Looking for a fun project that builds reading community and sets the tone for connected learning throughout the school year? Then join the It’s Monday: What Are You Reading project!
After watching teachers post book reviews to Twitter each Monday using the hashtag #IMWAYR, we decided to take this practice to our students. Each Monday across the school year our kiddos shared their reading lives and embraced the pop culture selfie fad by posting a book “shelfie” and a short book review to a Padlet wall (for more ideas on using Padlet in the classroom, read Katie’s post on social media) . This collaborative wall served as a visual book recommendation chart that was accessible to all students. It laid the foundation for a strong reading community as this weekly routine reinforced the belief that “we are readers.” It also provided me rich data about student reading lives, interests, and their ability to read, write and view to learn. Most importantly, it provided an authentic audience for book reviews as students built voice and celebrated their reading with each other.
Once we saw the impact this had on our students and across our school, we opened the #IMWAYR project to classrooms around the world. From Kuala Lumpur to Vancouver, to Stockholm and D.C. we talked titles and shared our reading lives. Initially, our students noticed the different titles that kids were reading, but after a short period of time, they began to notice similarities and commonalities between countries and classrooms. When kids observed that students in Singapore were also reading Wonder, or that learners in Detroit liked Babymouse just like they did, it fostered the idea of connected learning. Many teachers partnered students virtually from different classrooms who had a shared interest or wanted to learn about a book from a peer. Kids found onscreen reading buddies or even sometimes that one other person who shared their reading passion; along the way they built understanding that we are all members of the global learning community.
I shared this project at a number of conferences this summer and just last week the amazing @MrDulberger tweeted me his book shelfie which spurred the idea for the Teacher Edition It’s Monday: What are You Reading project. We know that mentor text matters. We use books in reading, writing and math workshop to set an example or fuel ideas for what kids might do independently. We need to extend this mentor text model into our technology workshop and help kids envision the possibilities. We have the awesome opportunity to show them what connected learning looks like and sounds like, so let’s do it!
We invite you to join the #IMWAYR project and post a book shelfie and a review to this Padlet wall. Please make sure to share your location in addition to the review so we can track posts with our students. We hope this project introduces you to a few new titles and serves as a resource you can use to build a reading community and habits for living across the school year. Happy reading friends!
Updated August 25, 2015: Want to learn more about It’s Monday: What are You Reading? Check out @MentorTexts blog that features a special #KidLit post each week. It’s a great way to learn about new titles and model connected learning and networking with your students. #IMWAYR