For many years, I’ve been celebrating reading and helping readers get to know each other better–and therefore build our classroom community–by using a Reading Museum. While the difficulty and actual procedures are different depending on what grade I’m teaching (I’ve tried this protocol with 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th graders), the purpose is the same: help kids see themselves and their classmates as readers and make connections between interests and books!
Before I even get to the “how-we-did-this” part, I HAVE to share this amazing picture from just before we started. It’s super cute because it has a carpetful of first graders and gives me chills and makes me want to squeal (yes, actually!) because of all the books! Just indulge me for a moment then we’ll move on…
See? What did I tell you?? TOO. MUCH. Ok, let’s get to the other good stuff. 🙂
As a “homework” assignment over the weekend kiddos were asked to find their favorite book and bring it to school with them on Monday. After we collected them and took this AMAZING picture, we talked about the purpose of our Reading Museum–as well as what in the world a museum even is (for those that might night have ever visited one). We discussed museum etiquette and then they got busy putting together their “exhibits” (the idea for which came from my friend and teaching partner Ms. Turken who does so many fabulous things in Rm. 203 next door–thanks for sharing your smart thinking friend!), so we could learn from each other.
Kiddos were given a “placemat” and then added their book, their name, and some sort of response to their book: a picture of their favorite character, their favorite part, the reason why they liked it, a picture of the cover, etc.
So I do have to admit…the actual museum visit part was much shorter than I thought that it would have been, but I actually think part of it was my directions (I talked too much and too long so they were confused about what to do), and also because they were so interested in actually READING the books with their friends that they weren’t so much interested in just walking around and just looking at the covers. #ohwell #lessonslearned #rememberinghowfirstgraderswork #betterlucknexttimemrsbearden #lol
Still, it was a pretty successful time, as books were shared, connections were made and BOOKS WERE READ!!
And since I know you can’t see what we actually shared in those teeny pictures, here are all of our exhibits. Enjoy the slideshow!
Ok…one more bunch of pictures, based on another super smart Ms. Turken idea: we took a picture with each kiddo and their book and they now adorn our book boxes! GENIUS! And nope, no pics of that yet, but here’s what they look like in color on the blog (rather than in black-and-white in our room):
Wow! That was a lot. Thanks for hanging in there! Kiddos were so excited and so cute–they will be so excited I shared this and SO EXCITED that you read about their smart book thinking. 🙂