Sunday, August 16, 2009

Build Classroom Community w/ Read Alouds

The first week of school is made of lesson plans, forgotten bus numbers and piles of emergency medical forms. It's a week filled with new routines & procedures, a week with not a minute to spare.

In spite of the crazy-busy pace we keep during the first week with our students, we know that one thing trumps all else when it comes to getting our classrooms up and going: building classroom community. The choices we make during this formative period of the school year influence everything that happens afterward.

Naturally, our new students want to know who their teachers are and what time their lunch period begins. But what they really want to know is, "Will my new teacher care about me?" Poet Kalli Dakos says it best in her poem, The Best Thing I Can Say About My Teacher.

"She did not care
As much about
Page 55,
As she did

Of course we can start to build community with our students right away.We can learn their names quickly and make connections with their families. We can plan activities that allow us to uncover their interests. We can also choose books to read aloud that emphasize the community values of our classrooms and foster personal, purposeful conversation about what matters most

Looking for a few great titles to read aloud during the first few days of school? Titles that strengthen classroom community? Look no further. Follow these links and you'll find books that emphasize persistence, cooperation, creativity and more.

Choice Literacy

Mad Hot Literacy

Education World

When the school year has started and the dust begins to settle, reply to this post and let us know what titles you selected for read alouds during the first week of school!


PS Thanks for being part of our little community.

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