I may be seriously crazy but I think I'm all in. #classroombookaday which was started by Jillian Heise (@heisereads) is a project where any classroom teacher, PreK through 12, commits to reading one picture book a day to his/her students. One book. Every day. 180 books.
The challenge is in finding 180 books that I'll love. They're out there in great numbers. I'm not worried about that. I will just have to develop a system for reviewing and selecting. There are tons of resources on Twitter and Facebook too. I know that I'll love some choices better than others but I know we'll share some amazing literature as a result of this project. I know my students will NEVER forget the year they read 180 picture books.
What I won't have to do is plan in depth lessons around the books. It is not about that. It is about taking ten to fifteen minutes a day to read a book, together, for the pure pleasure of enjoying a book. This kind of shared experience will be just one more way that we'll build community. The byproducts are too many to list but I will share Jillian Heise's infographic outlining some of the benefits.
I know I'll select some books with specific goals in mind, but from everything I've read so far, the above benefits just sort of happen out of the shared reading experience. When I used The Daily Cafe with great fidelity, I often read a picture book a day. I agree. Students learn to naturally identify theme, make connections, see and describe the development of characters, etc. Even as I write, I think it sounds a little like lazy teaching. It is not. It is just REAL. I can choose to guide the conversation. I can pose any question I wish. From my experience, I can honestly say, KIDS ask all the right questions.
Anyway, I am pretty excited to have made this commitment. I think I've decided where to build my display. I'm eager to get back into the classroom with my yard stick to see if the place I've planned out will actually work. I know that my students will love seeing the display grow in the same way that I've loved seeing the number of blog posts I've written climb. Look at this amazing photo from Kristina Hanson (@hansonhallway)! I'll share a snapshot from my room once I'm up and running.
A dozen days left and then I meet these kids. The excitement if growing.