|Book bins with each child's name and books to start the year.|
During the summer I read The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller and The Daily5 and the Cafe Book by sisters, Gail Boushey and Joan Moser. These books became my inspiration and guides to how I will approach reading with my students this year.
Following the authors' suggestions students will select their own reading books which will then be used to practice the skills and strategies being taught - true differentiation!
The Two Sisters suggested using Book bins for each student. I hemmed and hawed about what to use and in the end (due to financial constraints) I chose some colorful, plastic bins from the Dollar Store. (I'm hoping they will hold up!)
Since Tropical Storm Irene blew into town and gave the students in my district a delayed school opening, I thought I would capitalize on the moment to fill each book bin with several books.
Using my class list I selected books from my library that I thought might appeal to my new students. Each box was then filled with books of different genres with the hope of tapping into some of their interests. A bookmark was also added for extra measure!
What happened next was something unexpected. I started humming. (Okay, not that unexpected if you know me.) With a spring in my step I started bounding from the bookshelf to the book bin. My pulse quickened and my heart twittered. I felt light and hopeful. I realized it was the feeling of pure JOY!
When I had filled all 27 bins I stood back and admired my handiwork. I began to wonder. Would my students like the books? The bins? Would they experience the joy in a similar way? Would they be excited when they could add books for themselves? Would they enjoy reading this year?
I think I will always remember the excitement and joy I felt at the thought of this new school year. Not just a new year, with new students, but a new beginning with renewed commitment to helping students find the JOY in reading!