#classroombookaday UPDATE: Week 8

It’s the end of the 1st Quarter, and I am SO GLAD I decided to keep track of our books like this!  I know that it has helped us in loads of ways, and has changed some of my thinking as well.

First of all, while it is not hard data, I can tell that the kiddos in my room have gotten more interested in both reading and writing because of the presence of so many great books!  The first few days of school, I remember saying sadly to my friends, “This class doesn’t like to read!  They don’t like books! What is up with that!?”  Honestly, I remembered the sounds of disgust and the moans that emerged from many first grade bodies when I’d announce that we would meet on the rug to share a story, and the mention of having THEM read was like asking them to drink vinegar!  I was seriously worried that we’d be fighting all year about how amazing reading and writing are and how you should do them every day.  To look at them now, you’d never know that was where we had started.  I can say that everyone in my class is a willing reader, and many choose to do so whenever they get a chance to make a free choice.  It has also upped the excitement about writing, as well, since Rm. 202 kiddos understand the connection between reading a great book and where it came from.  They have, on many occasions written their own versions of great stories we’ve read–mainly Elephant and Piggie, but also other Mo Willems books (yep, we’re still HUGE FANS!).  They are then super excited to be able to read those books to the class; this is a new phenomenon in my primary classes–I’ve never had kiddos so eager to read to their friends!  You will notice many of these kid-published titles on our door. 🙂

Secondly, I’d have to say that our excitement with #classroombookaday has changed my intention, purpose and selection of read alouds in our class.  Read aloud has also been a big deal in my classroom, and I completely believe that it is a crucial piece of the puzzle to creating strong readers and writers–and thinkers!  In the past, however, my read alouds have been primarily chapter books.  Even in 1st grade, my book choices were longer texts (often series or other stories) that I know and love that I want to expose my kiddos to so they can love them, too!  First grade read alouds last time included graphic novel series like Lunch Lady and Babymouse, which most kiddos hadn’t yet heard of.  We also enjoyed many authors that wrote a variety of different kinds of books, like Kate DiCamillo.  We have read the Mercy Watson series, the Leroy Ninker series, as well as The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.  While I do believe I will eventually get around to reading longer texts and starting our Read Aloud Timeline (another core part of my literacy instruction), I think this will probably not happen now until after the new year.  Because of my focus on the #classroombookaday challenge, I’ve become more interested and aware of great picture books and picture book authors that I didn’t really know before (it’s weird I know, I am a first grade teacher and I didn’t really read picture books).  This has lead to some new friends and new favorite books and new people to connection with on Twitter with my class.   This whole process has also increased the amount of books that kiddos bring me from home or from the library that we “HAVE TO READ.”  I love that they are being more discriminate about what their friends might like or what a “good” book sounds like. Win/win for everyone, wouldn’t you say?

Ok, so here’s our new door picture, up to date from last Friday.  We’re up to 152 now–which blows my mind!  And we still stop to look at the beautiful book covers (as does almost everyone else who walks by!) every time we’re in the hall.  Check it out!

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This week we read many less books than previous weeks.  I’d say it was probably because it was the last week of the quarter and so worked much more on finished up assessments and such instead of gathering together on the rug for a lesson (which is when most of our read alouds happen).  We have 3 kid-written books on our door this week, as well as a Curious George book, a wordless book by Tomie dePaola (which is a new author to us), another Ashlyn Anstee book that also has an Emily Arrow songEmily Arrow song, a Pigeon book we hadn’t read, a Pete the Cat math book and the second book from the Global Read Aloud schedule.  Whew!  Even with less titles, we were busy and engrossed in REALLY GOOD BOOKS!

I do have a couple more pictures to share before I go…

Mara, Kaiden and Aadish are three kiddos that have been most interested in writing their own texts for our class to read.  This week we had one from each of them, but I’m sorry to say I only have a picture of Kaiden’s book–not of him actually reading it.  Sorry buddy!

Ok, one more. 🙂  Ms. Turken’s class is also on the #classroombookaday journey, and their board looks like this:

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Don’t all those books just make you happy?!  Thanks for reading!  As always, if you have a book or author suggestion, please leave us a comment and we’ll definitely try it out! 🙂