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Posts Tagged ‘reading program’

By creating an Avenue of Literature from unused lockers, teachers at Biloxi Junior High School in Mississippi hope to inspire their students.   Over the summer vacation, this dedicated group of teachers, parents and volunteers, have been working hard to transform a drab area into something exciting and inspirational.  And they have certainly succeeded!!

With a belief in what Dr Seuss once said: “The more you read the more things you know.” teachers at the school hope that by immersing students in literature they will open the floodgates to a love of reading.  With the intention of incorporating a focus on the various genres represented on the book spine illustrations of the 189 old lockers, teachers are looking forward to an exciting and innovative program.

An absolutely awesome way to excite an interest in literature and a joy of reading!

Check out more pictures and news articles saved on the Biloxi Junior High School website.

Avenue of Literature - lockers

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Another tool to help you find that elusive next book is simply titled whichbook

Unlike other tools though, this one allows you to ‘play’ with descriptors to help narrow down a book that suits your taste or mood.   By selecting descriptors such as ‘happy or sad’, ‘funny or serious’, ‘easy or demanding’ , ‘optimistic or bleak’  the user is able to move a tab on the bar to one end or the other.  Select any four indicator bars, position the tab on each, push GO and voila, book recommendations flow onto the screen.

Not happy with creating your own, then check out recommendation lists.   With catchy categories such as Slapstick, Short and sweet, Laugh your pants off, Weird and wonderful, you’re bound to find something that tickles your fancy.

And if that isn’t enough, there’s even a borrow or buy option to ensure the recommended book is in your hands as soon as possible!

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I’ve always been in awe of journalists who coin catchy titles that aim to hook us into reading newspaper articles.   So when I saw the title:

Books flying off shelf at this high school”

emblazoned on an online news report, I just had to stop and read it.   Afterwards ….. well ….. I just couldn’t stop thinking about the whole issue of getting the teens in our schools as revved up about literature as I am.

While I’m sure you too will stop and read the article, the gist of it is that Dr. Peggy MacInnis, a Teacher Librarian at Scarborough’s Sir Robert L. Borden Business and Technical Institute in Ontario has dramatically increased the reading that is going on in her high school.  So successful has her campaign been, that she now has students lining up to get into the library of a morning, circulation stats have increased beyond belief and a healthy interest in reading abounds at this high school campus.

I was intrigued by the success achieved, so I went online to hunt for more information.   While I didn’t find too much, I did find a meaty article written by Dr. Peggy MacInnis and Dr. Elizabeth Lee in The Teacher Librarian: The Magazine of the Ontario School Library Association – Volume 17, Number 3 (2010) pp. 21-23  which details the processes implemented in this school library.   At the base of it all is the aim of developing the library collection based on the students interests.

“My mandate as a teacher-librarian is to give my students
the skill of lifelong reading, it’s not my job to choose
what they read. My job is to make it available, give them
educated choices, and enable them to decide whether or
not they want to read it.”

While I believe that many of us have already put in place a number of the practices happening in this library, it is worth stopping to consider these pertinent points which I gleaned from this article:

  • Be non-judgemental about the kinds of books that interest students.
  • Develop the library collection based on students’ interests.
  • Don’t be afraid to allow graphic novels to be the basis of starting up a reading culture.
  • Allow students to be involved in the process of purchasing new books.
  • Know that student run book clubs will be more successful than those run by the Teacher Librarian.
  • Enable student driven activities and competitions to occur within the book club and beyond.
  • Aim to build a community around reading by respecting students as individuals.
  • Involve both students and teachers in the reading community.
  • Keep a reading request list and purchase them.
  • Display circulation stats.
  • Reward avid readers with special borrowing privileges over extended holidays.
  • Know that engagement with reading is coupled with freedom of choice.

By engaging students with reading based on their interests is important.   How many of us working in Libraries have seen the opposite happen when the ‘required to read’ statements are plied on our charges.   It’s all food for thought.

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