Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Getting to Know You - First Days

Photo by woodleywonderworks
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In the first days of a new school year, teachers want to draw each student into their realm of learning and be included in each child's realm of learning. While there are as many ways to do this as there are teachers and students in our schools, I would suggest picture books can easily engage students. Presenting stories of our common experience, books reach out to students and teachers, across time and space, drawing them together, encouraging valuable learning opportunities.

Select this link to read a short discussion among my Personal Professional Learning network about children's literature we use to start the school journey. n2teaching thinks it is time to read Tar Beach and When the Relatives Came-

Two books, Tar Beach and The Relatives Came, share the common themes of family and story-telling. They engage children and fascinate adults. During the first days of school, these are the types of books you can use to encourage your students to become a family of learners with you.

Whether a child's family lives in the city or the country, these books will draw them in with a sense of awe and wonder for childhood past and present.

You can use these books to prime the pump at the well of common experience. The stories draw out each child's favorite family stories like cups of fresh water. In this way, children and teachers join each others’ common experience.

Photo by Carla216
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A shared experience, enhanced through storytelling, helps everyone believe in the value of the students and teacher’s common learning. It helps people make choices based on the belief in their reciprocal values. What are these reciprocal values? Even though our family groups may seem different, there are common factors between all.

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