Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sweet Summer Reads Celebration!

I know it's September and a little late to be talking about the end of the school year.  But I kept intending to post all summer about this celebration and never did.  Tonight I noticed a message that I had sent to one of my grad school professors.  I decided it was perfect for summing up our end of the year projects.

"We had a fantastic end of the year celebration in my classroom. It all started when I had my students  create genre brochures in small groups. My idea was to have the brochures for next year's 6th graders. After doing the group brochures, I had my students create an individual brochure that provided a snapshot of their reading year complete with plans for Sweet Summer Selections.

The other 6th grade teachers felt that we should share the brochures with this year's 6th graders. So we had a Sweet Summer Reads Celebration in the library. Each genre group decorated their table with summer props and the librarian pulled titles from the brochure to put on the tables. Additionally each student placed their personal brochure with a favorite book on the table. We invited classes to come and provided them with a Sweet Summer Selections page to record ideas for summer reading. 5 titles listed and they earned a dum dum. (Never underestimate the motivating power of a sucker to a middle schooler!)

I then dropped by our local independent bookstore to share some of the comments with Roger Page, the owner. Many of the students had mentioned how much they liked to find books at Island Books. When he saw the genre brochures, he asked to carry them in the bookstore. So we'll kick off the brochures in September with "A Meet the Authors" night at the bookstore. Current 6th graders will be invited to come learn about the genre categories that we use for independent reading in 6th grade. Talk about an authentic audience!

Oh, and we have a Sweet Summer Reads blog!

It's the most exciting thing I did this past year, probably because it fed my personal passion."

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