Creating a Culture of Reading: Picture Book Companions to Save You Time
I don’t know about you, but in my 11 years of teaching, I have had quite a few days where I run around nonstop all day, just to wonder on the drive home if I actually did anything today. Did I actually make a difference today? Did I teach the content in a way they could learn? Did I engage and excite them? Self-doubt. Imposter syndrome. It happens to the best of us.
A couple years ago, I found a way to combat this. I told myself that as long as I read a book to my students, I enhanced their day.
At the time I was departmentalized and taught reading to 3 groups of students. When I felt myself beginning to doubt after a hard day, I told myself what I know:
- I know studies show the overwhelming benefit of kids being read to, on a regular basis, with fluency.
- I know that exposing children to different genres and authors gets them interested and exploring those genres/authos which leads to more independent reading on their part.
- I know that research shows independent reading is the practice that has the most impact on a child’s reading growth.
That was that. As long as I read a book to them, I refused to allow myself to unravel.
After I made the decision that I wanted to read aloud a book each day to my students (regardless of the current unit), I saw a great impact. More so than the years before, my class became a group of learners that valued reading. If an early dismissal or assembly altered our schedule, I would have to find another time to squeeze in the read aloud because the kids were not willing to take a day off.
How my A-Book-A-Day resource got it’s start
The problem that I found was that so much went in to choosing and prepping for quality read alouds.
Whenever possible, I aligned the daily read aloud to the unit and skills I was teaching that week. If I was teaching a unit that didn’t lend itself well, I will still try to match all the read alouds for the week in some way so that our conversation and understanding would build throughout the week.
I eventually sat down and made a big list of all the topics I wanted to cover in the unit I was currently in. I added my favorite read alouds under each topic and then pulled out my computer and researched until I had 5 books under each header, one for each day of the week.
I knew I wanted to share this resource to help teachers fulfill their #abookaday challenge in a meaningful and simple way without compromising consistency or depth.
I try to plan my read alouds a unit at a time so that I am not scrambling, but I was still winging it through the read aloud unless I had set aside time to come up with questions that allowed my students to make connections, infer, or compare. I wanted to plan extension opportunities for eager kids or for when we had extra time.
I started creating mini PowerPoints for the read alouds so that everything would be in one place when I sat down to read the book of the day. Those PowerPoints have been combined and polished to create my A-Book-A-Day resource that I hope will help other teachers implement a book a day in an easier and more consistent way.
What is included in this resource?
Once I had taught through a week of the original A-Book-A-Day resource I created, I had a better idea of what I needed and wanted to include in each product. Each week of resources comes with:
- Mini-Lesson PowerPoint to guide your students through your read aloud (You can use as many or as few of the slides as you need!)
- PDF printable resources (See below to learn how these add value to your read alouds.)
- Response slides in Google Classroom
- Response slides formatted for Microsoft Teams
What is included in each mini lesson PowerPoint?
- 3 “Before Reading” slides to introduce the text, get the students thinking, and set a purpose for reading
- Link to an online read aloud for when you don’t have a physical copy of the book
- 3 “After Reading” slides including a discussion question, writing prompt, and 5 open-ended comprehension questions from the text
- Closure slide to reiterate the lesson or purpose of the read aloud
What is included in the PDF portion?
- Teacher Guide
- Book spines for book a day display (Check out some of my bulletin boards below!)
- Bookshelf decor item for bookshelf display
- Book covers for book a day display
- Graphic Organizer that fits the genre or topic of books included
- Story Retell Sheet
- Book Recommendation Sheet
- 5 open-ended question comprehension check (specific questions for each book)
What groups of books did I end up creating?
Want a closer look at the A-Book-A-Day resources?
I created a FREE version just for you. Click the button to the left to access the resources for The Smart Cookie by Jory John and Pete Oswald!
What books should I add next?
Let me know in the comments! Thanks for dropping by!