TCRWP Twitter Chat: Getting Great Books into the Hands and Lives of Your Readers
by Anna Gratz Cockerille
As Lucy Calkins says, "The truth is, the kind of readers that you build will grow to match the libraries that you build. Lucy challenges us to "nourish our children with books that will make them into the readers, writers, and citizens that we long for them to become.”
Cultivating a powerful, flexible, dynamic classroom library is one of the most important things you can do as a teacher of reading to set your readers up for success. Not just reading success in your classroom, of course, but lifelong success.
Ask most reading teachers what kind of books really grab their students, and they will tell you that readers respond more deeply to books when they can find themselves in the pages. Some students identify more strongly with characters who are similar physically to themselves. Or with characters who live in a similar environment. Or who have similar interests, goals, or struggles. Fortunately, there has never been a better time to stock your classroom library with a wide range of books. Children’s book publishers are championing books from more diverse authors than ever before, who are writing about more diverse characters than ever before. Chances are, a few quick searches of publishers’ websites or book sharing sites such as Goodreads.com will yield titles you can stock to match the unique readers you have in your classroom.
To further help you in setting up your classroom library, we are pleased to announce that The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project has developed classroom libraries for each grade level, K–8. Lucy Calkins and her team of colleagues and children’s literature experts curated these libraries, which are comprised of 400-700 books each, to support children’s Units of Study work and overall growth as readers across a school year.
In addition to thoughtfully and generously stocking your classroom library, the books you read aloud both inside and outside of your Units of Study will play a huge role in defining your reading community. These should be books to which many of your children can relate, books that will inspire them, and books that ideally move you as well. Many of the books you choose to read aloud will be at or above the reading level of most of the readers in your class, but once in a while, you might read aloud a book that matches readers at the lower levels to show that these books too can be engaging and smart.
Tomorrow night, staff developer and book lover Katy Wischow will lead the TCRWP community in chatting about staring the year right by getting great books into the hands and lives of your readers. Please join to receive and share great book titles and ways to use them to kick off your best reading year ever.
Each Wednesday night at 7:30pm eastern, The Teacher's College Reading and Writing Project hosts a Twitter chat using the hashtag #TCRWP. Join @kw625 to chat about getting great books into the hands and lives of your readers tomorrow evening.
Not on Twitter? Take Heinemann’s free Twitter for Educators course here.