We started our reading year with the question "Why Read?" Once we established the motivation to read, it was time to start building our reading community.
First and foremost, we get excited about books in our classroom. Together we explore our classroom library, chat about books, make recommendations, and create "Books to Read" lists. We pass our favorite books around the classroom, hold lotteries for the most highly sought after titles, and anticipate book release dates or "Book Birthdays". We watch book trailers and live webcasts. We even Skype with famous authors (Ms. Copland has been fortunate enough to meet a few along the way)!
Students need to read daily from a wide variety of self-selected texts. This year in our classroom each student is striving to read at least 40 books from different genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, traditional literature, poetry, informational texts, biographies, and graphic novels.
Last year I read The Book Whisperer and attended a workshop with the author, Donalyn Miller. I have been so inspired by Donalyn's passion for teaching reading. Much of what we are doing in the classroom is a based on Donalyn's practice. I am so grateful to have stumbled upon this amazing teacher and her inspirational book!