- YA titles and Middle Students- what titles are acceptable?
- I think I need more help getting started/getting teachers on board.
- How long for book talks with your classes?
- How do you get your administrators on board?
- Some students won't read independently
- Our assistant superintendent is against SSR. How do you convince someone who seems dead set against it?
Great questions- and I need help from you all with these!
1. YA and Middle School-- this is a great question because the content in YA books can be quite mature. I would rely on reviews and only add titles that say grade 8 or age 14. I have a friend who is a middle school librarian and she puts an 8th grade sticker on these titles. If a younger student wants to check them out, they must bring a permission slip from home.
2, 4 and 6 All of these questions have to do with buy in and getting started. I would try to start with one or two teachers to get started. I would ask to present in department meetings and I would also recommend trying the one to one conversation whenever you get a chance to encourage SSR. I started by asking the teachers to give the high school kids library time for check out. Even if you can't do SSR it is worthwhile for the students to come to the library for check out time every so often.
The part of this question that asked about administrators and superintendents is tough. I would prepare a way to share the evidence. I am thinking of doing this myself in the form of a short Animoto video or something like that.
At the end of the day, if you can't do SSR you can still encourage reading as much as possible. Anything we can do to encourage reading is worth doing!
3. I tailor the book talks to the class and teacher. Most of the time they last about 30 minutes. I talk up some titles and do some follow up activities on the books they have been reading for about 20 minutes and then give the class about 10 minutes to find a new book to check out. I have done books talks in as short of a time as 15 minutes though. I sometimes use a timer to keep myself from going on and on too long. I love to talk about books so I have to be careful to respect the time the teacher has alloted for book talks.
5. The question about some students not reading is a hard one that I do not have a magic answer for. I sure wish I did! I try lots of things that are successful some of the time. I encourage Orca titles that are short and easy to read. I try to have lots of nonfiction that appeal to the non-reading students- I purchase based on these kids too! At my school lots of books on hunting are good. An idea I got from the SSR Handbook is to let the kids take multiple magazine, books, etc to their desk to look over during the SSR time. I also think that reading aloud to hook the kids into a good story is a good idea.
I don't do much with audiobooks but I am interested in trying more of this. I have a question about these- I wonder if listening to a book is as beneficial? Can students get the great gains of SSR if they listen to a book?
Ok, there are my thoughts on some of your questions. I hope you all will join in the conversation!