Wednesday, January 6, 2010

About Reader's Workshop: Tale of a Classroom Library

Our 2009 school year ended in the second week of December. It was hot, there was a considerable amount of renovation going on in the school, and I was being asked to move into a new class for 2010 - again. To make matters worse, I wasn't able to lift anything heavy myself.

I knew the biggest load of things to shift would be my books. I've got around a thousand of them now - my collection just keeps growing! But as I was discussing this with other teachers and as I had the students taking them out of the book shelves and as they took them to my new classrooms, I found myself wanting to apologise for having so many books.

It wasn't the first time I'd wanted to apologise for my classroom library, and it took my way too long to realise that this was the wrong attitude to have about my classroom library. I should have been proud of it, I should have been telling everyone how it encouraged my students to read, how well they were doing in their reading, how enthusiastic they were when I got new books in.

When did encouraging reading become something to be ashamed of in schools?

Without my classroom library I wouldn't be able to engage my students the way I do. There's a wide range of books - in the last three years I've taught from Grade 3 to Grade 7, with a wide range of interest levels and ability levels. My classroom library allows me to put books right into the student's hands without worrying about library bags or due dates.

I know I'm going to have to watch myself this year, to resist from slipping into the same old pattern of apologising for something which is good and useful.


A Reader's Community

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Queensland, Australia
A Reader's Community is a place to find ideas, information, resources and recommendations about Reader's Workshop.

This Blog has five main types of posts.

About Reader's Workshop - information about Reader's Workshop in my classroom and how it works

Reader's Workshop Tools - resources you can access and use to help you with reader's workshop

Book talks - Book recommendations of two or three books centred around a particular theme

Book letters - in-depth reviews of one particular book

Reader's Workshop Links - Short links lists to help you find more information
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