Model, Model, Model

#cyberpd ~ Reading in the Wild – Part 2:  Model, Model, Model

Once again I am posting in response to Donalyn Miller’s book: Reading in the Wild as part of the #cyberpd 2014.  

cyber pd

This week as I read chapters 3 and 4,  I was struck with the importance that modeling reading plays in our schools. As an instructional coach in a primary school my modeling will be different than that of a classroom teacher.  However, after reading these chapters I realize I have just as an important role in sharing and modeling as a classroom teacher does.  With that said, here are a few ideas I want to put into place in my building next year to help bring about wild readers.

“The most effective reading teachers are teachers who read” and ” We must show our students what a wild reader looks like through our examples”  are two quotes that guided my thinking about what I can do as an instructional coach to foster this wild reading in our staff.  SO I propose that this year I attempt to accomplish the following:

  • Create a reading door in my office: I will post pictures of books that I read over the summer both professional and personal and continue to add to the door as the year goes on.  I might even think about posting a quote or two from each book.
  • Create a welcome to our school poster – with a picture of each staff member holding a children’s book that they plan on reading on the first day.  This display has three purposes: 
    • introduces our staff to community members that walk in our building
    • sends a strong message of literacy in our building
    • gives parents book ideas

“Educating parents about the importance of daily reading, increasing book access through libraries and book ownership, and promoting the value of reading aloud must take prominence in our parent outreach programs.”  As the instructional coach, another aspect of my role is to help educate our parents on the importance of reading at home.  I have already scheduled two parent nights and one read aloud night for next year, but can I do more? After reading these pages, I believe I need to beef up my website with suggestions and tips for reading aloud as well as give more appropriate suggestions for titles.  When parents hear us asking them to read for 30 minutes daily, I should be stating that those 30 minutes can come in little pieces. Suggestions can be made to tuck book baskets in the car, borrow books on tape/CD for car rides, and download a few kids books to their kindle or phones to read while waiting for the doctor or practice to begin.  Reading can and should happen anywhere.

Finally, I realized through reading these pages and the related posts on #cyberpd, that I am such a social reader.  I need a listening ear once I finish a book.  Are other teachers and children like this?  With this thought in mind, I would like to suggest a book club in our school for professional  or related books.  This would go a long way in modeling for our students that we are wild readers and we want you, our students, to become wild readers too!

5 Replies to “Model, Model, Model”

  1. Christine,
    So many smart ideas for building a reading community. I'm thinking about the impact you have on students for years and the power in these small changes in your community. In your plan you have considered other teachers, parents, and, most importantly, your students.


  2. I like the idea of the welcome to school-inviting all to be readers from the start. We have a wall that says Readers are Leaders with pics of various leaders from the district pictured-it would be nice if they could recommend a read as well…Thanks for sharing your thinking.

  3. Christine,

    It's so great that even though you are already doing much, you are still thinking about what else you can do to make “wild readers” of those in your building. I think your idea of making a “Welcome to School” poster with picture of teachers holding up various books is a great one. Like you said, sounds like a great way to encourage literacy, show that it's important to everyone in the building, and give book suggestions. Lastly, I appreciated your thought on teaching parents that their reading time with their kids does not have to happen all at once, but can happen in the “edge time.” As I read these chapters of Reading in the Wild, I was thinking of the importance of teaching students that they can (and should) read ALL of the time…but I hadn't really considered that parents might need to be educated in this way, too. Great thought!


  4. Love, love love that idea. This would be a good first step, less intimidating and time consuming as well.
    Maybe taking it another step further, how about a book club for parents…ummm…must think about this.

  5. Great ideas and suggestions! Maybe take your staff book club one step farther – why confine yourself to professional books when you could also experience the joy of reading and sharing great kids' books in community?

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