Warning: Major idea brainstorm in session. (This is where you picture red flashing bulbs and a deep robotic voice.)
I had a new/old idea today. (Love it when those neurons fire!) It came about while I was answering the phone at Preco Engineering, where my dad, brother, and husband all work. (Friend my brother, Matt on Facebook for some hilarious posts on natural gas odorization.) I was reading through some blogs and caught one from Adventures in Children’s Publishing that recommended a book about gifted students, written specifically for gifted students. It’s called 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids and it’s written by Christine Fonseca. It sounded so worthwhile, that I knew I needed to get the info out to my parents (that is, the parents of my students, not my actual parents, who by this time, would need a book called 101 Success Secrets for Gifted though Somewhat Rebellious 20-somethings). I could have sent an email, but I decided to recommend it via my classroom Twitter account.
While thinking of cutesy names I could call this (and future) recommendations, I remembered something I did in my reading class a few years ago (not sure why I ever discontinued it – Stay tuned for its return, incoming 5th graders!) – The Blessing of the Books. I would to select two or three books to highlight on a particular day of the week, talk a bit about them, then tap them with a star wand that made a lovely chime (I realize it’s cheesy, but hey, 5th graders sometimes enjoy cheesy). It motivated the kids to read those books, helped kids who needed help choosing a book, and as a bonus, the kids LOVED it! If it was a busy day and I thought I might “forget” to bless books, I was always reminded.
“Mrs. Phillips, aren’t you going to bless some books today?”
“Oh yes, Wonderful Student, of course I am! Thanks for reminding me!”
New idea met old idea and ta da! My classroom account @PhillipsRoom311 will now include weekly book recommendations for both students and parents. The #BlessingoftheBooks will also resume in my reading class. On days in which I bless books in class, parents can expect to find tweets of the books discussed in the classroom. Other books that I’ve read and enjoyed with also be tweeted.
I have a feeling that this will result in more student-parent book talks, increased time spent reading (meaning improved comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency), and probably a few more trips to the Omaha Public Library…
Which books that you’ve read would make it in your Blessing of the Books?