#FDOFG2017–Readers Gonna Read (Part 2)

Before you read more about what’s going on with books in first grade right now, be sure you’ve read the first part, where we got started in our classroom library, began our #classroombookaday challenge, spent some quiet time during our day and visited the Robinson library. 🙂

As I mentioned in the last part of my last post, figuring out what kids like and who they are can happen in many ways–books are one of those ways.  Aside from just paying attention and taking note, we wanted to be able to share our favorites with friends, and so Ms. Turken and coordinated a Favorite Book Museum.  Each kiddo brought in (or checked out at school) their favorite book.  The reason it was their favorite could be for anything–someone special read it to them, it was a favorite from when they were little(r), they could read it themselves, it was funny–whatever.  I was able to take a picture of each kiddo smiling brightly with their favorite, and these fabulous pictures will grace many parts of our room (book boxes and our outside bulletin work-sharing board to name a couple).  I took them in front of our giant map, because reading takes you places!  Before I even go any further, I know you’ll want to see those so here they are.  And yes, they are precious. 🙂

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Aside from just being able to enjoy our books ourselves, we wanted to share them with our classmates–both from Rm. 111 and Rm. 112.  We did this in a format called a Favorite Book Museum.  In the past I’ve done this with bigger kids and called it a Reading Museum (which had a little bit of a different feel and protocol).  This time around, kiddos put together an “exhibit” with their book, a picture of their favorite part and a card with their name (just like exhibits have in a real museum!).   Children were given a chance to walk around to view other kiddos’ exhibits, looking for connections as well as for books they might like to read in the future.  We started in our own classroom and then traded rooms so we could see everyone’s favorites.

Before we could visit the museum, however, we needed to make sure that we knew how we were supposed to act and what we were supposed to do.  I think in the past I have taken for granted that all of my kiddos have been to a museum and understand what I’m talking about when I mention using a quiet voice, not touching things, only using eyes to look and not fingers, as well as just connecting the whole museum idea anyway.  This time I decided it would be a good idea to find a video that might help anyone who needed some support in this area.  We watched this short little video with our Rm. 112 friends first:

After we were sure we were all on the same page, we go busy with our visit!

This was another great, positive literary-focused community experience that we will build on throughout the year.  We will probably even hold Favorite Book Museums again throughout the year, watching how our tastes change and grow.

Have you ever been to a book museum?  If so, we’d love to hear about your experience!

#FDOFG–Favorite Book Museum!

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…

IMG_3235See?  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!

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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. 🙂

Getting Started with Reading: Second Grade Reading Museum

I hope that like writing, it’s no secret that I love reading and books.  And getting great books in the hands (and ears!) of kids so that they can have the feeling of losing themselves in a good book.  One way we do that in 2nd grade (ok, in all my classrooms no matter what grade they are!) is read A LOT, and talk A LOT about books.  This year, since our kiddos are older and wiser, we also added in a Reading Museum, like I’ve written about with bigger kids.

It started out much the same, with this invitation:

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 8.41.43 PMI changed the criteria for choosing books a little from when I taught 4th and 5th grade, but really the goal was the same: bring your favorite books to help us learn something about you as a reader.

When Friday finally came, we got ready by setting up our “exhibits” and discussing the etiquette for visiting museums.

As kiddos circulated through their friends’ exhibits, they were expected to be thinking about these questions:

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 9.31.49 PMWe turned on some soft music and got busy with our museum:

I was very impressed with how quietly they were focused on checking out all the books on display.  It became very clear, though, that most kids were not thinking about making connections with friends.  They were instead focusing on just the middle question:
Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 9.35.49 PMThey were reading new books and finding new favorites, and you know what?  That’s amazing!  The goal of the museum (and in general) is to get kids excited about books and reading and see that it’s for them.  When we shared at the end of our museum time, I was reassured that they actually were paying attention to whose books they were looking at, too, as they shared where they’d seen some of their new favorites.  YAY!

I should have expected that they’d go about it in a little bit different way, and but I shouldn’t have been surprised that they still accomplished the goal I had set out.  These kids are super amazing, after all.  So glad we did this!

Reading Museum

All during the first week of school, we spent our time in activities to get to know each other better.  During our second week, we continued, but with the focus of getting to know each other better as learners.

So on Friday during Reader’s Workshop, we held a Reading Museum.

The idea was simple, really.  Each reader in our room–including me!–set up an “exhibit” that told something about themselves as readers.  Then we went around to each exhibit (after having a quick conversation about expectations–you have to act a certain way in a museum, after all) to see what each person laid out.  We made connections to other readers’ books and asked questions we had, too.

Once we were finished, we debriefed on what we had learned during this activity and how it would help us in the future.   What a fun way to spend a Friday afternoon!

Check out some pictures from our museum:

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Have you ever been a part of a Reading Museum?  What books would you put in your exhibit?  We chose books that we liked, that we’ve read over and over, that someone read to us when we were little, etc.  We’d love to hear about your selections!  Leave us a comment, please! 🙂