Tag Archives: books

Student Choice Creates Readers

With a nearby school district wrestling with censorship issues, I thought now would be a good time to share a recent letter from a parent.

 personal library letter

Instead of blanket reading policies, educators and parents should focus on fitting an individual book to an individual reader. We cannot encourage a reluctant reader to read if the book does not appeal to him any more than you can make me like math by forcing me do a worksheet of logarithms.

Sometimes the right book is about ponies and rainbows, and sometimes that book is going to be about drug dealers and f-bombs, as was the case in the book referenced in the letter above. One book does not fit all, no matter how cool the book. So if our goal is to engage kids, we will want to encourage them to buy in. Getting them to choose the book they want to read is an excellent start.

My classroom library is stocked with books I think kids will like. Then I take it one step further and do book talks during the year. I pop a few covers on a PowerPoint and give a 15-second overview of the books. Yep. I turn into a book salesman. And kids scramble for the books when I’m finished.  Then I encourage parents to look at the books their kids choose.

Clearly, all classrooms cannot accomplish all their goals with reading anarchy where every kids reads exclusively whatever they want. There are Common Core goals, and Lexile levels, text complexity, classroom novels, thematic selections and a slew of whatever other things we have to incorporate into our plans on a daily basis.

However, if a goal is to get kids to want to read, we need to create opportunities for them to select things books which interest them.

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This Summer’s Ambitious Book Stack

This Summer's Ambitious Book Stack

Summer is officially one day shy of two months this year, but I think I can tackle these. Several are recommendations from friends and students, and the rest I picked up throughout the year.

Feel like checking out reviews of these or past recommendations? Click the photo.


Library of Congress Contest Event

Hey, Delaware area 5th and 6th Graders!

On Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 1 p.m., I’ll be speaking at the Dover Public Library to hype the Library of Congress’ “A Book That Shaped Me” contest. 

Contest details here.

Library of Contest Event info here.

 

 


101 Books to Read

I found this on Teach.com. Obviously it’s from last summer, but it’s cool enough to check out even several months late.

Read with the flow!

Read with the flow!


Best Teen Novels

NPR released their “100 Best-Ever Teen Books” list yesterday. 75,000 people voted on the choices. So, if you are looking for your next YA read, check these out.

The result is a good list with a nice mix of classics and newer books. I’ve read quite a few of these, but I have a lot more that I want to. With school gearing up again, I’m adding these to my list of books to read next summer.


Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury has been an inspiration since my 10th grade teacher handed me Something Wicked This Way Comes.

If you haven’t read it, do it now. He was a brilliant author.