March 29: The Queen has spoken -- books for everyone!
Today, I got to read aloud in two multiage K-2 classrooms. I read Cannonball Simp by John Burningham and Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña.
If I was queen of the world:
* Every classroom would have a robust classroom library. New teachers would have a library mentor to help them ensure quality. There would be some guidance on how to develop this library, plenty of baskets and shelving, and a cozy rug, a lamp and a few beanbag chairs, too. Some books might be leveled; some organized in genres. But many are organized by the kids themselves, to help build their ownership and investment.
* Children would be able to take books home. If they were lost, it would be OK. No threats, no "no more books for you."
* Every teacher would get $100 for new books the 1st of each month. They would be delivered by the 5th.
* At the beginning of each year, and then at the beginning of each quarter, each teacher would get a set of new books -- the top recently released books to inspire, build communities of readers, dazzle with knowledge presented in interesting, engaging ways. (Choosing these books is a special honor for a group of teachers; the committee rotates every two years.)
* Every day, there would be read aloud at least twice. Guest readers are the norm, too -- parents, family members, visitors, the principal. It's not a special thing, it's just how we do business.
* After we read, we might draw or share a response. We might write a review or take a picture of the book and put it on our list to read again. We might compare it to other books or gobble up everything by this author. Or we might just sit in quiet appreciation and let the book be in our heart.
Yes... just planning this makes me feel better... the library is the soul of the classroom and without amazing books, I would never be able to teach. So I'm going to be running for queen of the world soon!