I apologize for my recent hiatus. I did not realize that being a teacher, new blogger, and "student" would be so difficult to carry out all at once!
I am currently on a mission to find quality picture books for the age group I teach. Mission accomplished. By simply entering "Picture books for middle grades" into Google, I found a plethora of book titles to get kids even more excited about reading. Fiction, nonfiction, traditional literature, poetry...there are a TON of picture books out there geared towards older readers. These books are perfect if you have students who are still emerging readers. They can swallow up several of these books per day and feel very accomplished, which will lead to more reading! Once students realize that starting and finishing a book (as well as *gasp* enjoying it) is not impossible, what other choice do they have but to read more?
When I first introduced the books to my cherubs, I did so in a very dramatic fashion. This is the style of teaching I enjoy most because, well, it's just more fun. I had been to the local library and checked out over 20 books to share with my students. Of course, the library books are not allowed to leave my room as I am financially responsible for them. However, they are free to read them at any time that they are with me. I had them all in a big bag. I called my students to the carpet, and told them I had brought them the BEST present. They were waiting with bated breath. I slowly began to pull each book out of hiding, telling them a little bit about each one. I told them how much I loved reading the books. I explained that at their age, not only will they enjoy the reading, but they will be able to appreciate the artwork in a more sophisticated a grown-up way. "Drink them in with your eyes," I instructed them. "Take your time and find the hidden messages from the author AND the illustrator." You would have thought I had brought iPads in for each and every one of them. They were practically salivating, barely able to contain themselves. It was fantastic!
I now have over 40 books checked out and in my classroom. This week, we had to settle disputes with quick games of "Rock, Paper, Scissors" (this is they only fair way to settle ANYTHING in 5th grade).
I am finding this is a great way to add to my classroom library and evoke more interest without breaking my bank account. The ones they really love I have added to a list of possible books to purchase. If you don't already do this, I suggest you try it. I put all of the books in a pretty and sturdy basket I bought from IKEA to showcase them and make them stand out from the rest of the books in my library. The kids are doing a great job with them and I am really enjoying watching and listening to their reactions as they read some great picture books.
I also found these fun videos about reading I wanted to share... just because. The last one is one of the many wonderful people I have gotten to know via Twitter. His name is Colby Sharp (@colbysharp), and I think every child deserves to have at least one teacher like him in their educational careers. I am SO following in his footsteps at the beginning of next year!
That's the biggest news from this week. Next week on March 7th we will be celebrating World Read Aloud Day. I am looking forward to sharing the events of that day with you as well! Hope your week was fantastic, too!