"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

And We're Off!

Our 180 days of 
wonder, exploration, creation, and connection has begun!

I never know quite how to spend this first thirty minutes of our library learning journey. There are too many things I would like to do, so I have to plan very carefully. Like a traditional classroom, the first few weeks of school are about building community. The question is, "How can I build community in thirty minute segments over three weeks?" The answer is, "not easily."

"Can I afford to spend thirty minutes on summer reading?"

"Can I do justice to a summer reading conversation with only thirty minutes (really twenty with browsing and borrowing time)?

"Do I ignore summer reading and jump right into community building?"

Each year, I feel this pull. Each year, I respond differently.

This year, I am trying to give summer reading some attention, while also paving the way for next week's community-building conversation.

I created two very brief Google forms.  After welcoming the students back to our library community and explaining what our next few weeks will look like, I demonstrated how to get to the forms and modeled answering the questions.

The first form asked them three questions about their summer reading.

The second form asked them three questions about our library learning community.

I saw my three third grade classes today, and so far, I'm feeling good about this year's decision. I feel like I am honoring the reading they did over the summer, while also moving them into next week's conversation.  

Summer Reading

Where did you read most this summer? 

Choose one adjective to describe your summer reading experience:

Is there a book that stood our from the others that you read? (optional)

Gum Girl
Harry Potter
Geronimo Stilton
Big Nate
The Story of Babe Ruth
Who Was Bill Gates
Dork Diaries
The Dragon in the Sock Drawer
Lloyd Alexander
Percy Jackson
The One and Only Ivan
The Babysitters Club
Anne of Green Gables
Fancy Nancy
Percy Jackson
Magic Tree House
The Immortal Secrets of Nicholas Flamel
Middle School, the Worst  Days of My Life
Horrible Histories
Big Nate Goes for Broke
Hardy Boy Mysteries
The Hunger Games
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Who was Vince Lombardy

These titles are as diverse as the students. I feel more informed knowing which books resonated with some of the students.

Building Community

Finish this sentence, we are a community of...

How can you best contribute to this learning community? What strengths do you bring?

"by being quiet and not talking when not supposed to"
"I help when my classmates need help"
"by being quiet"
"suggesting books to other readers"
"no strengths"
"I like to read"
"listening to others"
"Reading 14 series ( 114 Books )"
"I think I am a great thinker"
"i think i am a great reader"
"I am a good learner, I also am good at brainstorming."
"I LOVE to read"
"Raise my hand"

I love that a number of students identified their reading as a strength that they bring to our learning community. 

How can our learning community support you as a learner?

"by being quiet"
"if people raise their hands"
"to listen when i am speaking"
"by listening to each other"
"more books!"
"listening when the teacher is talking"
"being nice"
"when we cooperate"
"I raise my hand"
"when we cooperate"
"By having a big library and helping us learn"
"reading quietly at browsing"
"by raising our hands"
"people recommend books"

I see the basis for our conversation around being a learning community!

And we're off to another great year of reading, thinking, creating, and sharing.

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