To Have a Reading Classroom You Must Be A Reader Yourself

image from icanread

It’s summer and all Thea wants to do is play in the pool or read books.  As a person who loves to play in the pool and read books, I happily oblige thus we read and read and read.  And then she saves special books for her daddy to read when he gets home.  She has a pile of books every night that she “reads” (she is not at the stage of reading the words yet) every night before bedtime   She asks me what a page says so she can retell the story to Ida and Oskar.  She met her first author yesterday and couldn’t be happier.  I cannot help but love that she loves books as much as I do.

In my classroom this was the year of the books.  I finally infused my classroom with my passion for reading and lo and behold; my students did the same.  I don’t know why I had never done that before.  So we became a reading classroom; a room that discussed books whenever we had a chance, a room that rushed book recommendations to each other, a room where boys shared what they were reading as much as the girls.  We invited in authors, poets, and other readers.  We wrote our own books and performed them for our 1st grade buddies.  We skyped about books, we debated whether the first book or the second book was best, and we watched our books being shipped to us hoping that the tracking email was incorrect and that they would get here sooner.  We tweeted about books, we breathed books.  Books were just as important as math facts and for those who know me, that means a lot.

And it hasn’t ended; one student texts me about the books he is currently reading and continues to offer me recommendations.  Another sends me emails and has even started a reading blog of his own.  Some use KidBlog and others are ready to tell me what they are reading when I see them out and about.  They are still readers and we are still a reading class even if the walls have disappeared.

As I read a book a day this summer and my pile grows rather than shrinks, I am eager to start with my new incredible group of students.  I have spotted them reading in the hallways.  I have asked them what they have been reading.  I have even given a few book recommendations already.  I will create a book display of what I read over the summer so that my passion is visible that very first day.  I hope to get what I am this year as well.   I hope they love books as fiercely as I do.  I hope they are willing to share that love wtih me and the world.  I hope they are readers.

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