I recently had a friend ask if I could/would recommend some good "student level" reads for her summer reading. She wanted to read some books she could recommend to her students next year. This request has been in my thoughts for several days now and I finally decided this is how I want to share my list. Plus, with summer comes that time reflect on what we want to do "next year". So this is a perfect time to reflect on those books we shared this year that the kiddos LOVED!
First of all, let me explain myself. I LOVE to read the same books my students read. That could be why I have a 5,000 book library that I personally own. I love knowing what they are reading about because it opens a doorway to student engagement. Students love it when the "teacher" knows about their zombie book. I'll admit, I do have limits. I won't read gory or horror books. I will look up the book on Amazon or another book site and read about it so I have an understanding about the book.
Not only are these grade level books quick, easy reads for us as teachers and parents, I am always on the lookout for a new class read-aloud.
In the past I had a set list of books I would read outloud. Every year I read my "babies". Then I began to realize something. The students were less and less interested in those stories. Not because they weren't good stories, but because many of them had already read them or their brother or sister read it and told them about it. Or, it just simply isn't the current trend in reading (for example, it seems zombies and vampires have taken over the reading world as of late).
Before I ever begin a story, I ask who has read the book. If more than one or two have, I quietly set the book down and pick up my next choice. Some years I will even read a book to the class that I haven't read yet. This is a double-edged sword. I love being able to predict along with the students. we get to have some pretty amazing discussions because "the teacher really doesn't know". However, I have run into a couple sticky situations with inappropriate content or language. Usually this is easy to fix while I am reading along and sometimes, well, we just have to keep reading.
So, what is the point of all this, you ask?
HUGE! ENORMOUS! GIGANTIC!
My goal is to have a database collection of teacher-tested read-aloud books for grades 3-8 that will be here for years to come for teachers to use as a resource. Of course I need YOUR help to make it amazing. Even if you don't "read aloud" to your students, here will be a great collection of recommended books you can use to encourage your students to read (or find a great book for YOU to enjoy!)
Here's How It Works:
1) Blog about your favorite 1-5 book(s) (or more, your call). Be sure to add a picture of each book, which you will need them for the linky below. Tell why you chose the book, why you love it, and/or what makes it a great read-aloud. It is okay to blog about your favorite 5 books in the same post and then link each book here back to that same post. Please include the read-aloud reading round-up picture at the top of this post in YOUR post with a link back here.
2) Choose the grade level Linky that you think each book BEST fits. Add the links one at a time for each book. If you are like me, I choose a book based on lots of things, not just grade/text complexity. We can browse through all the grade levels to look for books. You can add as many books as you want. The more the merrier. Each book title should be linked separately in the linky USING THE TITLE AND AUTHOR as the NAME. The link will be the same posting for each book. Remember that just because you teach 4th doesn't mean that the book is actually a 4th grade level. It might be a 5th or 6th grade level book and should be linked there.
a) Linking to a general site, blog, or store. These links will have to be deleted as they do not add to the goal of this undertaking.
b) leaving the title and author OFF the posting. It is vital we know the title and author of the book. These links may also have to be deleted.
c) add the same book to multiple levels. Choose the ONE level you feel it best fits.
d) listing the same book repeatedly in the same level. Please look over the grade levels to see if your favorite books are listed before you link a title. Duplicates will most likely not be deleted, it just becomes annoying when the same book is listed over and over. :)
Once You Add, share this page with all your colleagues. I envision a rich and complex resource of read-aloud suggestions that you and I can use for years to come. It only takes a second and can make a huge difference in the amount of books we have to browse.
ALL RIGHT- LET'S GET LINKING THOSE BOOKS!
Questions? Please leave a comment and I will get to it as soon as possible, OR, email at: mrhughestptrequests (at) gmail (dot) com,