Saturday, May 16, 2015

Summer Share: Student Driven Life-Long Reading Habits

After spending all school year really focusing on making independent reading the cornerstone of our classroom, an idea just HIT ME a few weeks ago. We do all of this work all year teaching our kids all of the things Wild Readers do, then we get to see them becoming Wild Readers before our eyes, so why isn't the next step having them pass it on to other students?? Genius, right?

Your Upper Grades kiddos might be ready for this challenge if you notice a lot of the following:
1. Passing of books & recommendations on to one another
2. Talking during IR time to share some amazing moment with someone, anyone!
3. Walking into homeroom talking about books
4. Walking into homeroom asking a friend how far they got in their book last night OR sharing with your teacher how many pages YOU read last night
5. Audible gasps for any of the following: new Scholastic book box arrives, new Book Raffle set up at the back table, Preview Stack waiting on your desk from your teacher, being the next on a Wait List for a new release you've been dying to get ahold of
6. Updating your teacher on your progress towards the class 40 Book Challenge
7. Sneaking in "edge reading time" in the bus line, waiting for lunch, before special, etc.
8. Begging for "5 more minutes..."
9. Looking forward to writing weekly reading response letter AND
10. Devouring an entire series

Are your kids ready? Mine were... Enter Summer Share.
We sat down and starting a BRAINSTORM. Can we take a moment to appreciate how boss the word brainstorm is... There is a storm of information, in your brain, amazing. I digress... 
We sat down to talk about our own plans for summer reading. How will I finish Echo when I'm borrowing Mrs. Riedmiller's copy? What am I going to do until Lisa Graff's new book comes out? What was that book Lydia told me I should read? The questions were flowing... We were making plans, because everyone knows that WILD READERS MAKE PLANS.

Then I threw this out there: "I think we should visit 2nd grade and share all our book knowledge with them. Show them how we do things down here and then help them make summer reading plans."
YESSSSS! That's awesome, yes! Can we do that??
{enter 5th grade excitement}

Then we decided on some core things we HAD to share:
1. Book Commercials (2-3)
2. Book Recommendations (By genre & series)
3. How to make a TBR (to be read list)
4. How to chart your books read & "sample" all genres
5. 1:1 conferences to help 2nd graders choose some books based on their interests

We had a plan, so then we set to work...
We made posters to show our Reading in the Wild charts from our notebooks.
We chose some great 2nd grade titles.
We borrowed Mrs. Riedmiller's laptop to start our rec list.

Then, we kept working...
We made and practiced book commercials.
We used the Chromebooks to type out our genre lists.
We made sample TBR lists for use as examples.

Then, we were ready to share.

What happened during the sharing part was kind of magical. My kids were up there talking Big Nate and suddenly 2nd grade eyes light up at the mention of Nate and all of his adventures. 2nd grade Friends remember that their teacher read-aloud from a Magic Tree House book and they are excited to hear an older kid mention the series. A friend pulls out a Minecraft manual from his chair pocket to share with my 5th graders. IT. WAS. MAGIC!

Doing this made me see just how much my own kids have learned this year; it showed me how much they have grown in their life-long reading journeys. You better believe we'll be doing this again next year. I can't wait to sit down and really give this planning process some energy and thought.

You should definitely do this with your own class as an EOY activity!

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