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?