Monday, October 10, 2022

Learning with The Literacy Connection & John Schu

This past Saturday I had the pleasure to join a local group of educators;
The Literacy Connection as they launched their year long book study of The Gift of Story by John Schu. John is full of energy, insight, and inspiration. He is truly a book ambassador and brought many books to give away to the audience. As he shared a bit about the book and why he was recommending it he asked the participants who needed this story. A few books he already knew who needed this book by listening in earlier in the day. I can't wait to dive in to The Gift of Story and think about the affective side of our reading lives.

Here are some tidbits I'm taking with me into a new week.

"A book can become your best friend." 

John was a great mentor for knowing books and sharing stories about how he shares books with people when they need it. I think I have some close listening to do and reading to help find best friend books for my students.

"Do you finish the book or prolong the experience?"

We spend a lot of time talking about reader identity and growing it across our third grade year together. This isn't a question I have pondered before myself or with my students. I was also reminded of a reading conference I had a couple of weeks ago. A student had abandoned a book in the Chicken Squad series and I was surprised. He had been reading the others in our classroom library after I read the first one for a chapter book read aloud. When I asked him why, he told me this was the last book we had and he didn't want the series to end. My whole body took a deep sigh and my heart radiated. I suggested we look up if we owned all the books in the series and discovered there were two which were quickly ordered. This third grade reader prolongs the experience.

"Be open to stories"

As I think about being open to stories, I find myself thinking I need to slow down and pause building in moments for stories to emerge. I think being open to stories fosters matching books to readers, guiding writers, and ignites connections. 

I love spending time with our local group of educators each year. It not only grows my thinking and work as a teacher it nurtures my soul. The energy in the room is always positive and welcoming. There is time built in for connecting with old friends and making new ones. The day is relaxing and fun. I can't wait to spend another day with John in March and you can too, if you are near Columbus, Ohio - just visit The Literacy Connection website.

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