Thursday, September 26, 2013

Teachers' Choice and book selection criteria

I am excited to share with you I am participating in the Teachers' Choice Project, sponsored by the International Reading Association.  I am even more excited because three other teachers at my school joined me for this project and together we have been given the opportunity to read new books, think, share, and review books with each other and our students.  We are representing grades K-3.  The Teachers' Choice Project began in 1989 and you can read annotated lists from previous years on their website.

The criteria for selecting a Teachers' Choice Project is going to make me think differently about books.  We are looking for books that present characters realistically without stereotyping.  We are looking for books with a valuable message that might provide a unique point of view.  I will be asking myself are there elements that reflect our times.  I am really fussy about the language within a book and I'm glad to find out the Teachers' Choice Project is looking for books with poor grammar or slang where warranted.  The dialect for a story is to be realistic for the setting or situation.  Does the story expand the curriculum?  Is the story informative? I am so glad we get to consider the artwork.  Is the artwork pleasing?  Do the illustrations fit the text?  Does the book use a variety of art forms?  Does the story help children understand themselves?  And then the Teachers' Choice criteria includes example questions that might be raised by reading this book.  I love that we want a book to further our thinking after it has been read.  

I wanted to share the criteria and thinking I am being asked to consider because I know so many of us are thinking about books and selecting books to use with our students.  I found myself thinking about books a bit differently then I would on a daily basis.  I will be sharing a couple of books each month That I receive courtesy of the IRA and the Teachers' Choice Project.   


  1. Congrats! How did you learn about this opportunity? (slightly jealous...but only slightly!)

  2. Book envy can be a positive and a negative. :) I think you were at the same meeitng I was at. Last spring Dr. Amy McClure spoke at The Literacy Connection meeting and asked for volunteers. It grew from there.