Best Friend Books

Thursday morning I set the alarm and got to my computer a few minutes before 7am. I was ready to spend an hour with the author, Lester Laminack, as the first ever Virtual Virginia State Reading Association Annual Conference began.

Here are a few take-aways:
The amazing Lester Laminack suggested reading aloud around 5 fiction and 5 nonfiction books many times over during a school year so the students come to know this small collection of books so well. By doing this, they would become Best Friend Books.

He modeled how to do this with Peter’s Chair by Ezra Jack Keats. I’ve read Peter’s Chair many times. Yet, I will admit, reading it again with Lester, I saw new things!! He pushed me to think about:
Peter is the kind of boy who….I know this because…
Peter ran away with things. Why these things? What’s their significance?

At the end, Lester kindly thanked the teachers connecting virtually with him. “I know this entire nation will appreciate you more after this pandemic is over.”

I’ve been thinking since Thursday how to use technology to share reading with my students since schools in VA are closed for the rest of the year. After next week, we are on Spring Break. Then I get 9 weeks of distance learning with my 6th grade reading classes. I found out Friday, I can enter my school building for 15 minutes on Monday. Now my plan is to gather LOTS of picture book from my classroom shelves – My Best Friend Books. I know I will grab Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney.

What would YOU grab?

8 thoughts on “Best Friend Books

  1. writingandlaughing says:

    You got to spend time with Lester?!?! Totally jealous. He’s the greatest! I love cultivating our classroom’s Best Friend Book collections. The Summer My Father Was Ten, Owl Moon, The Little Red Hen, Peter’s Chair, and Lulu and the Brontosaurus are our recent choices. ❤️


  2. wordjourneysite says:

    I love the idea of “Best Friend Books” – I’d never thought of it that way, using a collection throughout the year. This works for both reading and writing instruction. Which books will go into your collection?


    • sallydonnelly11 says:

      I so agree how it also helps with writing. He shared great examples of how to study the craft of the writer to help with your own writing! I will share my collection once I’ve got it! I bet thanks to you, Lemon has some best Friend Books!


  3. natashadomina says:

    I love that idea of “Best friend” books. Thank you so much for sharing! Lester Laminack is so brilliant. Miss Rumphius sounds like a great best friend book for 6th graders. Enjoy getting to be in your classroom–15 minutes sounds hard!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. chuizar says:

    I love the idea of best friend books. I will use this idea myself and share it with other teachers. We were allowed in our school last week and it felt a bit like one of those shopping cart contests, where I grabbed things and shoved them in the cart. It sounds like you are being much more thoughtful. Thanks for sharing.


  5. Leigh Anne Eck says:

    I could listen to Lester talk for days!! His voice just has this calming quality and is as smooth as butter. I have not listened to any of his videos, but I love the idea of the Best Friend Books! Good luck with your 15 minutes – wow!


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