be the vogue thing to do these days... Shiny!!

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