D. Reading Culture
One of my favorite parts of teaching is supporting student choice in reading and growing their love from books, especially when students are looking for drastically different reading experiences.
In 2017, I revamped the Reading Lounge dedicated to reading by organizing titles, making purchases, and selecting best-fit reads for students.
Department Reading List
In 2016, I also undertook the task to create a resource menu of all the books that were available to the Middle School's Language Arts department. The first step was to research all the book lists from years past and determine what resources existed physically and what resources were only written. The second step was to research what each grade level taught as a whole class text, small group text, or independent reading so we could vertically align our resources. Then, I determined genres, researched Lexiles, and wrote summaries for each book so we could all have a good idea of which books were good fits for our students. The result was creating a comprehensive department reading list.
I think it is important to record student reading in ways that encourages the pleasure of reading instead of making it a burden. Here is a daily chart for reading times that students use to record the time when they have been able to steal away with a book.
Recommendations for Reading Choice
One of my passions is supporting works of literature from the cannon with thematically similar titles. That looks differently in different classes, but the goal is always building a culture of lifetime reading that inspires students. Middle Grades is especially a perfect time for students to participate in books clubs and embrace independent reading. For different students, independent reading can have many desired outcomes: entertainment, conversations with peers, or future conversations with college professors.
High-interest series that focus on entertainment and instruction on past events for Social Studies (G.7).
Young adult novels that have inspired a generation of readers arraigned in book clubs for Language Arts (G.7).
Independent reading that have similar themes to works from the literary canon for Literature (G.9).