Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Love of Reading

One of my favorite moments in paradise is reading. I love to read in bed, on my special chair, on the plane, by the pool, and especially on the beach. Teaching children to love reading as much as I do is one of my very favorite parts of being a teacher. I think the ticket to falling in love with a book is to find the perfect book to hook your readers. Some of my personal favorites for such an occasion are any Piggie and Gerald book by Mo Willems (actually anything by him is great). Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco is a very special book that melts any teacher's heart. (Pretty much anything by Polacco is amazing, as well.) I also love, love, love Kevin Henkes. Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse and Owen are two of my most loved children's books. The list could go on and on. I think the thing that really gets my kids are the voices I make to bring to life the characters in the story. The more dramatic the reading the better. So fun! 

Kids just want to relate to books. Some kids get into the imaginary stories that take place on the pages, while others are intrigued by facts and information. There are so many different genres to explore and to love. It amazes me to see kids completely change their minds about types of books. They may start off telling you that they only read nonfiction. Next thing you know you are introducing Mysteries to your class, and they catch the mystery bug! Showing my students to look wider at reading is another favorite part of teaching.

Another paradise moment for me is watching kids read. It has changed through the 17 years that I have been teaching. I started off in first grade where kids were swatting words with word swatters onto the pages of Big Books. As the kids got a little older in 2nd grade, where I have spent over a decade, the children started reading longer books. Now in 2015, many of my students were reading on our iPads. I don't know how many times I have bickered with fellow teachers about the power of iPads. I know holding a book in your hand is a gift, but holding 100 books at once is priceless! The other great thing about reading on an iPad is how you can change the font to meet the needs of older eyes or to make the font more pleasing to a child with Dyslexia (that really works!). The iPad allows students to use tools like highlighting and note taking, right in the book! I still love reading real books, but for me there is no substitute for iBooks!

Anyway you are reading, whether it is in the bathtub or snuggled up under your desk (if you are a kid... or if you want to hide from your family!), all that really matters is that you are READING. 

So read with or to a friend...

Read with a prop... 

Read from your book basket...

Read on your iPad...

Or Read in a comfy spot...

Until our next moment in paradise...


  1. Those comfy reading spots come in so many different forms for sure! I'd love a huge classroom with room for a real, claw-tub style bathtub -full of colorful and comfy pillows! I might not get any teaching done though. ;-)

  2. That sounds delightful! Just take a quick nap before walk-throughs begin. ;) The kids would love it!

  3. I wanna bring in my big chaise lounge!!

  4. Comfortable furniture can become problematic. Remember my big blue comfy rocking chair?? I FELL ASLEEP in that during specials one day!! Katie had to wake me up and remind me to go get the kids.

  5. Your post is great. So much of it reminds me of Carol... a master storyteller. I love how she used to cover her big books with paper and "unwrap" them in front of the kids, like it was a special gift to be treasured. She'd peel off just a little and "ooh" and "aah" and get the kids excited... "I wonder what this book could be about." And, as if her children weren't already riveted enough, she'd start reading the book and they would be glued to her. Her voices and facial expressions and playfulness are such a gift. She can make a read-aloud so fun!