Be the change, being a teacher, global, global read aloud

On Global Collaboration and Projects You Can Join

I started the Global Read Aloud in 2010 not knowing what it would become, not knowing how it would truly make the world smaller, connect many children and change my own life.  I started it with a simple need in mind; more global collaboration and connections for the students I was teaching.  I knew that the power of a great read aloud could not be disputed, I knew what a read aloud could do to to foster community.  I knew what the right read aloud would do for us as readers, as thinkers, as human beings.  And so I started a small project that since 2010 has taken on a life of its own.

This Monday we kicked off the 7th annual Global Read Aloud.  It was the day that I gave up on my Twitter account pretty much.  There simply was no way for me to keep up.  With more than 937,000 students participating this year, give or take a few, I do believe we may be one of the largest, if not the largest, globally collaborative multi-day student project in the world.  I cannot help but stand in awe of the number.  Stand in awe of this little idea that grew into something more than I could imagine.  But not just for the sheer number of children involved, but more for the lives that it is changing.  For the experiences it is creating.  I stand in awe of the invisible lines stretching around the globe as students connect, discuss, and share who they are with others who happen to be reading the same book as them.  Imagine a world that is truly becoming more connected and you have the vision of what the Global Read Aloud is doing for the world.  And my project is not alone.  Other dreamers and thinkers are seeing the need for projects to unify children around the world, for better learning opportunities that include bringing the world in and the students out.  We can certainly create our own, I do all of the time for the sake of my students, or we can join in on these pre-existing projects to make the world smaller.  To make the world kinder.  To make the world more empathetic.

Global collaboration and the way it shapes student learning experiences should not be something we just do once in a while, it should be often, it should be meaningful.  It should be something our students come to expect not as something new and flashy but as something necessary for them to discover who they are as learners.  Our students have a voice, they have a need to learn about others, they have the right to not just experience our differences but to know what makes us all so similar.  Global collaboration provides us with our starting point, these projects become our starting point as we try to bring the world in.

To see the global projects I know of and that others have graciously shared, please access this padlet.  If you know of others that should be on here, please add them.  At least this is a start for what is out there.

 

Be the change, being a teacher, being me, global read aloud, MIEExpert15

The Worth of You

http---www.pixteller.com-pdata-t-l-234659 (1).jpg

Lynda Mullaly Hunt made me cry yesterday.  Right in the middle of a panel session on the community of the Global Read Aloud.  I had held my tears back all throughout as the authors had shared what it means to have their book read and loved by so many children on a global scale.  I had held my tears back as they had talked about the ways that their books had changed the lives of others, how children had found hope, courage, and determination through their pages.  Yet when Lynda told me that the slide showing a globe was for me because I had changed the world. I cried.  And then Lynda cried, and I sat there in awe because I  never set out to make a difference, I simply wanted to read a book aloud to my students and have them share their thoughts.

So I write this post not to gloat in the Global Read Aloud glory.  Nor to say that I am anything special, but more so to tell people that your ideas have worth.  That your ideas may make a difference to someone else.  That those ideas you carry inside need to be spoken because you will never know what type of difference they may make.

And yes, it is scary to speak a dream aloud.  And yes, it is scary to let others in .  And yes, it is scary to be proud of what you have created.  But it is worth it.  Even if your idea changes the course for one other person, or even if just changes yours, it will never change anything if you do not speak out loud.  If you do not share.

I never set out to make a difference, I wish I could say I had.  But it happened, if even just for my own students as they fell in love with a book year after year and wanted to make the world a better place.  Because I dared to speak aloud.  I dared to think that perhaps someone somewhere would see the beauty in this so simple idea.  And so the Global Read Aloud will continue to make a difference for so many kids, for so many teachers, as we gather in this time of terrorism, uncertainty and a world determined to be dark at times.  We need books to connect us because the world seems to be trying to tear us apart at times.  We need books to remind us that we are more alike than different.  We need books and experiences and emotions so that we can remember that we are humans first and that whatever difference we may have can be overcome.

I never set out to change the world, and I am not even sure that I have.  But I had an idea that I dared speak aloud and now cannot imagine a world without it.  Share yours; change the world.

 

being me, global read aloud

Global Read Aloud: One Book to Connect the World – A Video #GRA15

The International Literacy Association (formerly IRA) has been a huge supporter of the Global Read Aloud for a few years.  They put this video together for us as I prepare for the 6th project to start October 5th. I thought it might be nice to share it here.

Also, join me on Wednesday, September 10th at 8 PM EST for #ILAchat as we discuss all things reading aloud and the Global Read Aloud.

