A Reading Culture

The promotion of reading continues to be as important as ever in schools today.  Fortunately, access to excellent print and online resources has been expanded through the use of technology.  Digital resources such as apps, websites, and databases are engaging for students and can be utilized with iPads, laptops, and desktops.  Despite this increase in technology, getting real books into the hands of children should be the single most important mission of any library.

blueskunkblogImage from @jillsiefken

At my school, teachers use a variety of resources for reading instruction and promotion.  At the Primary (K-3) level, teachers use the Oxford Reading Tree series of levelled readers.  The RAZ Kids and Epic Books apps are also used with the school ipads.  To improve reading comprehension, teachers are using Adrienne Gear’s Reading Power with their students.  The school library collection is currently being expanded to include more picture books related to the Powers: Connect, Question, Visualize, Infer, and Transform.  PM Benchmarks is used to assess reading levels of all students.  Finally, in order to engage more students with reading, the primary teachers organized a “Book Competition” set up as a NCAA March Madness style Tournament Bracket where sets of books competed.  The students voted on the best book in each pair and books “advanced” to each round. This event was hugely successful in that the students heard or read all of the books and had opinions on the best books.

At the Intermediate (4-7) level, teachers use many novels and picture books to engage students in topics related to our Units of Inquiry.  Novels are used in Literature Circles, as read-alouds, and in full novel studies. To improve and assess nonfiction reading comprehension, teachers use online resources such as Currents4Kids and Newsela.  Both websites have engaging and informative articles on a wealth of topics.  In the near future, more books will need to be purchased to align more closely with the Big Ideas in our revised BC curriculum.

Even though the teachers at my school use many superb print and online resources in their classrooms, my hope, as the future Teacher-Librarian, is to increase the circulation of books in our library.  To do this, I hope to organize the space to feature fronts of books in displays, to upgrade signage, to update the collection, and to categorize both fiction and nonfiction books by genre. By improving the library space and collection and continuing to promote a reading culture in our school, books will have an even greater chance of getting in the hands of our students.

Siefken, J. [Jill Siefken]. (2018, May 22). [Good time of year to share this reminder from @BlueSkunkBlog #plaea #edchat]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/BlueSkunkBlog?lang=en&lang=en

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