Friday, July 21, 2017

Reflections From the Scholastic Reading Summit

This week I attended the Greater Washington, DC Scholastic Reading Summit. Each session that I attended could have its own blog post, but I wanted to provide an overview of the awesomeness!
Breakfast with Mr. Schu
     First, I would like to point out that this man had a broken clavicle and STILL presented his new favorite books like a champ! We heard book talks on many titles and discussed our answers to the question, "What do you love reading right now?" Great idea: EVERY faculty meeting should begin with a book talk!
     Then it was off to the Book Fair!! It was wonderful to watch teachers, librarians, administrators, and college students get so excited about BOOKS! These were definitely my people! 😊

General Session-Ernest Morrell
     Mr. Morrell spent time explaining the 7 Strengths from Every Child a Super Reader, which he coauthored with Pam Allyn (Belonging, Curiosity, Friendship, Kindness, Confidence, Courage, Hope). Read this book! There is a lot of great information in it! He also recommended following #SuperReader to join the movement!

Some favorite quotes:
     *"Kids don't show up to school saying, "I can't wait to struggle at reading!"
     *"Every child WANTS to do well. Every child CAN improve."
     *"We don't have STRUGGLING readers...we have INEXPERIENCED readers."
     *"A diverse classroom library is a window to the world."
     *"Hope is a basic human need. When we lose our hope, we lose our humanity."
Booktalking-Brad Gustafson
     This session focused on WHY we book talk, as well as how we can make our book talks even more engaging. Some of the "Hooks" that were discussed included asking a question, reading the first line or chapter, drawing a comparison, making an author connection, and typecasting ("If you enjoy books like Lord of the Flies, you'll want to check out Scar Island.") 
Twitter hashtags to check out:
Why should we Book Talk?
     *Genre Introduction
     *Pairing Texts
     *Don't Judge a Book by its Cover
     *Don't Judge a Book by its Title
Favorite quote: (which Mr. Gustafson made up on the spot) "The only bad book talk is the one that didn't happen."
Personal Takeaway: I really need to book talk more nonfiction!!
Independent Reading Panel
Facilitated by Donalyn Miller, the panel included elementary principals Stephanie Brant and Nicole Paylor, middle school principal LaQuita Outlaw, and Professor Ernest Morrell. I was so happy to see secondary represented!! Topics discussed included
current books and action research, how to get caregiver buy-in, and reading identities (both student and caregiver). On a personal note, they discussed research behind NOT using incentives to reward reading! 💗💗💗
In order to build a culture of reading, we need TIME, ACCESS, CHOICE, COMMUNITY.
Some favorite quotes:
     *"You yourself have to be a reader."-Dr. Outlaw
     *"Value has to be placed on independent reading."-Dr. Outlaw
     *"I read to my college students. We don't age out of loving to hear a fluent reader."-Mr. Morrell
     *"(A reading gap) is not a gap between other students; it's a gap between the child and his/her best self."-Mr. Morrell
General Session-Jewell Parker Rhodes
     This was absolutely the BEST way to end our day of learning. What an inspiring, beautiful human being! Ms. Parker Rhodes told us her personal story, and how it led her to become a writer. After she read us an excerpt from Towers Falling, we heard about how she researched for the book. On writing about such a tough topic, Ms. Parker Rhodes said, "Students want to know our history and we need to share it with them. They're going to be running our country." 
I am VERY excited for her upcoming book, Ghost Boys! Keep this title on your radar.
Some favorite quotes:
     *"Always, eventually, the universe shines down with love."
     *"I hope that when the world forgets to love you that you remember to love yourself."
     *"We can change a civilization by raising critical thinkers."

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