PS:  If you are wondering how to get your own reading warrior shirt, go here.

being me, global read aloud, Reading

Some Favorite Reads From The Year

Cross-posted from my reading review blog, Mrs. Ripp Reads.

I read 80 books this school year.  A goal I was not sure I would meet, and yet with two days to go, I have started my 81st book and am feeling pretty good.  But that doesn’t mean I am done reading, no way!  My massive to-be-read pile is practically screaming at me to start.  But before I fall in love with some new books, how about a sampling of a few books I loved this year?

All of the summaries have been taken from Goodreads, by the way.

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)

My opinion:

Red Queen is amazing, couldn’t put it down even if drew a lot of resemblance to many other amazing books.  I cannot wait for the 2nd book to come out.  And I cannot wait to hand this to as many students as I possibly can!

Age Range:  5th grade and up.

Summary:

The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

Paper Towns

My Opinion:  A student recommended Paper Towns to me and I read it over two nights.  I, of course, wanted to see what happened, but also enjoyed the memory of what it meant to be 18 and graduating with life awaiting.

Age Range:  7th grade and up with some mature language and high school scenes.

Summary:

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew…

Sunny Side Up

My Opinion:  Oh Sunny Side Up, I adore you.  An incredible example of why graphic novels can be so powerful.  I know many, many kids who will love this book.

Age Range:  4th and up.

Summary:

Following the lives of kids whose older brother’s delinquent behavior has thrown their family into chaos, Sunny Side Up is at once a compelling “problem” story and a love letter to the comic books that help the protagonist make sense of her world.

The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World's Most Notorious Nazi

My Opinion:  Growing up in Denmark, we are surrounded by the Holocaust and WWII, yet this true story, The Nazi Hunters,  I had never heard.  Once I gave up on keeping all of the names straight, I was able to just enjoy this thrilling story and be awed at the true events that happened so many years ago.

Age Range:  4th and up, it does discuss some details of the Holocaust though.

Summary:

In 1945, at the end of World War II, Adolf Eichmann, the head of operations for the Nazis’ Final Solution, walked into the mountains of Germany and vanished from view. Sixteen years later, an elite team of spies captured him at a bus stop in Argentina and smuggled him to Israel, resulting in one of the century’s most important trials — one that cemented the Holocaust in the public imagination.

Forget Me

My Opinion:  I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Forget Me, it was another page turner that many of my students enjoyed.  This one won’t stay with you for a long time but ti will envelop you while you read it.

Age Range:  5th and up.

Summary:

On the three-month anniversary of her boyfriend Flynn’s death, Morgan uploads her only photo of him to FriendShare to get some closure—but she’s shocked when the facial recognition software suggests she tag him as “Evan Murphy.” She’s never heard of Evan, but a quick search tells her that he lives in a nearby town and looks exactly like Flynn. Only this boy is very much alive.

Digging through layers of secrets and lies, Morgan is left questioning everything she thought she knew about her boyfriend, her town, and even her parents’ involvement in this massive web of lies.

Conjured

My Opinion:  Oh this book, Conjured, freaked me out but in a good way.  Terrifying, confusing, and yet it sucks you right in.  This book made me remember why I used to love reading Stephen King books and that is not a bad thing.

Age Range:  7th and up.

Summary: 

Eve has a new home, a new face, and a new name—but no memories of her past. She’s been told that she’s in a witness protection program. That she escaped a dangerous magic-wielding serial killer who still hunts her. The only thing she knows for sure is that there is something horrifying in her memories the people hiding her want to access—and there is nothing they won’t say—or do—to her to get her to remember.

At night she dreams of a tattered carnival tent and buttons being sewn into her skin. But during the day, she shelves books at the local library, trying to not let anyone know that she can do things—things like change the color of her eyes or walk through walls. When she does use her strange powers, she blacks out and is drawn into terrifying visions, returning to find that days or weeks have passed—and she’s lost all short-term memories. Eve must find out who and what she really is before the killer finds her—but the truth may be more dangerous than anyone could have ever imagined.

Every Last Word

My Opinion:  The only thing I hated about Every Last Word is that it doesn’t come out until June 16th, which means my current 7th graders do not have access to it.  And I wish they did.  I still told a few of them about this book and told them to come see me at the beginning of the year so they can read it.  I know it will speak to them as it spoke to me.

Age Range:  6th and up.  Slightly mature relationship but tactfully handled.

Summary:

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

George

My Opinion:  George is finally available August 25th and is a must add to any classroom, 4th grade and up.  When we say we need diverse books, it is a book like this that we need to have in our classrooms.

Age Range:  4th and up.

Summary:

When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.

George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part . . . because she’s a boy.

