Friday, September 28, 2007

Leaving September

Fall is my favorite season. There are still two more months of pumpkins, brisk days, chilly nights, and new pencil smells, but the season still seems to be slipping away too fast.

Speaking about books as a unique artistic medium, Roger Sutton recently pined, "The more involved you are in a work of art, the more deeply it's going to stay inside you."

An observation from the trenches of my 5th/6th grade classroom: In a very Taoist way I've learned to take great advantage of one of my unique gifts. I am an amazing oral reader. I can captivate kids with my read alouds like you wouldn't believe if you've never sat at my feet while enjoying a wonderful story together. (Inheritance from my mama, thank you very much.) So it shouldn't have been so surprising, but I've recently discovered that reading a short selection out loud is one of the most powerful spells I have in my particular arsenal of book talking weapons. And in contrast to librarians, who might come twice a year and want to talk about 15 books in twenty minutes, I also have the great luxury of time. If it takes 10 minutes to talk about two books today, well that's okay. We'll have another ten minutes tomorrow, and on Wednesday, and again on Thursday. In fact we'll have time, if needed, for book talks on each day for the whole rest of the year. Fortunately, book talking can be a bit different for classroom teachers. Each book can be on stage for a longer bit of time and each book talk can include a short reading.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

I used to think that reading part of the book was cheating in a book talk. I worked with a great reading teacher for a couple of years who showed me differently. Now I love it! It's helped me get kids excited about books that my students haven't wanted to read for years.

Thanks for reminding me of the power and wonder of book talks! (I've sort of dropped them by the wayside as the year has picked up pace.)