Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Choosing Picture Books

I went home to Upstate New York for a few days to visit my parents, family, and friends who enjoy beautiful Keuka Lake all year long.  I had a lot of driving time.  I didn't take my laptop or any picture books.  I didn't get far on picking my 10 for August 10th but I did start thinking about reasons I would choose books for.  When I returned I read my co-host Cathy at Reflect and Refine:  Building a Learning Community was doing the same sort of thinking with an entry titled, Choosing Picture Books.  I agree with all of her thoughts.  Her thinking is written with clarity, make sure you stop by to read her thinking. 

In thinking about how I would choose my 10 for 10 Picture Books, I realized I needed to have a reason to support my selection.  Why would a book be on my top 10 list?  How could I decide from the many wonderful new and old texts I've worked with over the years?  What books did I become passionate about during the year? 

Here's my thinking that will guide my selections for 10 for 10 Picture Books.
Engagement - I found such joy in watching and listening to my students rereading a book with me, shared reading shows growth for students.  I loved watching their facial reactions while reading a story, this shows thinking.  I loved watching them pick up the same book we used as a whole group to read individually and/or with a buddy.  These are all examples of engagement.

Interactive  - We had the most fun with books that encouraged us to move.  I learned quickly movement is necessary and positive for younger students.  I knew this but reminders are always good in life.

Illustrations - If I can find something unique about a book's illustrations I will most likely bring it home.  I love collage, I love when different medias are used together, and I love texture in general. 

Personal - We have to value personal connections.  I have found if I am excited about a text and/or can share how or what this book means to me, others will get excited too for a text.  I have bought many books based on others sharing them with me and the more I feel or see my friend connected to the text, the higher it goes on my want to use list.  Kids do the same thing.

Series/Author - With picture books, I really think of characters in a few stories as a series.  If my students connect with a character in one book  they get excited to see them again in a new book.  They also read more books by the same author once they find one they like. 

Content Connections - Our time in the classroom is limited and busy.  If I can use a book in one area of learning and use it again to further our thinking and possibly shift our thinking, then it is a keeper.

I think I have 4 books selected, but that could change leading up to August 10th.  I hope you will join us for some sharing.

1 comment:

  1. Lisa and I are working on our list to join you all. Like your thinking and thanks for giving us a nudge.