This week's Take5 is all about a topic that we spend a lot of time focusing on as middle school educators: TEENS. We talk screen time, cell phones, overall struggles that teens experience and ways schools can help. Then we end with an uplifting story about students who set out to build something real -- a sailboat -- and summer reading list for middle schoolers (and students of all ages).
Longtime readers of BubbleUp Classroom may recall that my secret librarian admission is that I'm not a huge fan of book talking. In a quick conversation with a student, I may offer short book talks, describing a few titles at the shelf. However, book talking five books to a class of 30 students, leaves 25 of those students without one of those compelling reads. So, I'm constantly looking for other ways to share books with kids -- ways that get as many books as possible into their hands, giving them lots of choices. This posts offers a few strategies to work into your routine as you aim to connect readers with great books.
My oldest son started reading early -- he was into chapter books before he started kindergarten. Reading came easily to him and is still, at 13, his favorite pastime. I assumed the same would hold true for my younger son. But as all parents quickly learn, each child is different. When reading hadn’t stuck by second grade, I hit the panic button-- met with teachers, studied articles on phonetics instruction, went through some testing, all the while reminding myself of the whole “each child is different” thing...I can comfortably say that now, entering fourth grade, my youngest child is a reader. He had support from fantastic teachers in second and third grade, but I also believe that as a librarian and a mom, what happens at home matters a whole lot too in terms of a child’s reading development. Here are some strategies I have discovered and rediscovered on my parenting journey. I hope they will help you continue to kindle a love of reading in your own home or even better, if you are an educator perhaps these strategies can be shared with your student's parents as a way of helping them foster a love of reading at home.
After rolling this lesson out, I can confidentially say that this is now one of my favorite ways to connect kids with books books and I am excited to give you my materials and reflections so you can do it too!
But first, take 5 minutes and take a look at a few of my general suggestions as a place to start.
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