Sunday, August 18, 2019

My First Week With #classroombookaday!

donalyn miller, jilian heise, classroom bookaday. bookaday

This year I'm joining in on classroom bookaday fun with my 7th and 8th graders. We started this on day one and after three days are already into a nice routine. It's been so fun to share stories with my students. I missed reading picture books with kids everyday!

If you're new to Classroom Book A Day, you can find all sorts of information that Jilian has curated here. The idea is to read a picture book every day of the school year. To get started, I created a bulletin board with 180 blank squares to represent all of the books we're going to read and I picked out a few picture books. After we read a book, I add the cover of the book to our chart so we can keep track of our progress and we'll be able to look back at the books we've read throughout the year. 

Here are the three books we started the year with:
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The Day You Begin
written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by Rafael López
My Teacher Is A Monster! (No, I Am Not.)
written and illustrated by Peter Brown
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written by Juan Felipe Herrera and illustrated by Lauren Castillo

As a connector, I'm a person who likes to find ways to intertwine learning and to make the most of what we've got. My goal is to keep our Classroom Book A Day simple and fun but I couldn't help but add on a few opportunities that I spotted. One opportunity is to discuss some vocabulary which I'll share in another post later this week. And another is to discuss theme. 

To start, after reading the book we chat a bit and then I ask students to turn and talk to a partner and to discuss what they think the theme or message of the book is. To start, I've been keeping it simple. Students turn and talk and then write what they think the theme is on the board. After students return to their seats, I read out the themes and we see if there are commonalities or differences. I've then been capturing these into a doc so we have them to refer back to.

Here are examples students came up with as the theme of The Day You Begin:

And are some examples after reading Imagine:

To me, asking students to think about theme is simple but also important. Eventually, we'll talk about how a writer incorporates theme throughout the text and discuss it more deeply. 

But even after the first day, just asking students to think about theme, we were able to discuss a lot. For example, one group wrote, "No matter how light or dark you are, or how many languages you speak, you are still a human being." And another group wrote, "Even if you are of a different race, gender or interest you should still be included." In looking at both of these, I pointed out how the ideas were similar but the word choice was different.

I can't wait to keep going with Classroom Book A Day! Here are the books we'll be reading this week:
Nerdy Birdy
written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Matt Davies
My Name is Sangoel
written by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed and illustrated by Catherine Stock
Louise Loves Art 
written and illustrated by Kelly Light
Boy + Bot
written by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino
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The Teacher's Pet
written by Anika Mrose Rissi and illustrated by Zachariah Ohora

Classroom Book A Day is new to me but it's been great and already worthwhile so far. Already, I'm thinking about my thought process as I choose books. I'm being intentional about which books I read when and how I might be able to use them to introduce a topic we might expand upon. It's really fun and I'm sure I'll have a blog post to share about it too. Have you tried Classroom Book A Day? I'd love to hear about it if you have! Or if you are curious and have questions, please ask!

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