This was not your ordinary day of professional development. There were no forlorn faces with glazed eyes suffering through the day, a day of their lives they’d never get back. I’ve sat through my share of those professional development days in my 17 years in education. Designed to inspire and ignite, the Reading Summit was nothing short of magic with lots of smiles, laughter, and happiness to go around! I left with more energy, excitement, and ideas, which will make for a great 2017-2018 school year!
Create cool ways for students to share what they’re reading
- Students take a selfie with the book they’re reading and post it to a Padlet. Many will look at me like I’ve lost my mind when I tell them this is what we’re doing. “Did she say selfie?” This has lots of possibilities. I can have them share just within a single class, within a grade level, or school-wide.
- Students share a book that best represents them. It’s important that kids see themselves in the books they’re reading. I am thinking about doing this at the beginning of the year as a way for students to introduce themselves. Students post to a class Padlet.
- Create a shared Padlet between ELA classes. I am doing Project LIT this year, which is a book club, and kids from all across the country are participating. I will be connecting my Project LIT book club with a book club in another state, and creating a Padlet which allows the students to share thoughts, ideas about the common book we’re reading. It’s like reading pen pals!
With Padlet, I’m a big fan of moderating the posts. It only takes me a few minutes to browse the pending posts and approve them.
Create a culture of reading
- Give teachers books! I’m constantly giving kids books. They borrow arc’s I receive. I have lots of giveaways. I’ve even ordered books and had them shipped to students because they’ve been so excited about a certain book. I love giving my students books! But, I haven’t been great about giving books to the staff. I love how Principal Sue Haney shared how she asks the staff for a list of books they’d like to read and then gives them a book from their list. What a cool idea!
- Little free library. Certainly not a new idea, but one I’d yet to entertain. My book club will 100% be all over sponsoring this. I like the idea of students having access to this especially during the summer. Can ours have fur like this?
Celebrate reading holidays. This year, we’ll be participating in Global Read Aloud in conjunction with our Project LIT book club. I’m going to ask my Lunch Bunch book club to select some book birthdays and plan special events. We’re also going to get in our the fun of Poem in Your Pocket day. I also plan to schedule some Skypes for World Read Aloud Day.
Educate parents on the importance of independent reading
How do families encourage independent reading at home? I work in a community where the kids are shuffled from one practice, lesson, private coaching session, travel sport to the next. I had a parent comment recently, “My daughter doesn’t have time to read.” And, there it is. I’m totally guilty of assuming that because my students live in a community with excellent, easy access to books that their families take advantage of it. I’m realizing more and more that I have a lot of students who can read, but choose not to, because it doesn’t fit into their over scheduled lives.
I will be working on sharing information with families about creating a culture of independent reading in their homes.
Share books all the time
You can’t go to a Reading Summit and not be inspired by Mr. Schu and his passion for sharing books. It’s totally contagious. I think about the variety of ways I already share books, and then I challenge myself to think of even more ways to spread the love of books among students and staff. Watch out, kids, I’ll be coming at ya with even more book love!
For more takeaways, check out the Padlet I created, and consider registering for a Scholastic Reading Summit!