Posted in Edublogs

Take A Look, It’s In A Book

book-863418_1920EduBlogsClub Prompt #21 (#20 was a catch up week):

Prompt: Write a post about a book, books, and/or reading!

Here are some possible topics to help get you started:

  • What has been the book that most impacted you or your teaching? Why?
  • Share the story of a time when students responded in a positive way to a book used in class.
  • Share your favorite book about teaching that’s helped change your approach to the classroom.
  • Create a reading list for other teachers either to use with students or for themselves.
  • What books do you wish you had time to read and why?

I love reading, I always have. Maybe I was lucky I grew up in a time before there was Internet. Sure there was television when I was a kid, but there wasn’t the kind of television there is today. I remember what a big deal it was when we finally got “cable” TV, which was called “On TV” or “Select TV.” Essentially it was a flip we switched to get some additional content, it may have only been one channel at the time. [I am really making myself feel ancient right now. 🙂 ] There were video games too, but it was Atari or Intellivision. We had both, and I was never overly engaged with either of them.

I don’t remember having an extensive collection of books, but I do remember a lot of time at the school library or the public library. When I was in high school, I practically LIVED at my local public library. When I became an elementary teacher, I thought back on what I enjoyed about my experiences. One of my most memorable elementary school memories is around read alouds. My 4th grade teacher at Hurley Elementary School in La Puente, Californa was Mr. Delgado. I think he was the first male teacher I ever had (and one of the few for sure) and I thought he was so cool. One of the things he did was after lunch read alouds. He would turn off the lights, have us put our heads down and read to us. He read us several books, but the one I remember most was “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by CS Lewis. Those after lunch read alouds were such a powerful memory for me and helped to foster my love of reading that I just had to do that with my students.

I have read all kinds of books to my students, but I have never dictated which ones. Another powerful experience for me as a young student on the whole was the lack of student voice and choice in most of my elementary years. I remember how much I resented that as a student and I made sure that my students would have a voice and choices in my classroom. Read aloud was certainly an area where my students had both. My students make suggestions for read aloud and we decide together. I love when they want a series read to them. I remember reading the Percy Jackson series to a 5th grade class I had, and loved the discussions we would get into while reading. In my most recent 3rd and 4th grade classes they were very much into the Creature in my Closet series and I read them several of those books. During my read alouds I would use my document camera to project the book so students could follow along, eventually I started getting the books on my Kindle and projected that. I would also make sure to have a paperback version  available in class for students to check out and so many students wanted to follow along with their own copies that they would check out the book from an area library or ask their parent to purchase them a copy. Its memories like these that really make me miss my time in the classroom.

I am currently in the process of starting a similar process with my son. He is in the 7th grade and due to a few reasons (which I will likely discuss in future posts), we decided to remove him from the district I work for and enroll him in an online charter school. We are only on week two of this new learning adventure and I am creating new routines to support him. I have to admit I am really enjoying the online charter school experience so far, as is my son. I am essentially his co-teacher and support the work he is doing with his online teachers. One of the areas I have to support him in is his independent reading. I am a fan of GoodReads and provided him this list of books recommended for middle school. He has selected “The Diary of Anne Frank.” We will be reading that together and I hope to recreate the magic of read alouds for him.

What is a fond memory you have about reading and books? Share with me in the comments below. 🙂



Wife, mother, National Board Certified Teacher, doctoral student researching the learner centered teaching practices of fully online K-12 teachers, Elementary Assistant Principal and dog lover. Passionate about educational technology, academic innovation, and redesigning the American educational system.

5 thoughts on “Take A Look, It’s In A Book

  1. Hi Melanie,

    Once again, I can really relate here as I have always loved reading and spent a lot of time at the library at school!

    I love your approach to read alouds. I always found it strange there was minimal student input too.

    I am very fascinated by the online charter school so I do hope you write about it. I have never actually heard of the concept so I’m really fascinated!

    Thanks again for an interesting post,

    1. Thanks Kathleen!

      I was trying to set my son up with a digital copy of the book he selected, via family sharing on Amazon, but I’ve decided to go old school and get us each a copy of the book to interact with as we see fit. He and I are going to have our own little book club were we can read books he chooses (from the list I’ve provided him) and have detailed discussions about them, utilizing what is being taught in his ELA course. I am rather excited about it and I know he enjoys Mommy & Me school time. 🙂 (He really does, I am not just saying that.)

      As for his online charter school, I figured I would utilize one (or more) of the EduBlogClub prompts to share that story, since I have so many to catch up on.

      Stay tuned! 🙂

      1. That is so cool he loves working with you. Long may that continue! I love your book club idea. I hope I can do that with my own kids when they’re older.

      2. I agree! My son is a sweetheart. He struggles with school, but enjoys it when we can work side by side. I try to make it fun for him and alleviate some of the stress and anxiety he feels. I am sure you will do lots of fun academic activities to support your children’s learning. 🙂

  2. Hi Melanie,
    I hope you and your son are enjoying this new learning adventure. I’ll look on your posts to see where you have shared this experience.
    As for a fond memory about reading and books, I remember to have read aloud the seven “Chronicles of Narnia” to my 5th graders. I knew the chapters by heart, so I would told them the adventures by myself and would read just the dialogues and the details of the descriptions. Generally they wished to read alone the same books; one of them used to “retell” the passage heard in class to her younger brother as a “bed time Story” and another used to “retell” it to his own grandmother. Both had a huge success at home!

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