November arrived quickly, but we were ready.
My colleague, Karen, and I have celebrated Picture Book Month in our classrooms over the last few years. However, this year we decided to share this special month with not just our small groups of students, but with everyone at our school.
We started thinking about the importance of reading aloud picture books:
- Develops empathy
- Builds vocabulary
- Allows for deeper thinking
- Showcases new authors, titles, and series
- Reminds us that books are mirror and windows
We introduced the premise of Picture Book Month with our staff at a meeting and that we wanted to share our love of picture books with their classrooms. We agreed to read aloud every day in November to a classroom in our school. We set up a sign-up schedule using Sign Up Genius and started pulling books from our classroom libraries that correlated with the daily theme.
Karen and I arrive every day in a new classroom ready to share a different picture book. It's fun reading aloud with a partner, but it definitely took a day or two to become comfortable with sharing the read aloud lead! We make a great read aloud team!
We ask students why they like picture books and jot down their thoughts on a sticky note. We discuss that pictures books are good for any grade, and remind students we never get too old for picture books! After we read, we take a picture with each class, print it out, and post it on our bulletin board with their ideas about picture books. A copy of the cover of the book we read aloud is posted on our calendar and the books are on display. We send a quick tweet with the hashtag #PictureBookMonth to share our daily read aloud, and sometimes connect with the author or illustrator.
It's been an amazing month so far of sharing books, new titles, new authors, and our love of picture books. The students are excited to see us and we have even been asked on several occasions when we would be coming back.
That's the best compliment of all.
We are booked this month, but we will be back! Happy reading picture books this month and every month!