Reading is Dreaming with Open Eyes
By Kim Winton
There is no such thing as a child who doesn’t like to read; there are only children who have not found the right book. –Frank Serafini
Reading…some children could do it all day; others would rather do anything else. No matter where your child lies, there are always ways to try to help them enjoy it.
- Let them choose WHAT they read. Maybe a Sports Illustrated Kids magazine is more their speed than “Charlotte’s Web?” Perhaps they prefer reading on a Kindle to a hardback book?
- Let them choose WHERE they read. It could be upside down in their favorite chair or outside in a tree!
- Let them choose WHY they read. Are they reading to find out Dirk Nowitzki’s journey from a teenager in Germany to an NBA star? Or do they want to escape into a fantasy world with Harry Potter?
Of course, we know there are times when they don’t get to make those choices, but when they do, let your child decide how they want to escape into the wonderful world of reading. Giving yourchild some freedom to choose may just open a door to a whole new world.
There are lots of reading resources that can change up their routine too. If your child finds themselves bored with a book in their lap, check out some of these web sites.
- www.wegivebooks.org(this one is for social good as well)
Speaking of resources, Stonewall Jackson has a brand new resource that is up and running! The Stonewall Jackson Literacy Library is now open! A Literacy Library is a library for teachers only. The Literacy Library has books available in sets of six for teachers to check out for their Guided Reading groups. This allows our Stonewall teachers to individualize reading instruction for ALL students. The books are strategically leveled from A-Z, beginning with books for emergent readers up to books for fluent readers. This individualized approach to teaching reading allows our students to work at their own level and to progress throughout the year in their reading instruction. To date, Stonewall Jackson has 478 titles, 149 are nonfiction and 329 are fiction titles.
Last year Mrs. Hill was looking for a way for our teachers to teach reading in a consistent way. Guided Reading was the obvious choice, allowing teachers to not only differentiate instruction, but also teach at each child’s individual level. Our teachers were fortunate to be trained by Ms. Jane Shook, a National Literacy Consultant. Before Jane “retired” and became a Literacy Consultant, she was a Lead Reading Teacher in the DISD Reading Department, so she has first hand knowledge of our district and our school. She gave two summer trainings to the teachers. The first session looked at the components of Balanced Literacy, emphasizing the Guided Reading block of instruction using leveled texts, which is what the teachers can check out from the Literacy Library. The second session focused on assessing our students to find out their exact reading level. By finding a student’s reading level, the teacher can go to the Literacy Library to check out books that exactly suit their needs as a reader. She offers ongoing training at the teachers’ request and can help them implement guided reading in their classrooms using guided readingbooks from the Literacy Library, as well as other resources. Ms. Shook has not only trained our teachers, she has also generously donated 82 of the 478 titles in our Literacy Library. Thank you, Ms. Shook! She is an invaluable resource that we are lucky to have at Stonewall. While we have 478 titles, many of these titles are old and outdated. We look forward to expanding our Literacy Library to include all genres of literature, giving our teachers an EXCELLENT selection of books to be able to truly individualize reading instruction for all of our kids. The great thing about a Literacy Library is that it helps meet the needs of ALL students regardless of their level. It helps struggling readers, average readers, and accelerated readers. It also can span across all disciplines. Did you know we can even get books that focus on math, social studies, science, and garden? Individualized instruction for all students…that is what we want for all our children.
Want to know more about the Literacy Library? It is located in the computer lab, where our incredible Mrs. Spurgin spends her days. She has also been instrumental in getting our Literacy Library up and running. She is a true Stonewall gem. Thanks Mrs. Spurgin for all your help and expertise. Our teachers were trained in October on the checkout system and they are all very excited to have a central location to house our Guided Reading books. They also look forward to expanding the Literacy Library. Many of our teachers have wish lists of things they would love to see in the Literacy Library. Among some of the suggestions are MORE BOOKS on EVERY LEVEL incorporating ALL GENRES of literature, with a huge emphasis on nonfiction.
If you are interested in learning more about the Literacy Library, email me, Kim Winton, (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jane Shook (email@example.com). We are so excited about the Literacy Library becoming Stonewall Jackson’s greatest resource for Guided Reading instruction!
“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” -Jacqueline Kennedy