With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.

Goodbye Stranger

My Opinion:  I have loved Rebecca Stead’s books since When You Reach Me and this one Goodbye Stranger  is right up there.  While this won’t be out until August 4th I already have it pre-ordered so I can book talk it the first week of school.

Age Range:  5th and up.

Summary:

Bridge is an accident survivor who’s wondering why she’s still alive. Emily has new curves and an almost-boyfriend who wants a certain kind of picture. Tabitha sees through everybody’s games–or so she tells the world. The three girls are best friends with one rule: No fighting. Can it get them through seventh grade?
This year everything is different for Sherm Russo as he gets to know Bridge Barsamian. What does it mean to fall for a girl–as a friend?
On Valentine’s Day, an unnamed high school girl struggles with a betrayal. How long can she hide in plain sight?

Circus Mirandus

My Opinion:  Along with Fish In A Tree, Circus Mirandus  is a must-read book of the year.  Amazing, fantastic, spellbinding, and any other gushy word I can think of.  This is a modern day classic.

Age Range:  3rd and up if high reader.

Summary:

Do you believe in magic?
Micah Tuttle does.

Even though his awful Great-Aunt Gertrudis doesn’t approve, Micah believes in the stories his dying Grandpa Ephraim tells him of the magical Circus Mirandus: the invisible tiger guarding the gates, the beautiful flying birdwoman, and the magician more powerful than any other—the Man Who Bends Light. Finally, Grandpa Ephraim offers proof. The Circus is real. And the Lightbender owes Ephraim a miracle. With his friend Jenny Mendoza in tow, Micah sets out to find the Circus and the man he believes will save his grandfather.

The only problem is, the Lightbender doesn’t want to keep his promise. And now it’s up to Micah to get the miracle he came for.

Bone Gap

My Opinion:  Bone Gap both kept me guessing and frustrated me.  This tale it spun was confusing, yet magical ad I read it in one night.  Sadly I chose to leave it at home because I felt it was a touch mature for most of my 7th graders.

Age Range:  8th and up or high school due to relationship things.

Summary:

Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps—gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. After all, it wasn’t the first time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own. Just a few years before, their mother had high-tailed it to Oregon for a brand new guy, a brand new life. That’s just how things go, the people said. Who are you going to blame?

Finn knows that’s not what happened with Roza. He knows she was kidnapped, ripped from the cornfields by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember. But the searches turned up nothing, and no one believes him anymore. Not even Sean, who has more reason to find Roza than anyone, and every reason to blame Finn for letting her go.

As we follow the stories of Finn, Roza, and the people of Bone Gap—their melancholy pasts, their terrifying presents, their uncertain futures—acclaimed author Laura Ruby weaves a heartbreaking tale of love and loss, magic and mystery, regret and forgiveness—a story about how the face the world sees is never the sum of who we are.

Read Between the Lines

My Opinion:   Jo Knowles is one of the few writers where I have all of their books.  I loved the story-telling of Read Between the Lines , and I loved searching for clues as to how it would end up.

Age Range:  6th and up depending on the maturity of the reader.

Summary:

Thanks to a bully in gym class, unpopular Nate suffers a broken finger—the middle one, splinted to flip off the world. It won’t be the last time a middle finger is raised on this day. Dreamer Claire envisions herself sitting in an artsy café, filling a journal, but fate has other plans. One cheerleader dates a closeted basketball star; another questions just how, as a “big girl,” she fits in. A group of boys scam drivers for beer money without remorse—or so it seems. Over the course of a single day, these voices and others speak loud and clear about the complex dance that is life in a small town. They resonate in a gritty and unflinching portrayal of a day like any other, with ordinary traumas, heartbreak, and revenge. But on any given day, the line where presentation and perception meet is a tenuous one, so hard to discern. Unless, of course, one looks a little closer—and reads between the lines.

The Body in the Woods (Point Last Seen, #1)

My Opinion:  This is the epitome of page turner to me, quick, fast, and easy to digest, April Henry knows how to crank them out, leaving us at the edge of our seats.  All of her books look very worn this year but The Body in the Woods was probably one of the most read.  Best part is that this is the first book of a series.

Age Range:  5th grade and up but it does have a killer in it.

Summary:

Alexis, Nick, and Ruby have very different backgrounds: Alexis has spent her life covering for her mom’s mental illness, Nick’s bravado hides his fear of not being good enough, and Ruby just wants to pursue her eccentric interests in a world that doesn’t understand her. When the three teens join Portland County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, they are teamed up to search for a autistic man lost in the woods. What they find instead is a dead body. In a friendship that will be forged in danger, fear, and courage, the three team up to find the girl’s killer—before he can strike one of their own.

