Like many of you, I will be heading back to my classroom soon. While still relishing in the final days of summer relaxation (and let’s be honest, recovery from the past two and a half tumultuous school years), I’m beginning to think about the steps I’ll take starting on the first day of school to build a classroom reading community that will enable each of my individual students to become members of a collective, supportive, cohesive community of readers.
A well formed community is celebratory in the good times, supportive in the tough times, and successful due to everyone collectively working together toward common goals that evolve over time as the community grows. Also, being a member of a safe and nurturing reading community makes students more apt to take risks and unabashedly embrace new learning. Building a well formed reading community doesn’t happen by chance. It takes intention with teaching decisions, consistent practices, and predictable procedures. It goes well beyond the pages of any required curriculum.
The upcoming posts in this blog series will be short for end-of-summer reading ease but packed with practical ideas and methods that I have refined over the years in my own fifth grade classroom and the classrooms of my lower grade teaching colleagues (who always graciously try out my ideas, offer feedback, and invite me into their classrooms to work with their students).
This series will run from 8/1/22 to 8/19/22. Follow the blog to receive every post in your email inbox or check back here then. All posts will be linked here after they publish.
8/1/22, Post #1: Learn About and Celebrate Your Students
8/3/22, Post #2: Make Use of Browsing Boxes From the Start
8/5/22, Post #3: Establish Daily Supported Independent Reading Time
8/7/22, Post #4: Make the Shift to Asset-Based Thinking
8/14/22, Post #5: Teach Students How to Choose Books
Coming 8/17/22, Post #6: Collectively Build Common Procedures and Language
Happy summer and happy reading!