Hi friends! This blog is for teachers and families- all for the sheer joy of literacy. When we are enthusiastic about reading and writing our students and our own kids become excited to read and write. I hope that we all can be models for those in our care- how did you show your passion for reading, writing, learning, language, or words today?? It's in those small, daily moments that we teach kids to love literacy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Library Visit

I'm trying out this new feature where I report out about what I checked out at the library for the week. If I was one of those super organized moms/teachers, I would visit the library with my toddler weekly. But my visits are not as consistent as they should be (reason being-we have a lot of great books at home and I have a Kindle). Hopefully this new feature will inspire me to take a weekly trip to my local library (only a short walk away!). My social, book-loving daughter certainly loves it- and that's reason enough, eh?

I do love going to the library. I like browsing through the new fiction books, DVDs, and cookbooks. I absolutely love running into neighbors, talking with friendly strangers, and feeling connected to the local community. It really is such a gift that books are made available publicly- for anyone and everyone to access.

My local library- The Dimond Branch, Oakland CA
Here's what I checked out:

For my daughter (17 months):
  • My First Spanish Word Board Book, by Angela Wilkes My daughter loves these DK board books with real pictures. This book is packed with small images of everyday things, and showcases a lot of the words that she knows (banana, duck, apple, bread, table, book) or has heard often. My daughter also goes to daycare in a home where they speak Spanish only. I thought this books would help me brush up on some Spanish vocabulary, and help her to make a connection to the words she uses at home and daycare. We'll see how it goes...
For my students (elementary):
This spring I began doing read alouds (when you, as the teacher, read a book out loud to your students) weekly. Since I am a reading intervention teacher I usually have specific goals I'm working on with the students (expression, comprehension, teaching reading strategies, etc...) and much of the time I am working through a reading intervention curriculum with the students. I felt these different curriculum were effective on many levels, but weren't fostering a motivation to read (and that needed to change!). Reading a book to the students once a week for 20 minutes has dramatically improved their motivation to read (while building their knowledge about the world and their vocabulary!). Engaging read alouds are essential for many reasons (I could go on forever!), and my students' change in attitude proves it! I usually use read alouds as a teaching tool to focus on particular reading strategies. But sometimes we read a book just for fun!
  • Owl Moon, by Jane Yolen I love Jane Yolen. I was introduced to Owl Moon during my teaching credential program. This book is beautifully written. A daughter and her father go "owling" together. I would use this book to focus on author's craft or visualization. 
  • Mrs. Katz and Tush, by Patricia Polacco You'll probably see Patricia Polacco turn up often on this blog. I love her books- and her characters, themes of love, community, and the importance of history, all keep me coming back to her books again and again. And since I love her books so much, my students always do too (funny how that works). I chose this book blindly- I had never read it. But it's simply perfect for this week. There's a Seder in it (Passover is observed this week, I think). What a great way to teach my students about Passover (building their background knowledge) and share a heartfelt story about friendship and community. I'm excited to read this one. Bonus: The setting of this book is my hometown- Oakland, CA.
  • My little Car, by Gary Soto. Again, I love Gary Soto. I chose this blindly too (well, knowing that i enjoy Soto's writing). Soto stories often convey the life of the Mexican American youth, and my students have always connected to his books. This story I like, but don't love. I would use this to have the students share connections and reflect on the character's poor decisions.
For Me:
Why do you like your library? What book(s) have you checked out recently?

Take your kids to the library early and often!

Read on!

1 comment:

  1. I love, love my library -- and am there a couple of times a week usually to pick up some book I have put on hold from my computer on inter-library loan. If I hear of a book that looks interesting my first move (before I forget) is to check out if it is somewhere in the system and put it on hold. We have a great system in which I can pick up books from libraries all over the state including universities. Unfortunately :(( our legislature has already severely cut library funding -- and it looks like worse cuts are on the way. I just wrote the governor & my senator and rep today to request that they do no more library funding cutting!!


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