The Boy in the Black Suit

My Opinion:    I loved how much The Boy in the Black Suit with its moving story spoke to so many different students and myself.  Jason Reynolds is a master storyteller and draws the reader in with this simple, yet compelling story.

Age Range:  5th and up.

Summary:

Just when seventeen-year-old Matt thinks he can’t handle one more piece of terrible news, he meets a girl who’s dealt with a lot more—and who just might be able to clue him in on how to rise up when life keeps knocking him down—in this wry, gritty novel from the author of When I Was the Greatest.

Matt wears a black suit every day. No, not because his mom died—although she did, and it sucks. But he wears the suit for his gig at the local funeral home, which pays way better than the Cluck Bucket, and he needs the income since his dad can’t handle the bills (or anything, really) on his own. So while Dad’s snagging bottles of whiskey, Matt’s snagging fifteen bucks an hour. Not bad. But everything else? Not good. Then Matt meets Lovey. She’s got a crazy name, and she’s been through more crazy than he can imagine. Yet Lovey never cries. She’s tough. Really tough. Tough in the way Matt wishes he could be. Which is maybe why he’s drawn to her, and definitely why he can’t seem to shake her. Because there’s nothing more hopeful than finding a person who understands your loneliness—and who can maybe even help take it away.

Red Butterfly

My Opinion:  I was surprised t how much I liked Red Butterfly, I loved the twists and turns and found myself personally invested in it.  With its poetic narration of an unbelievable story, you have to just read one more page to see what happens.

Age Range:  4th and up.

Summary:

Kara never met her birth mother. Abandoned as an infant, she was taken in by an elderly American woman living in China. Now eleven, Kara spends most of her time in their apartment, wondering why she and Mama cannot leave the city of Tianjin and go live with Daddy in Montana. Mama tells Kara to be content with what she has … but what if Kara secretly wants more?

Locomotion

My Opinion:  The stark beauty of the words of Locomotion left me silent for a long time.  I used several excerpts with students as well, which lead to them reading the book.

Age Range:  5th and up.

Summary:

When Lonnie Collins Motion “Locomotion” was seven years old, his life changed forever. Now he’s eleven, and his life is about to change again. His teacher, Ms. Marcus, is showing him ways to put his jumbled feelings on paper. And suddenly, Lonnie has a whole new way to tell the world about his life, his friends, his little sister Lili, and even his foster mom, Miss Edna, who started out crabby but isn’t so bad after all. Jacqueline Woodson’s novel-in-poems is humorous, heartbreaking . . . a triumph.

We Were Liars

My Opinion:  Incredible book that leaves you turning every page so you can see how it ends.  This was passed around my classroom quite a bit, never quite settling in on our shelves.  We Were Liars was a must read for many students and teachers this year.

Age Range: 7th and up due to mature language and subjects.

Summary:

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

Unwind (Unwind, #1)

My Opinion:  A fantastic sci-fi series which I cannot wait to continue reading.  I used Unwind for a book club group as well and they loved it.

Age Range:  6th and up.

Summary:

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child “unwound,” whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state, is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

Reality Boy

My Opinion:  I loved Reality Boy for its brutal betrayal of what being angry can mean for your life.  This book resonated with me and a few males students because they could relate to Gerald’s life.

Age Range:  7th and up – it has mature language and mature subject matter.

Summary:

Gerald Faust knows exactly when he started feeling angry: the day his mother invited a reality television crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he’s still haunted by his rage-filled youth—which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle—and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education room at school.

Nothing is ever going to change. No one cares that he’s tried to learn to control himself, and the girl he likes has no idea who he really is. Everyone’s just waiting for him to snap…and he’s starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that.

Awards, being me, global read aloud

ISTE to Recognize the Global Read Aloud

Cross-posted on the Global Read Aloud website

The story of the Global Read Aloud is a very simple one indeed.  What started as a summer night’s conversation and a “What if…” moment spoken aloud, has turned into a global event that somehow grows, changes, adapts, yet perseveres year after year.  As new people join our family, as new incredible books are selected, as new technology is incorporated, the mission does not change; one book to connect the world.  One book to read aloud.  When I look back at the rise of the GRA, I don’t quite know how it happened, only that I am so grateful that it has.

Yet, this project is not just mine, it belongs to all of the educator, children, parents, and administrators that have seen value in it.  That have believed in it and made it their own.  It belongs to the world, as any global project should do, and yet, it is still my baby.  Something that takes up so much time but is so rewarding.

