Monday, August 19, 2019

Back-to-School Picture Books 2019 #classroombookaday Recommendations

When considering picture books to recommend for #classroombookaday read alouds, one consideration I use is time of year or what may be happening in schools. Back-to-school time is when I think carefully about what those first read alouds of the year might be - those books that will help set the tone for the classroom community for the school year. The picture books below are some of the newer ones I am most looking forward to sharing with my students this year during the first month of school, and beyond.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

#pb10for10 2019 | Ten New Picture Books Honoring Family

I always love participating in Cathy & Mandy's #pb10for10 event celebrating picture books and providing many fabulous #classroombookaday choices! I inevitably end up with a longer wish list and shopping cart and a maxed out hold list at my library. So get ready, and then go check out other educators lists today back at Reflect & Refine

I've been thinking a lot about family this summer. With everything going on at the border and kids being separated from their families when seeking asylum, to kids who have been tragically lost in mass shootings or suicides, to some reflections around the reading about students of color and kids in poverty and trauma and the impact on families... they all have me thinking about my attitude toward, and assumptions I may make about, those who love those precious little lives in our buildings.


So with this year's Picture Book 10 for 10 list,
I wanted to celebrate the sense of family in new & upcoming picture books, 
in honor of the little humans I have the privilege to work with at school, 
and those who love them and leave them in our charge each day.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Introducing #cbadspotlight & the 2019-20 Monthly #classroombookaday Selections

#classroombookaday is celebrating it's 5 year anniversary this summer! I'm amazed this small thing I started in my 7th & 8th grade classroom back in 2014, to bring Donalyn Miller's #bookaday into the classroom with a daily picture book read aloud, has grown into something thousands of educators are joining in on with their own students. 
With all the conversations I was seeing online from participating teachers, I wanted to find a way to help deepen the experience, help connect teachers with those in other schools also implementing this initiative, and find a way to showcase inclusive authors and #ownvoices titles that I hope more teachers would know and share with students. 

Introducing #cbadspotlight
Connecting teachers and classes & spotlighting three picture books
each month for common titles to build conversations around.
Below are the 27 titles,
3 for each month September-May,
for the first year of #cbadspotlight!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

#classroombookaday - Picture Books Are For ANY Grade

With as much as I share about #classroombookaday and recommend picture books, there is a question I get often that I want to process in this post. Variations on where is the list for __ grade? 

When I see requests for picture books that "work" or are "for" intermediate/middle grades, I worry that as educators we're putting too much focus on amount of text & numerical complexity considerations. I read a few hundred new picture books each year, and I can tell you that the thought complexity that can be done with these books far outweighs what the industry age recommendation might say. Some of the deepest themes and impacts I've seen with kids in relation to books have come from picture books. Often with limited text in the book.

The complexity of a book has three components to consider: Quantitative text "level" (which I put the least focus on), ALONG WITH Qualitative factors based on content and themes and topics, AND what the Reader is asked to DO with the book.

So if we're asking kids to consider theme, which can be a difficult concept for kids to grasp and teachers to teach, the text we're using to help teach it becomes a more complex text than a quantitative number might indicate. When we ask kids to do complex thinking about a picture book that we have read aloud, we are equalizing access to that text through the read aloud and supporting students in being able to do some deeper thinking with consideration of theme. If we constantly do that with picture books that are text heavy and long, students will disengage & become demotivated. Some of the deepest conversations my students have had about books are when we read wordless picture books together and had to determine the story from illustrations and analyze for theme. They need many chances to practice and scaffold skills, and if I'm using daily picture book read alouds to accomplish this, my kids get 15 chances to do this in three weeks, whereas if I were reading aloud a novel in that time, they'd only get one chance at the end to practice it. And as we've built the skill through practice with these picture books, it becomes a transferable skill to the chapter books and novels they choose to read on their own.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

12 Steps to EduGrowth When Called In

I shared this on social media and was asked to house it on the blog also for easier citation.
Feel free to use for your own reflection or share (with credit!) as you see fit.

12 Steps to EduGrowth When Called In
©2019 Jillian Heise @heisereads

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Webinar Recording - Building Community with #classroombookaday Read Alouds

Sharing about #classroombookaday is always a joy for me. I couldn’t have imagined back in 2014, when I started it inspired by Donalyn Miller’s #bookaday challenge for teachers, how it could have grown and spread to classrooms across the country. The impact of this simple idea, reading aloud a picture book every day of the school year, is beyond what I could have imagined back then. It grows community, builds empathy, deepens learning, and so much more!

To help get you started with #classroombookaday, I shared these 20 picture books that are my go-to recommendations to kick off your year of read alouds.

If you weren’t able to join the webinar live, you can register, or sign in if you previously registered, to watch the recording of the webinar, at this link.


And be sure to check out other #classroombookday posts on Follet Community for more information from me about the initiative. And stay tuned for even more picture book recommendations to support your efforts to try #classroombookday in coming months!
TEMPLATE BY PRETTYWILDTHINGS