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October 23, 2014 Sharing a Reading Moment: Connecting Reading Personally By Kriscia Cabral
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

    Scholastic recently launched Open a World of Possible, a new reading initiative to help children discover the pleasure and power of reading. I have been looking for ways to encourage and promote a positive reading environment for my students, so I started by signing up for the exclusive Scholastic Taylor Swift video and the live Usher webcast. Seeing how famous people relate to real life is always a hit. When starstruck kids hear about pop icons doing the things that they do — like reading — they go crazy!

    I got even more excited after reading fellow Top Teacher blogger, Meghan Everette’s reading challenge post. If you haven’t read this one, you should. Meghan started a reading challenge where her kids read a book, and then created a short video challenging others to read that same book too. I loved this idea because kids are always up for a challenge — why not do one based on reading? I knew my kids would really enjoy creating video book challenges for classmates and other second and third graders around the world.

    Even with this wonderful variety of positive reading stories and opportunities, I felt like the personal touch was missing. I asked myself how I could make a reading connection between my students and people they know and see every day. Read on to see how sharing a love of reading can open a world of reading possibilities.

    After pondering my question, I felt like the first group of people my students needed to connect with and hear more from was the staff of our school. I wanted to capture their reading moments for students to witness. With the help of teammates, a short video was put together and ready to share.

    The video shown is of the second and third grade teachers at my school. The students know all of these teachers, so when their faces popped up in the video, the kids were thrilled. My students have a strong connection to the teachers in the building. They were excited to hear about the book or moment that helped staff members find a passion for reading.

    I played the video for my students and then opened up the subject for discussion. Students shared how neat it was to see the different teachers talking about reading, and wanted to write down the names of the books that were mentioned to find out more. They were excited to hear that many of us (the teachers in the video), fell in love with reading around the same age that the students themselves are now, and with books that they are familiar with.

     

    Create a Visual to Share

    The conversation around book titles sparked the creation of a board in our room where students wrote down the title of the book that sparked their love of reading. Then they went to their writer’s notebooks and told the story of that moment when they fell in love with reading.

    For those who have not fallen in love with reading YET, I asked them to write about what their struggles are. They could write about what they wish they could read more of, or what they have read that they did not enjoy and why. This information gave me a little more background on my students as readers, and was also a starting point for me to see if I could transform them into reading lovers with help and support throughout the school year.

    I wanted to keep the excitement about reading alive, so I asked my students to extend their research. I asked, “Who else should we ask about reading?” Their first thought was their parents at home. Students were given the task to go home and interview their parents. They were to pose the same scenario that they were given: “The moment that I fell in love with reading was when I read . . . ” This gave students the opportunity to hear from another group of people that are close to them, and then to make a further personal connection. For example, one idea was to have parents share their favorite book or story with their child if they hadn't already done so.

     

    Brainstorm Next Steps

    The conversation continued in our room. We started to make a list of other ways we could share our love for reading and how others could do the same:

    • The first thing we can do is envelope ourselves in a collective passion. As I mentioned above, in my room there is a board where students have written the titles of books that inspired them to read. One thought is to bring copies of these books into the classroom to share with each other. One student offered to bring in a copy of her favorite story to start us off.

    • Another idea from a student was to make a student video like the teacher video my co-workers and I created. Then other students at our school — and at other schools — can see and hear about books that have inspired kids to read.

    Students liked the video. They thought it was really neat to see their teachers confiding about a reading moment. For some, it could have been the first time they ever thought about the idea of loving to read. The inspiration and shared message will continue with the Taylor Swift video and Usher webcast coming soon.

    The purpose was to inspire young readers and to show that the world of possible, the love of reading, and the gift of imagination can last forever.

    Thank you for reading.

    Smiles,

    Kriscia

     

    Scholastic recently launched Open a World of Possible, a new reading initiative to help children discover the pleasure and power of reading. I have been looking for ways to encourage and promote a positive reading environment for my students, so I started by signing up for the exclusive Scholastic Taylor Swift video and the live Usher webcast. Seeing how famous people relate to real life is always a hit. When starstruck kids hear about pop icons doing the things that they do — like reading — they go crazy!

    I got even more excited after reading fellow Top Teacher blogger, Meghan Everette’s reading challenge post. If you haven’t read this one, you should. Meghan started a reading challenge where her kids read a book, and then created a short video challenging others to read that same book too. I loved this idea because kids are always up for a challenge — why not do one based on reading? I knew my kids would really enjoy creating video book challenges for classmates and other second and third graders around the world.

    Even with this wonderful variety of positive reading stories and opportunities, I felt like the personal touch was missing. I asked myself how I could make a reading connection between my students and people they know and see every day. Read on to see how sharing a love of reading can open a world of reading possibilities.

    After pondering my question, I felt like the first group of people my students needed to connect with and hear more from was the staff of our school. I wanted to capture their reading moments for students to witness. With the help of teammates, a short video was put together and ready to share.

    The video shown is of the second and third grade teachers at my school. The students know all of these teachers, so when their faces popped up in the video, the kids were thrilled. My students have a strong connection to the teachers in the building. They were excited to hear about the book or moment that helped staff members find a passion for reading.

    I played the video for my students and then opened up the subject for discussion. Students shared how neat it was to see the different teachers talking about reading, and wanted to write down the names of the books that were mentioned to find out more. They were excited to hear that many of us (the teachers in the video), fell in love with reading around the same age that the students themselves are now, and with books that they are familiar with.

     

    Create a Visual to Share

    The conversation around book titles sparked the creation of a board in our room where students wrote down the title of the book that sparked their love of reading. Then they went to their writer’s notebooks and told the story of that moment when they fell in love with reading.

    For those who have not fallen in love with reading YET, I asked them to write about what their struggles are. They could write about what they wish they could read more of, or what they have read that they did not enjoy and why. This information gave me a little more background on my students as readers, and was also a starting point for me to see if I could transform them into reading lovers with help and support throughout the school year.

    I wanted to keep the excitement about reading alive, so I asked my students to extend their research. I asked, “Who else should we ask about reading?” Their first thought was their parents at home. Students were given the task to go home and interview their parents. They were to pose the same scenario that they were given: “The moment that I fell in love with reading was when I read . . . ” This gave students the opportunity to hear from another group of people that are close to them, and then to make a further personal connection. For example, one idea was to have parents share their favorite book or story with their child if they hadn't already done so.

     

    Brainstorm Next Steps

    The conversation continued in our room. We started to make a list of other ways we could share our love for reading and how others could do the same:

    • The first thing we can do is envelope ourselves in a collective passion. As I mentioned above, in my room there is a board where students have written the titles of books that inspired them to read. One thought is to bring copies of these books into the classroom to share with each other. One student offered to bring in a copy of her favorite story to start us off.

    • Another idea from a student was to make a student video like the teacher video my co-workers and I created. Then other students at our school — and at other schools — can see and hear about books that have inspired kids to read.

    Students liked the video. They thought it was really neat to see their teachers confiding about a reading moment. For some, it could have been the first time they ever thought about the idea of loving to read. The inspiration and shared message will continue with the Taylor Swift video and Usher webcast coming soon.

    The purpose was to inspire young readers and to show that the world of possible, the love of reading, and the gift of imagination can last forever.

    Thank you for reading.

    Smiles,

    Kriscia

     

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