Friday, January 18, 2008

A question or two

I adore picture books and find that older kids, who actually read them, often enjoy them, too. But this year my big, beautiful, collection of picture books has been collecting dust. I desperately need some sort of plan to get those books off the shelf. I need a solid plan for some sort of picture book reading experience with a younger grade class. How might that look?

I went to the "transition" meeting this afternoon, where the middle school teachers come to talk with the sixth grade teachers from feeder schools. The talking was okay and I feel like my students will be in good hands, but the middle school library, where the meeting was held, was dismal. I worry that everything I've done this year to promote lots of choice reading will be wasted if they don't have a library brimming with excellent, high-interest books. The City Library here is fabulous, though, so I'm trying to think of a way to get them over there a few times before the end of the year. I want them see what a great place it is for finding great books. Getting over there isn't the challenge---it's making the visit positive and increasing the chances that they'll go back on their own. How do I do that?


sarah at thereadingzone said...

I have the same issue. When I visited the middle school last year, the classroom libraries were dismal. Some classrooms had no books, while others had less than 100. With each teacher teaching 6-7 classes of 20-25 each, that is a sad ratio of books:children. Thankfully, the middle school library is ok. However, I struggle with the same issue of getting them to that library. Visiting the library will no longer be a part of their schedule next year, so it is up to them to get there on their own. How do we get them into that habit?

kenni said...

Well, you can do any of the following:

1. Organize a book sharing project with the middle school.
2. Organize some sort of a homecoming book reading project with the kids.
3. Talk with the school librarian of the middle school about your experiences with picture books. It may also help if you 'suggest' your reading practice rather than 'ask' the librarian to 'adopt' it.

It is always good to know of teachers who are concerned of their students.

Anne said...

My friend works at the SLC public library. they have a teen center with video games and computers and other teen oriented programs to entice the kids into the library. I am not sure how well it works, but my friend says a lot of kids hang out there.


TRMite said...

agreeing with Anne. get them there when the hang out stuff is going on. or get a copy of their programs at least so you can promote those. and when you go, try to get the librarian to do some one-on-one readers advisory so they can see that she can make recs based on interest just like you do.

AMY S. said...

sarah---well, i got library card applications to hand out at parent conferences this week. it's a start.

kenni--thanks for the great suggestions.

lisa and anne--promoting the library programming is an excellent idea. i'm gonna go meet a few of those YA librarians already. (do you recommend the YA ones for 11-12 year-old kids??)

TRMite said...

well, obviously I'm biased on that question, but yes I do recommend the YA librarians. they'll be going into seventh grade this summer. promote summer reading program like CRAZY and include all the programs in that pitch. PS -- you gotta get your kids involved in the programs at your neighborhood branch. they'd love it too.

Anne said...

In my experience, he YA librarians are "cooler" than the other librarians, and the kids like them. And they do much better with kid noise than the other ones (who just act annoyed)!