I’m fairly certain I have NEVER said this before, but it really, really was. Today’s faculty meeting at my elementary school was the best one EVER. Know why? Because we talked about BOOKS for the majority of the time!
Last summer, I had the opportunity to go to NerdCampMI (amazing experience!!) and managed to snag an early copy of the middle grade title Wishtree by Katherine Applegate. I read the book in its entirety on the ferry back to Wisconsin from Michigan, and immediately upon finishing it, I emailed my principal asking if she would use building funds to buy a copy for every single classroom in our school. And then when she said yes, I emailed all of the teachers asking who wanted to participate in a book club for the book. I was so so excited for it!
Well, then real world stuff intervened and for various reasons the formal book club didn’t really happen, BUT every classroom still got a copy of the book and I gently encouraged teachers to read it and book talk it and maybe use it as a read aloud. I book talked it in the library and have a bunch of copies there as well.
And guess WHAT??? Teachers have been reading it on their own and some have been reading it aloud to their classes! My principal and I scheduled 15 minutes at today’s faculty meeting for a quick discussion about the book, and I decided to make it a little bit more than that, especially since not all teachers had read the book yet and I didn’t want anyone to feel pressured.
Here is what we did:
My principal introduced the topic, and I talked a bit about why I chose THIS title and I read the inside flap to the whole group. Then, we split up for table talk. I had placed about 20 new kid lit titles on each table and I made sure every group had a copy of Wishtree, as well as a copy of the this very simple form.
Then, we let people talk about BOOKS for about 12 minutes focusing on any and/or all of the topics on the form. And they DID! And the discussions were AMAZING!
And then my principal read THIS book that I recommended aloud to the entire group……
And then there were tears and we clapped and it was my favorite thing ever. For real.
AND guess what! We decided that we are going to do One School, One Book next year! We are going to choose a title before the end of this year and I AM SO EXCITED! If you have any recommendations for titles appropriate for grades K-5 to use for this, I would love to hear them!
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