New from Aimee Buckner!

Be sure to check out Aimee Buckner’s contribution to the Share a Story – Shape a Future blog tour.  It’s a great read!

Aimee is the author of one of my favorite writing workshop books, Notebook Know-How: Strategies for the Writer’s Notebook. I use it everywhere during our first unit of study. I am especially excited because she is coming out with a new book, Notebook Connections: Strategies for the Reader’s Notebook. I can’t wait to get my hands on it! And if you check out Aimee’s post above, there is a link to a sneak peek of the book!

Day 4- Share a Story – Shape a Future Blog Tour

Today is Day 4 of the Share a Story – Shape a Future blog tour.  Today’s theme is  “A Visit to the Library” and is hosted by Eva Mitnick at Eva’s Book Addiction blog.

Posts:

More Great Posts
Tiger’s Bookshelf: Shopping Mall Library (Thai Knowledge Park) – PaperTigers
Time Travel in a Thai Library: A Visit to Neilson Hays - PaperTigers

 

Share a Story-Shape a Future image created by Elizabeth Dulemba

21st Century Read-alouds

Earlier this year, I was presented with a dilemma.  I wanted to read  Diamond Willow  to my students before the Newbery announcement.  But because the story is told in diamond-shaped poems with bold words throughout, I knew my students would need to see the text in order to fully appreciate it.  I couldn’t afford to buy a class set this late in the year- how could I share this great read-aloud while not going broke?

Then it hit me.  This is the 21st century!  I realized I could share the novel by utilizing my classroom document camera! On January 15th, I posted this idea on my blog.

…the students can see the poems as I read them, just like if they had the book in their hands.  It’s the first time I will be combining technology and literacy this way, and I can’t wait to see how it goes!  Will the experience of reading the book on the board, via the camera, be the same as reading the book in your lap?  It should be a lot of fun and I can’t wait to find out!

I was a bit hesitant at first, as my normal read-aloud routine involves all eyes on me, the one with the novel.  I was afraid some of my students would be distracted by the document camera, the projector, or just the opportunity to stare at the book’s projection.  But as we began, all of my fears dissipated.  My students were enthralled!   They loved reading along with me and were mesmerized by the diamond-shaped poems with the embedded bold words.  Thanks to technology, I was able to share a read-aloud with my students that we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to experience together. 
Both classes loved the novel.  I shared some of their reactions back in January:

“More books should do the bold words thing.  It’s so cool!  They tell you what the character is thinking deep down.”

“It must have been really hard to write a whole book using the right diamond shapes and making sure you had all the words for the bold parts.”

“This was my favorite book that we read all year.”

“This was an awesome book!  

 

Thanks to my document camera and a projector, I was able to share an amazing read-aloud with my students!

Day 2 Share a Story-Shape a Future: How Do We Select Reading Material

Wow!  Day 2 of Share a Story – Shape a Future is up and running!  Day 1 was a rousing success, and Day 2 looks to be just as good. :)

As Terry said yesterday, it all starts with raising readers.  By surrounding children with text and stories, we are helping them blossom into the readers they can and should be.  So maybe yesterday you decided to set aside some time every day or so to read with your children.  But now you are overwhelmed- where do you begin?  How do you find books to read?  How do you know what books your child will enjoy sharing with you?  

Today’s bloggers have fantastic ideas and suggestions for selecting reading material for different age groups.   Whether you need booklists, story ideas for pre-readers, help selecting books for middle graders, or ways to incorporate your love of non-fiction into read-aloud time, there is something for everyone today. So grab a cup of coffee, maybe a snack, and sit back to enjoy the amazing posts today.  We even have some giveaways for you!

As posts go live, I will add the links.


Day 2: Selecting Reading Material

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Great Sites about Selecting Reading Material

 

Do you have suggestions for selecting reading material? Throughout the day, I’ll be reading through the comments to post ideas here. If you have written a post, please be sure to put your link in the comment. We invite you to visit the Share a Story – Shape a Future blog to get the event image to add to your post.

image credit: Author/illustrator Elizabeth Dulemba created the Share a Story – Shape a Future logo.



I Don’t Know What I Want to Read Next….

It’s the statement I hear everyday.  The signs are obvious- wandering through the classroom library.  Randomly flipping through books.  That disinterested state.  Diagnosis?  A reader without a book.  A floater.  So how do we help middle grade readers  select books?  And how do we select books to share with middle grade readers during read aloud time?  Luckily, we can answer both questions the same way!

Middle graders are famously picky about their reading material.  They have more in common with Goldilocks than they would ever admit- each book they choose has to be “just right”.  Not too long, not too short, not too gross, not to lovey-dovey.  Just right- for that student.  “Just right” is, of course, vastly different for each child.  So how do I help my students choose books?  By being a voracious reader myself.  I read blogs, book reviews, trade magazines, newspaper articles, and every book I can get my hand on.  I read books that interest me and books that I wouldn’t necessarily choose myself, because I have students who might enjoy them.  When a student tells me, “I don’t know what to read next”, I can engage them in a conversation about books they have enjoyed over the past few weeks or months.  

