Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Classroom readers

In the high school classroom I do not intentionally receive feedback from students as often as I could.  I will poll students for their opinions on news events, or on studies comparing communism and capitalism but I have not consistently collected and published student opinions on the texts we read, the lessons I present or the units that we study.  There is something to be said about giving students the power to evaluate and publish their findings. As I journeyed west to New Mexico, my husband and I sought shelter from temperatures above 110 in public libraries.
 Public libraries are air conditioned and our daughter could stretch out on comfortable furniture while we engaged with the Wifi.  In Joplin, Missouri, temperatures hit 108.  I discovered that just like Vermont, Missouri encourages libraries to promote children's literature and give children the opportunity to vote on their favorite books.  These books are labeled with the state award.  The same practice happens in New Mexico.  We were delighted to find similar tastes, but to also discover new titles.  I immediately thought of my own teaching.  I had students critique our textbook and design a new chapter.  I need to mail this to the publisher and will do this before the start of the new year.  I should engage in more practices that give students the power to have opinions matter. When given this opportunity, students take it very seriously.

(clink on the cow for a link to Red Clover)

Vermont book awards: The Red Clover Award brings librarians together statewide to vote on picture books nominated by K-4 grade readers. The overall winning title is chosen from nominated titles.  All nominated books are designated with the Red Clover sticker on their binding.  Other awards include:
Dorothy Canfield Fisher and the Green Mountain Book Awards
DCF                                                             Vermont Center for the Book

Missouri has many book awards.  All of them are listed here on the Association of Librarians page.

And I pose the question to you-
what is your favorite children's book, how old are you or were you when you read this?
What makes it a favorite?


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