My Zone of PD: Reading to Make a Difference #bookaday #PDLove #ZoneofPD #IMWAYR

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Have you ever gone a trip and at the end of the first day you think to yourself, “I would get back on the plane and go home right now and it would be worth the trip!”? This is exactly how I felt at the end of the introduction of this book! I used up all my pink post-it flags — there was so much I needed to respond to and wanted to talk through with other educators.

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Many of my post-it flags had words like YES! and LOVE! on them. Truly, the authors had me at:

“Books as bridges enable the reader to speak freely, think deeply, and take action as a change agent.” (p. xiii)

Most of my notes were about the connections I was making to classroom libraries and bookrooms.

  • on page xiv the authors provide a great list of questions to consider when curating a classroom library or bookroom

  • on page xvi the authors provide another invitation to reflect on how you select texts- these would be great when thinking about curating classroom library and bookroom collections

I also thought a lot about the power of using books to inspire authentic conversations with students. There are so many packaged social-emotional curriculums being sold right now. These programs are not connected to the students in a meaningful way and are adding time to an already overpacked schedule. Books are about humanity. There is no better social-emotional curriculum. Taking the time to read, feel and discuss books as a classroom community is the best way to help kids connect to themselves, each other and the world around them. The authors say it best, “ When books serve as windows, readers have the opportunity to consider new ideas and new ways of thinking and to see themselves as part of a larger community.” (p.xvii)

The authors point out again and again (and provide many resources to support us) the importance of carefully selecting texts. so we provide students with multiple points of entry for engagement and connection. I found myself thinking about bookrooms. When we work together and share our texts we automatically enhance our ability to invite every child to connect and engage. It is nearly impossible for any one teacher to have a library that will meet the ever evolving needs, interests, identities and passions of students. I am excited to think about the ideas these authors are sharing in relation to the bookrooms I help districts create.

Can you believe that is only the introduction? It is filled with resources, practical ideas and written in a fun, accessible voice. Looking forward to next week!