Big Idea Books

Whenever I see people reading it takes a lot of self-control to not grab their books and attack them with questions

What makes it great? 

Why are you spending your time on it? 

Who else might enjoy it? 

And if the person knows me… 

 Will I like it? 

Yesterday, at Reading For The Love Of It, Penny Kittle showed us a way to ask and answer these questions in an honest, personalized and meaningful way. 

Check this out (taken from Penny’s website): 

About once a month, Penny scatters these books throughout her room. There’s one book per topic. Students select a book that matches their reading, and they write an entry.  If the notebook they want/need is taken, students have to find another book to write in…  

As time passes, the notebooks become repositories for student thinking about books that they (and their peers) are reading. Notebooks become communal spaces for connecting to and reflecting on text. If someone is looking for books about “love” or “oppression”, they can grab that notebook and connect with someone who has the same interests.  The can “get a recommendation from a friend”. Through these notebooks, students in Penny’s classes connect with years worth of readers that are into the same stuff as them. 

And that’s beautiful.


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