17 Mar Slice of Life: Where Did You Get That Book? #SOL17
On Tuesday I wrote a post about “Slam Dunk” books. I noticed that some of the comments mentioned the need to order these titles. Even emails asking where we purchased them. I failed to mention in my post that I don’t own those books.
As a staff developer or instructional coach, Tammy and I typically use books the school owns in our work. While we love to share new titles and our favorites at some of our sessions, when it comes to demonstration lessons in classrooms we prefer to use books that are in the school. It is part of the planning we do in our sessions. Once we determine a focus for our collaboration, we often head to the bookroom to find some texts that will work nicely to model or facilitate the lesson. We want to use the instructional tools available to the teachers.
When we design bookrooms, we include a section for mentor or read aloud texts. These books are organized in baskets by topic, interest, author, genre, series and mood. The slam dunk books I used in the demonstration lesson were in a nonfiction basket labeled animals. When the bookroom is organized this way it easy to find what we need to match our instructional purpose as well as the interest of the students.
The teachers and I spent less than 5 minutes exploring the books and choosing some that might work. We discussed each text and how we might use it to teach and connect to the students. We wanted these students to understand that readers react and respond to nonfiction reading and we wanted it to be fun. Animals Spit was just a slam dunk! Since we used books in the bookroom teachers knew where they could find more books just like it.
We know time is tight in schools, but we also know the right book can make all the difference in our instruction and in the engagement of our readers. We want each lesson to not only help them be more effective readers, we want it to inspire them to be lifelong readers. When we organize our books with these goals in mind, it makes it so much easier to pull it off.