I’m participating in the Book Love Foundation Podcast Summer Study Session and week 1 (which was last week, mind you!) was about connecting students to books. I’m also participating in an online book club where a group of us are reading The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. In order to organize my thinking for both, I’m going to write more here at My Learning Life. As you can see I’ve been a bit remiss in creating content consistently. I hope to take some time every day to reflect on my learning life and share a little bit of it with you all.
Connecting Students to Books – Reflection on Week 1
In order to connect as humans, we need literature. Literature helps us think, reflect, empathize, and see others’ perspectives. So as educators, it is so important for us to share quality literature with our students; to immerse them in quality reading experiences. I worked hard to do that when I was in the classroom. The classroom library was the heart of our classroom. I read aloud to students every day, we discussed books in small teacher facilitated groups every day, students participated in student facilitated literature circles every day, and students had an opportunity for choice, independent reading every day, though at that time (late 90’s) I did not confer with them about their reading, nor did I realize the importance of doing so.
Flash forward to my current position, Staff Development Teacher. All of those books now have a home in my office. I still have a classroom library, only this time the books are to connect with teachers (so that ultimately they connect them with students). I am passionate about developing a passion within teachers and ultimately students. I provide book talks at monthly staff meetings; when teachers are planning in my office, I suggest mentor texts they might want to consider. Just the other day, we were working on our action steps for our School Improvement Plan in our Leadership meeting, and I suggested that one way we might monitor progress is by sitting side-by-side with our students as they read.
We have to make reading the center of every classroom. This is where my work is still in progress. What are some other ways I might be able to connect teachers with books so that they connect them with students? While, it was the center of my classroom and I passionately believe that it should be the center of every classroom in a school, it is now my job to model and coach teachers around this idea. So, as we embark on a new school year in a few weeks, I plan to make that one of my goals for the school year.
My core belief. . .
I believe that students need access to high quality literature every day, so I will coach and model the importance of a classroom library, the importance of the read aloud, and the importance of connecting students with books.
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