March 9, 2011 is World Read Aloud Day. This global rally shows the world that the right to read and write belongs to all people and lets the children of the world know that words and stories have the power to change lives.
What would you miss most if you could not read or write?
Imagine your world without words.
Read with loved ones and new friends in honor of World Read Aloud Day from now through March 9, and tally your minutes to help reach the goal of 774 million minutes in honor of the 774 million people worldwide who cannot read or write.
For more information on how you and your school can participate in the events of World Read Aloud Day:
Right before the Christmas holidays, Mesquite librarians did an online book study. We used a Goodreads group to discuss The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Reader in Every Child by Donalyn Miller. This book motivated many of our group to make a concerted effort to read every day in 2011 – me included. It reminded us that if we want our students (and teachers) to be readers, we have to model reading and talk about reading with them.
To help me keep my personal commitment, I have joined my first ever reading challenge – the Centurions of 2011 on Facebook! This group, created by Paul W. Hankins, is “a group of readers who have set a goal to read 111 or more books during the year 2011. Members will be posting month by month their titles, highlighting at least one pick to total twelve favorites for 2011. All genres accepted from picture books to poetry anthologies to professional texts.”
I’m keeping track of what I read on Goodreads – you can see my profile here.
If 111 books sounds like too many, Goodreads also offers a 2011 reading challenge, where you can set your own goal and track what you read using their site.
With all of the things that capture our attention these days, sometimes plain old reading just gets lost in the shuffle – even for book-loving people like librarians – and it’s something that shouldn’t be lost. As Donalyn Miller writes in her blog post about reading challenges:
…how many books you read isn’t really the point. Reading every day, whether it is a stack of picture books, 30 pages of an adult novel, or a section of that professional book you know will influence your paradigm–making a daily commitment to read is what matters–both to our teaching and our personal lives.
Won’t you join me in making a commitment to read every day in 2011?
For the past several months, we’ve been working to implement a digital library (powered by Overdrive) in our district. Venturing into the ebook world has been quite an experience, let me tell you. Multiple devices, incompatible formats, DRM restrictions – a person has to really WANT to read in digital format because it’s not always easy getting what you want to read on the device that you have.
The introduction of Google eBooks may change all that.
One of the bloggers that I keep up with is Angela Maiers. Angela is a literacy consultant and she has great ideas for working with kids on reading and writing. Her latest series is called Celebrating Nonfiction and there is one post in particular that I thought would be useful to librarians.
Angela describes conversations that she had with students as they selected nonfiction books in the library and what she felt like was missing in their selection process:
Over and over, I would hear comments like:
“I need a book on snakes.”
“I want to know more about trucks, so I am looking for truck books.”
“I have to research the constitution, do you have a book on that?”
So what’s missing? Not one reader mentioned their purpose for reading. Even when I asked: What is your reason for wanting more information about snakes? What about trucks is most important for you to discover? What aspect of the constitution is the subject of your research?
Readers can only be assured that they have selected the “just- right” text when their purpose aligns with the content.
I know that many of our elementary librarians teach lessons on “author’s purpose” to our students. What a great way of making a connection from lesson to life than to help students relate the author’s purpose to their own purpose for reading a book.
The next time you have kids in the library looking for something to read, don’t just ask them what their interests are or what kinds of TV shows or movies they enjoy. Also talk to them about their purpose for reading. It’s one more piece of information that you can use to help you connect your students to the right books for them!
And if you’re interested in some great ideas for ways to teach your students about nonfiction books, check out Angela’s other posts, starting with this one:
Take your summer reading to go with FREE downloadable audiobooks from SYNC!
SYNC is an online community that ” seeks to build the audience for audiobooks among readers 13 and up.” To promote the cause, SYNC is giving away two FREE downloads each week until September 1, 2010. Titles available are YA favorites paired with a summer reading list classic.
This week’s theme is “Goal” and starting today you can download Over the Line by Alfred C. Martino and The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay. All you need is the OverDrive Media Console software that is available free from the SYNC site. Once you have the books downloaded, you can listen on your computer, burn the file to a disk, or transfer it to a mobile device for listening on the road!
I’ve posted before about what magazines might look like when viewed on an e-reader. With the advent of the iPad, it looks like publishers will be rethinking how to merge traditional books with the e-reader format. This is a video from Penguin Books, showing how they might make some of their titles more interactive for kids.
If you don’t know the name Stephen Krashen, you should. In his book The Power of Reading, he has summarized the research about kids and reading. He is also a staunch supporter of school libraries. The following is from a recent discussion list posting of his:
“I just finished reading “Primary Sources: America’s Teachers on America’s Schools” which was published by Scholastic and the Gates Foundation. This report has been discussed in newspapers all over the country. Not mentioned in any of the media reports, and not mentioned in the summary section of the report is an interesting result about where students get their books for their own independent reading. This result was not discussed in the text but is buried deep in the appendix.
Q1505 Where do your students get books for their independent reading most often? Select all that apply.
school library: all levels: 83%. high school 80% my classroom library: all levels: 68%, high school: 31%; elementary school 87% public library: all levels: 38% high school: 46% retailers: all levels: 20%, high school: 35%
This is similar to what has been reported before in the professional literature, as I reported in The Power of Reading, but shows the impact of the school library far more clearly than ever before. If independent reading is a major source of our competence in literacy, this confirms that school and classroom libraries are very very important.
Unfortunately, the study did not look at differences in level of poverty.”
Isn’t it nice to have actual data that kids ARE getting their books from the school library, more than any other source?
As one of the instructional leaders on a campus, it’s important for librarians to stay current on professional reading. This year, MISD librarians divided into groups to read some current professional literature on various topics. Book study options were:
The New Learning Commons: Where Learners Win! by David Loertscher
Getting Things Done by David Allen
Librarians as Learning Specialists by Allison Zmuda
Redefining Literacy 2.0 by David Warlick
A Whole New Mind by Dan Pink
Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds
Each small group met three times for book discussion. We used a protocol called The Final Word to facilitate the discussions. Today each group is making a 10 minute “book talk” presentation in an effort to familiarize others with the titles read.
Librarians will also be commenting on the books they read using a web 2.0 tool called Wallwisher. This tool allows you to post electronic sticky notes to an online board. Our book study wallwisher is embedded below:
The Pirates Read Book Club at Poteet High School meets every month to discuss a book that all the members have read. At last month’s meeting, instead of having their regular verbal discussion, the students wrote blog entries about the January book selection, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Librarians Sandy Eckstein and Lou Faling worked with their High School Technology Facilitator, Tonya Cox to get the kids blogging!
Club members also participated in an OFYP parade that was held in Poteet’s hallways at the end of January. OFYP stands for Optional Flexible Year Program. This new program allows high school students who are successful on TAKS and in their classes to get out of school on May 21 this year – a full 8 days early. Teachers and administrators are working hard to let kids know about this option and encourage them to be able to participate. The parade was just one of many activities Mesquite high schools are having to promote the program. Pirates Read members are all planning on taking advantage of the opportunity!