Everyday I have one or two readers advisory sessions, based on what I know about my students as readers and recommendations I think I can make for them.  And this doesn’t have to just happen in the classroom– parents can do it at home, too!  Engage your middle grade reader in conversations about the books they are reading.  Tell them about books you enjoyed.  Have discussions!  Pay attention to what they read and enjoy, and what their friends are reading and enjoying.  Go to the library or bookstore and flip through books together.  When kids see that you take an interest in their reading, they will be more engaged.  Soon enough, they will be making recommendations to you!

When it comes to read-alouds, I approach the decision in a similar way.  Because I will be sharing the book with 50 students, I take into account their various tastes.  Obviously, I know I will not choose something they all love.  But I take the read-aloud as an opportunity to choose a book they wouldn’t normally choose for themselves, yet I know it is a book they can enjoy.  I read voraciously throughout the year and I usually have a few books on the back burner, books I might read next, after the current read-aloud.  Right now, I am making the final decision on our next read-aloud.

Earlier this year, I read Kathi Appelt’s The Underneath, after reading rave reviews on blogs. Immediately after finishing the book, I knew I wanted to share it with my class. Sometimes, a book just hits me that way. The Underneath wasn’t a book my middle schoolers would typically pick up on their own. But the writing was magical, lyrical, and provocative. I knew it was a book we could dig our heels into and have great conversations about. Because I loved the book, I knew my enthusiasm would be contagious.

And boy was it!

We couldn’t put The Underneath down. The students begged to read it.  They made connections, predictions, inferences, and dug into the text.  When we finished the book, I was so immensely proud of them.  Months later, they are still referring back to the novel.  And the same thing has happened with each and every book we have shared as a class.

So far this year, my classes have read a variety of books.

Each book I was chosen because I enjoyed it, I had a connection to it, and I knew I could share that passion and enthusiasm with my students.  While each student has a personal favorite, they enjoyed all of the books.  Reading aloud together has brought us closer as a class.  It’s a tradition I would never give up and one I look forward to sharing with each new class.  If you haven’t tried reading aloud with your middle schooler, I can’t recommend it enough!

What are some of your favorite read-alouds to share with middle schoolers?  Or what books do you suggest parents read with their middle schoolers?

Share a Story – Shape a Future, A Blog Tour for Literacy

Share a Story – Shape a Future, A Blog Tour for Literacy

 

 

There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.
~ Jacqueline Kennedy ~
    

Stories encourage dreams – reading helps kids make their dreams come true. That singular idea – that we can help kids realize their dream – is the foundation of Share a Story – Shape a Future.    

Share a Story – Shape a Future is a blog event for literacy. Throughout the week, blogging librarians, teachers, parents, authors, illustrators and people passionate about literacy will offer ideas on ways to promote reading and books. You won’t find statistics, academic analysis, or judgments that tell you why you should read. Instead, we are using the power of the web to share ideas about ways to engage kids as readers.

Each day, bloggers will talk about different aspects of literacy and reading. Themes include raising readers, selecting suitable material, tips for reading aloud, using audiobooks, and how to use the library as an ally. The organizers have several giveaways planned, and will offer free, downloadable content.

Share a Story – Shape a Future is an opportunity to share ideas, encourage each other, and spread the word about children’s literacy. Share a Story- Shape a Future aims to build a community of readers. Please join us and share your story.

The 2009 Share a Story event will take place March 9 to 13, 2009

 This is an ensemble effort not only to celebrate reading among those of us who already love books, but to encourage each other to reach beyond ourselves and do it in a way that we are neither judging nor instructing others. This is a venue for communicating practical, useable, everyday ideas.

The event begins March 9, 2009 and lasts one week. Each day we will have a group of bloggers sharing ideas around a specific theme. There are a number of book giveaways and free downloads that will be announced by the various hosts as we get closer to the kickoff. Here is the tour schedule.

Day 1: Raising Readers
hosted by Terry Doherty at Scrub-a-Dub-Tub, the Reading Tub blog

Day 2: Selecting Reading Material
hosted by Sarah Mulhern at The Reading Zone

Day 3: Reading Aloud – It’s Fun, It’s Easy
hosted by Susan Stephenson at the Book Chook blog

Day 4: A Visit to the Library
hosted by Eva Mitnick at Eva’s Book Addiction blog  

 

Day 5: Technology and Reading – What the Future Holds
is hosted by Elizabeth O. Dulemba at Dulemba.com

Through Share a Story – Shape a Future we hope to build a community of readers, by sharing ideas and encouraging each other. When the event opens on Monday, March 9, 2009, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to join us and share your ideas.

In the meantime, we’d love for you to start spreading the word.

Huge thank yous to Elizabeth O. Dulemba and Susan Stephenson for creating images we can use to promote Share a Story – Shape a Future!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,088 other followers