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

Friday, September 23, 2016

ReedALOUD: SHY inspires thinking about "taking care of self."

This week, we're making the connection between our Hopes and Dreams and our Rules and Routines. (This post shares the lesson for the first and second graders. The lesson for the third, fourth, and fifth graders can be found here.) 

Our school rules are: 
Take Care of Yourself
Take Care of Others
Take Care of Our Environment

To help the students think about how they might take care of themselves, we read SHY by Deborah Freedman
Shy is shy, so shy that he is hiding inside this book. With a gentleness in both art and narrative, Deborah Freedman takes readers on a voyage of courage and friendship. 

"Shy loves birds. He'd love to watch them fly and hear them sing, but he's only ever read about them in books. . . until a real bird comes along. He's dying to meet her, but there's just one problem: Shy is, well, shy — so shy, in fact, that he's afraid to leave the gutter of the book. Can Shy overcome his fears and venture out onto the page? 
In eight classes of reading this book, I was able to watch the students faces as they followed Shy along his journey. They were both sympathetic and empathic. The art is beautiful. The effective use of color is fabulous, it mirrors Shy's emotions and allows readers to deepen their connection to him. The writing offers moments of conversation and reflection. For instance, I stopped at the line, "With the bird, Shy thought, he could go anywhere!" and asked the students if they could think of a time they needed to do something that made them nervous or uncomfortable and had wanted or needed a friend beside them to help. A chorus of hands reaffirmed the importance of friends and allies. 

After reading the book, we connected back to our rules by talking about how Shy had taken care of himself by doing the bravest thing ever -- calling out to the bird. I asked the students to think about how they could take of themselves in the library. Here's a peak at what they shared:

We'll be continuing to explore the rules by reviewing this week's work and delving a deeper into how students can take of themselves and others in the library.

The other part of our lesson involved reviewing the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and Take a Break space. By following the AUP technology guidelines, the students are taking care of themselves, each other, and our environment. With the first and second graders, I worked hard to make the AUP language accessible. I also created a short Animoto:

After this we discussed and modeled using our take a break space, addressing how using it ensures that students are taking care of themselves and each other.