Monday, August 3, 2015

Two Principals Reading With Kids! #tcrwp

Today's post is all about books and reading with kids. I've co-written with my good friend the amazing Melinda Miller who is an Elementary Principal in Missouri! Please read, especially with and to your students, it's very powerful!

Reading is funny, why does it click for some kids and not for others. I was one of those kids, it didn’t click. The frustrating part is my dad was a teacher. He taught 2nd grade for 38 years and I virtually grew up in his classroom. When I did read at home it was always out loud, which frustrated my older brother.

Then, 3rd grade came along and I discovered Roald Dahl, it clicked! When I taught 3rd/4th/5th grade we'd always go outside to read after lunch. My class absolutely LOVED reading outside and would beg me for a few more minutes, it was the best. I also read myself, modeling is so important and showing kids how engaged I was with a book hopefully gave them more reading mojo! When I became a Principal reading with classes was a top priority. It started with a few books my first year and then morphed into one book each month that I read to every class on campus. I'd then donate that book to our library, which was always a hot checkout after I finished my rounds.

I just recently moved schools/districts and overwhelmingly the most common comment I received from kids was that they loved when I read to their class. Wow!
- Reading with kids works
- Reading to kids is powerful
- Having the Principal read to classes is even more powerful
- Connect with kids
- Model Readers Workshop strategies for teachers and kids
- It's fun
- You can foster deep conversation 
- Gives teachers a chance to relax and listen to a story
- A common story across the school allows for a consistent conversation amongst ALL students
- I have books all over my office, kids pick them up and read whenever they visit, parents do too
- My email signature is below, I even lists books there as well

Here's just a few of my favorites, come visit my office to see many more!

Reading Gaston with a French accent is the best, kids love it!

"I have nothing to write about"  - How often have you heard this? Ralph Tells a Story is hilarious and a great way to show kids that they do have a story, they just need to look for them!

Never judge a book by it's cover, look on the inside first before you make a judgement! Glamourpuss is excellent to read with all grade levels.

Randi Zuckerberg has written Dot Complicated which is a great read for all adults. Love reading Dot to kids, don't forget to balance all the amazing technology we have, get outside too!

When I read One last year to our classes there were numerous parents in different rooms at times, they all cried. I had 5th graders cry........a must read, everyone is important and should be included!

And I just ordered these this week!

Super excited to read Happy by Pharrell Williams

At our school auction every year I do a Principal of the Day! What's their favorite thing to do, read to classes, it's contagious! 

I've also had SO many parents send me pictures of their kids reading, the exact same book that I read that month. Kids love it so much they have their parents buy a copy for home, and they READ!

Well, thanks to my good friend Melinda Miller, I now have some new books to read! Please connect with Melinda on Twitter and her rockin blog!

I vividly remember my grandma reading aloud when I was growing up. Every Saturday night we would spend the night and she would read The Mickey Mouse Picnic, Little Golden Book. Same book over and over. Her voice, her expressions, the laughter, it was magical! This was my first and favorite experience having books read to me.

My next favorite experience was in 6th grade with Mrs. Hagg. She was awesome! Her expressions were amazing. She could draw us into a book and the world would stop.

Then, as a teacher I loved reading aloud to my students. My first year teaching I read Where the Red Fern grows. Without giving the ending way completely let's just say it's "emotional." I could not finish the book. I was crying, my students were crying. One of my boys, Zach, just wanted to hear the end. It was killing him! During on of the "emotional" events he raised his hand and asked, "Can I just finish for you so we know what happens?" He was really into the book. He just wanted to know and it was going to take me a while. Students still come back and mention that 21 years later.

I LOVE reading! I have stacks of books at home and at work. My Kindle is full. Love it! So as a principal I want to pass on my love of reading to my school. Even principals can read to students!

So here's my list:

How Full is Your Bucket?: We recognize good character and this has been our kick-off book for years. Each teacher has a copy and sign up for a time for me to read to their class within the first couple weeks of school.

The Principal's New Clothes: When I cover a teacher's classroom this is a quick activity/lesson the kids enjoy. After I read the book I give the kids a piece of paper with my school picture at the top. Then they have to draw my "new clothes." It's so fun! I have been a princess, a football player, and even their mom.

The Frog Principal: Just for fun the principal is turned into a frog and tries to run the school as a frog. 

The Principal from the Black Lagoon: Well first, I think I look like the principal in this book don't you? It's been 12 years since I read this one so I think I will have to bring this one back. 

You will notice a theme in the books I choose. But then I came across my good friend Adam Welcome's read aloud list. Holy cow! What a list! I am excited to incorporate his books and ideas this year. Check out his list........ (I added them to my wish list on Amazon so I can buy them all.)
You can find Adam's amazing blog HERE!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the book recommendations. I ordered three new books. :)

    Are your reading visits something you schedule? Or do you just drop in? Thank you.