Here are my tips for building up your book muscle in ways that maximum your efforts:
• Dedicate daily time for reading. If you want to increase your book knowledge, you must set aside time for reading. Tell yourself you are doing research!
• Read books on your district lists and curriculum documents. If a text is required use for your grade level, you should read it before sharing it with students.
• Explore your school’s book closet. Many schools have sets of books squirreled away in department or grade level closets—often forgotten or unused.
• Read winners from major award lists. Begin by exploring the American Library Association’s Book and Media Award lists . Most state library associations create recommended reading lists of children’s and young adult literature each year, too. These lists offer an entry point to the authors and high-quality texts available for your students to read.
• Befriend a librarian. Librarians know things. They are tapped in to the latest books and resources for using these titles in your classroom. A savvy librarian can recommend grade level texts and help you find books that match students’ interests and your curriculum, as well as websites, technology tools, and response ideas.
• Ask your students what you should read. If I see several students in my class reading the same book and I have not read it, I will move it up the pile. A book that already has proven kid appeal is a guaranteed must-read.
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