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Building an Authentic Love of Reading

Kaitlyn Cronin — The Sage School

At The Sage School, we use Reader’s Workshop as a launching pad to build community and drive conversation. Books help to develop social-emotional skills, encourage self-worth and breed an infectious love of reading throughout the school. Teacher directed lessons take a back seat to classroom read alouds, “book sales” and kid-driven activities about books they love.

To harness the power of reading at Sage, we have developed a wide variety of exciting and kid friendly book adventures. With Reading Buddies, we partner up old and young students to share a school-wide read and discussion every Friday. We used March Madness as a backdrop for a battle of the books extravaganza. Students chose a book to champion and used Seesaw, Flipgrid and IMovie to create online book reports to share with a wide audience. During this month long competition, students practiced talking about books and encouraged others to step outside their reading comfort zone.

In class, students are responsible for maintenance and improvement of our burgeoning class library. They organize and request titles, creative attractive displays and continually changing the inventory. Most importantly, students share exciting finds early and often through our Book Sales program. Students pitch new books to the group at least once per week and create waiting lists through which eager readers can work through titles.

Conversational Practice

After a short presentation, which will include a sample Book Sale of “Start with Joy; Designing Literacy Learning for Student Happiness” by Katie Egan Cunningham, we will dive into building a Book Recommendation Repository that can be accessed by different schools. Hopefully, we can continue to build this as the year continues, encouraging our students to use it for future recommendations. Wouldn't it be great if we could connect different readers around the country? Please bring a list of Book Titles you love for all ages!

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