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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Book Talks in 1st Grade

After attending a conference with Penny Kittle, author of Book Love,  last spring, I set a goal to incorporate 'Book Talks' into our 1st grade daily schedule.
Book Talks are an opportunity to present a wide range of books from a variety of genres to students on a regular basis. Books Talks are like little commercials for books. I always begin with..."This is one of my favorite books!" (After about the 4th day, one student said..."you sure have a lot of favorite books Mrs. Boynton"... message received...I love to read and you should too!)
I show the cover and a few pictures from the book. I tell a bit about the book, sometimes reading a small excerpt. Then the book goes on the chalk rail (it's funny that I still call it a chalk rail...I haven't used chalk in 20 years!) as an invitation to think about this book and to create the desire to read it! I follow this procedure each morning as we begin our day, Monday through Thursday. By Thursday, there are 4 books in the collection. No one has read them yet but the kids are talking about them! On Friday morning, I review each of the books and students vote on which one they want to be read aloud. We use Kahoot to vote on the books. It's quick, the kids really enjoy it AND it displays a graph of the voting results so we can review drawing conclusions about graphs every Friday in a most authentic way! The remaining books go on display in the classroom library and are favorite choices when kids visit the library during Reading Workshop.
Please note that I am not doing Book Talks instead of Read Alouds but in addition to daily Read Alouds.
In just a few weeks of school, I have noticed that this practice has increased engagement and love of books! I received an email from a parent last week reporting that her daughter didn't really like to read last year and that over the summer it was difficult to get her to read. She said that in just the first few weeks of school, her daughter has made a shift and now talks about books, enjoys reading at home and does it without prompting. I'm not sure if the practice of Book Talks played a part in this shift but I'd like to think so:)

This week we had a holiday on Monday, so there were only 3 books to choose from.

And the winner is....The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes!

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