Monday, July 11, 2016

Just STACK it!

How is it that summer is flying by? We are ENJOYING every minutes at our house. We don't have any huge plans this summer but we are really loving spending lots of time at the pool! I've been finishing a lot of books poolside which is the ideal reading spot.

I've been gearing up for the new year and reading "Reading in the Wild" for the first time and "The Book Whisperer" again. Both are by Donalyn Miller and really reaffirm my core reading beliefs as well as enhance strategies that I implement in my classroom.

Have you read them? If not totally check them out here! (no affiliate...just check them out for some awesome PD!!! will look like a superstar when you talk about reading them once school starts back up!). My much loved copy of the Book Whisperer is read EVERY summer and has been borrowed among so many teacher friends...who always end up getting their own. It really is that good!

One idea she shared was something I already do with my class but I wanted to share it in this space...

It's book STACKS! A stack of book recommendations that I give my students. But there's so much more to it that makes it personal for each student!

At the beginning of the year I give my students a reading survey--it's very similar to Donalyn Miller's but with a few questions changed, a few taken out, and one or two added. I am generally not a keeper of things but I hold onto these the entire year and keep them in my GUIDED READING BINDER. They are referred to all year!!!

Once my students take the surveys I sit and read through them with sticky notes and a diet coke. As I read through each reading survey, I jot down any and all books I could recommend to each particular student. I pull up my pinterest boards full of book recommendations, goodreads, Amazon, and (my go-to's!!!).

I keep in mind which books I know I have in my classroom library as well as what books our library has. I have a general idea of what the library has. If there are books that aren't in my classroom I add them to our class wishlist!

7-8 book is the perfect amount to put on the sticky note list so there is a variety of books! I am always finding my self referring back to these during reading conferences and when students get stuck selecting a book I have a list of ideas. I keep this on their reading survey. When they read it, I check it off to keep current with their reading.

Rather than telling these to my students we go and visit our library shelves sometimes and other times I curate a stack and we talk about each book. It gives students options an builds a trust with them--because 99% of the time they find a book that they are enamored with.

Sometimes I get sticky notes on my computer from students asking for a stack! It's important to help our readers--whether they are strugglers and wild readers sift through books and select things that they not just like but LOVE!!!

So JUST STACK IT! Try it out with your readers and let me know what you think!

Over and out!


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