My favourtie part of the week is shared reading.
At then end of every Friday we carve out some time to share our favourite books with our favourite people. If kids want to be left alone, they can be, but I encourage all of my students to invite people that they see sitting alone to join them. I hang out and read with students too. It’s informal learning, and it’s wonderful.
*I swear these aren’t posed photos.
As I looked around the room yesterday, I was finally able to articulate why I love this time so much. There’s a lot of mad flipping through pages, pointing, laughing, talking. It’s authentic. It’s kind of like those youtube jams that friends have: going back and forth on a computer and saying “You’re going to love this!"
It’s not forced. They invite each other to join, and kids can always opt out.
Two amazing teachers that I look to for guidance have recently been writing about this type of authentic sharing when it comes to being a connected educator. Royan Lee wrote a post called Is Tweeting for Everyone and Andrew Campbell wrote a post called Social Media Can’t Save Education. Both teachers wrote against forcing teachers to connect through social media. At the time I commented that I disagreed with them:
(My reply to Royan)
(My reply to Andrew)
As I look to my class for mentorship, I think I’m beginning to see Royan and Andrew’s point(s). If I forced the kids to read certain books or chose their groups for them, shared reading would cease to be the wonderful learning that it is… the magic happens in providing the learning opportunity, not in forcing the lesson.