Scholastic Reading Summit for Educators

Forget the pool, the beach, or a romantic summer getaway … I have again taken full  advantage of professional development opportunities presented to me this summer!

  • Represent MSEA as a delegate at the week-long 2016 NEA Convention (✓)
  • Help revive Library, Information Literacy, and Technology special interest caucus (✓)
  • Attend week-long class Mentoring for All: Strategies, Activities, and Assessment (✓)
  • Attend  Scholastic Reading Summit for Educators (✓)

I am thankful to have discovered the Scholastic Reading Summit for Educators, and especially thankful that my school’s PTA graciously paid my registration fee with Scholastic Dollar$!  Muchas gracias,  Flower Hill Elementary School PTA!

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 I finally had the opportunity to meet the fabulous Mr. Schu – John Schumacher – and now understand why he has such a devoted following, and why he is the new Ambassador of School Libraries for Scholastic Book Fairs®. He’s awesome!  His book talks were full of energy and inspired me to find time – to make time — to sit and read as many of the  the more of the wonderful children’s books available, so that I can give authentic and inspired book talks to my students, too.  I was also pleased to discover that I am not the only person to smell the inside of a new book, or thrill in revealing the book under the dust cover! Thanks, Mr. Schu for the reminder that the goal of libraries is not to get back the books, but to get back the readers!!

Donalyn Miller had wonderful things to say about school librarians and the wonderful world of literature. “We are not simply teaching the readers our children are; we are reaching the readers they will become!”  I was thrilled to discover that we received a copy of her book, Reading in the Wild   and will be incorporating many of her suggestions for developing life long readers.   I’ve also become a fan of the Nerdy Book Club blog of which she is one of the four facilitators.   Thank you, Donalyn, for your wisdom.

Nancie Atwell, author of The Reading Zone (among others) offered an inspired discussion of reaching each student where they are, and how to nurture joyful reading, even with the most seemingly difficult-to-reach kids.  Thank you, Nancie (and daughter, Anne Atwell Merkel) for sharing your love of literature and reading.

Sara Pennypacker, author of middle grade novel Pax, was the keynote speaker.  Pax is the story of Peter and his pet fox Pax, who are separated when Peter’s father goes into the military to serve during the war, and their journeys to find each other again.   Pax Book Discussion Guide .  To listen to her NPR interview, click here.

Pax was illustrated by Caldecott Medal winner Jon Klassen (click here for more information about his artistic inspiration.)

I left the July 14th event filled to overflowing with ideas for books to read (and share) and unique ways in which to encourage my students to develop a love of the written word – such as hanging book talk mini-posters in the girls’ and boys’ bathroom stalls!  Check back for a future post that will include pictures!

Still to come this summer:

Love, love, love being a lifelong learner!!

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