Reading habits for students and teachers are a skillfully woven thread to this week and from Day 3 this post could be about how Read Alouds, small group work and coaching intersect and complement each other. But I am going to back up a step and share with your some of the learning that was emphasized yesterday about book selection by Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul in her choice workshop “All Diverse Books are NOT Created Equal: A Toolkit of Critical Lenses for Teachers to Diversify Your Classroom Library.’
You may know Sonja from any of these works:
If you follow #G2Great you know that she was the guest on last week’s chat so I was delighted to see and hear her in person (although the topic was just a piece of this new book with Dana).
Read Aloud? Check
Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop and the need for “Windows”, “Mirrors” and “Sliding Doors” were part of the why so students can see themselves and the value of their own lives in books. (More about Dr. Bishop here.) Sonja shared that her parents are happily married and her brother is gainfully employed which are two characteristics of stories NOT found in many current stories. Too many stories perpetuate false narratives.
Is the situation improving?
You be the judge.
What are the 4 lenses?
We physically looked at and read books from these collections as we learned about the four lenses and Sonja shared how even the books in her own classroom library had gaps when she applied those four lenses in her own audit and literally spread the books out on the floor.
The hard part of this is it will take time and work to diversify your classroom library. Don’t make assumptions that it already is diversified. Don’t just check off the four lenses. Think about your students, their families and the community as you work to fill your classroom with books that represent your students and their lives!
When you think of your classroom library what books do you see? What books do you not see?
When you think of your Read Alouds what books do you read? What books do you not read?
How will you tackle both the “quality” and quantity of diversifying books in your classroom library?