I am therefore incredibly humbled, yet so very excited, to announce that I have been selected for the first annual ISTE Innovation in Global Collaboration award for the creation of the Global Read Aloud.   I have wanted to share the news for a while officially on this blog but it feels terribly odd to tout your own accomplishments.  But I am proud, it is hard work, and yet, this isn’t really about me.  This recognition is about all of us.  All of the people that make the Global Read Aloud what it is.  It is about all of the kids that believe they can make the world better by taking action and reaching out.  It is about all of the teachers that take the leap of faith every year and sign up, not quite knowing what to expect, and still making it their own.  It is about all of the authors that write such incredible stories that have to be shared with others.  It is about all of you, I just get to represent us all , and for that I am so very grateful.

So if you happen to be at ISTE this summer, and you happen to be around Monday morning, there is some form of breakfast, a recognition of some sort.  And while I haven’t gotten many details, I would like to invite all of you to come celebrate this award with me somehow.  If you can meet up with me, please come tell me your story.  Find me and please celebrate with me.

This award may have my name on it, but that is only because there isn’t enough room for all of yours.  Thank you so much for spending your time with the Global Read Aloud.  Thank you so much for believing in me.

I am a passionate teacher in Oregon, Wisconsin, USA but originally from Denmark,  who has taught 4th, 5th, and 7th grade.  Proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children.  The second edition of my first book Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students” is available for pre-order now.   Second book“Empowered Schools, Empowered Students – Creating Connected and Invested Learners” is out now from Corwin Press.  Join our Passionate Learners community on Facebook and follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.

advice, being a teacher, global read aloud, Reading

5 + 1 Ideas for Doing Better Read Alouds in the Middle School Years

I knew moving to 7th grade from 5th that our read aloud was something I had to preserve.  I knew that having a shared experience was something we needed as we built community, I knew we needed a read aloud so we could be a part of the Global Read Aloud and be a part of a global reading community, and I knew that no matter how old my students may feel like they are, a great read aloud has no age limit. What I didn’t know was just how hard it would be!

Between 45 minute class periods, students who groan at the slightest hint of silliness, and a broad curriculum that seems to never slow down; our read aloud was getting squeezed out almost every day.  In fact, in one class, our very first read aloud took us nearly 5 months to finish.  Talk about stretching out a story.  So in this year of trial and error, I have discovered a few things that is bound to restore the read aloud as one of our main tenets next year.

  1. Pick different books for each class.  As much as I hate having to keep track of five different books, I made the mistake of reading the same amazing book aloud to three of my classes.  My own apprehension and disdain for reading the same thing aloud thus created another barrier; I simply did not want to read aloud to my later classes because I had already read it aloud before.  Now I honor the individuality of my students by having different texts for them all.  We discover the books together and I want to see what happens next just as much as they do.
  2. If you do read the same book; record your read aloud.  If you can find an audio version of a book, find it and use that with the students.  If you cannot, then make your own for example by reading it aloud to Voxer and then emailing the sound file to yourself.  I plan on doing this for our Global Read Aloud books next year so that I won’t get sick of  reading it aloud again and again.
  3. Make your read aloud your mentor text.  I did this in 5th grade and got away from it in 7th, but now I am going right back to it.  This way, when we go through the strategies from Notice and Note we can search for them right in the text we are using, thus double-dipping into the time we have.
  4. Read books in verse aloud.  This year certainly has been the year of the verse book and these make for incredible read alouds.  The story moves along at a fast pace, the students hear great poetry and like it, and it allows us to cover more books.  I just finished The Crossover with two classes who loved the story.
  5. Never underestimate a great picture book.  If you know you will be hard-pressed for time one quarter or over a span of time, opt for reading aloud amazing picture books.  We have read many Elephant & Piggie books, plus any of the other incredible picture books we have in here.  What matters about the read aloud is that we have a shared text experience that we can grown from on many levels.  That does not just have to come from a chapter book.
  6. Even if just for a minute; read aloud.  I used to think I should only read aloud when I coud afford to spend 10 minutes or more on it in class.  The constraint of the 45 minutes that I teach in did not allow me the luxury of that often so we got further and further away from our stories.  Now I know that even if I finish class with just a few minutes of read aloud at the end of class, it is better than not reading, because even a few minutes keep a story fresh and the action moving.

What ideas do you have?  Please share.

I am a passionate teacher in Oregon, Wisconsin, USA but originally from Denmark,  who has taught 4th, 5th, and 7th grade.  Proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children.  The second edition of my first book Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students” will be published by Routledge in the fall.   Second book“Empowered Schools, Empowered Students – Creating Connected and Invested Learners” is out now from Corwin Press.  Join our Passionate Learners community on Facebook and follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.

S