Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Summer Book Boot Camp

A few summers back I ran across the idea of hosting a Summer Book Boot Camp for Teachers.  We are considering it again and I've been looking over the previous design.  Nearly 100% of our language arts teachers participated (we did use Teacher Quality money to fund this work).  Below is what we offered to teachers.  Our teachers read widely and created authentic products for classroom use. What would you change?  Have you offered events to boost teacher engagement with youth literature?  Please share.

The June Book Boot Camp

The Iowa Core states that students need to engage in the reading of increasingly complex texts. Research shows that students who read widely (a variety of text types and levels of complexity) have better academic outcomes (as well as developing the habits of lifelong readers). Determining the appropriate level of complexity for our students is left to the professional judgement of local educators. Finding the time and method to build teacher knowledge about youth literature can be difficult.  This Professional Learning experience will:
  • build (or expand on) an understanding of the need for wide reading across genres
  • provide classroom resources ( trade books, booklists, review sources) to support wide reading  in your classrooms
  • give time for you to read a wide selection of contemporary youth literature
  • facilitate the development of tools, guides, and teaching strategies to help students navigate their individual path to wider reading.


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Learning Platform - Edmodo.com (School social networking tool)
Participants will have the flexibility of responding to readings and sharing authentic artifacts using the school social networking tool Edmodo. No need to come to an empty school building. Ernie Cox will support and moderate our experience.


Shared Professional Reading  (your choice)
reading ladders.jpg

Quantity and Quality: Increasing the Volume and Complexity of Students’ Reading by Sandra Wilde

Text Complexity: Raising Rigor in Reading by Fisher, Frey and Lapp
or another title on text complexity/wide reading etc

Book Boot Camp Artifacts

Participants will choose titles to read from pre-selected genre lists.  We will share our reflections on these titles in Edmodo in the form of video booktalks or shelf cards recommendations.  
  • one video booktalk (Video Guide)
  • one shelf card recommendation
ONE of the following (you decide) :
  • Reading Ladder based on one of the books.
  • Analysis of the qualitative text complexity using the TeachingBooks.net tool.
  • Notice and Note inspired signpost guide to one of the books.
  • an original artifact of your design which will guide student wide reading of complex text

Genre lineup
  • Action & Adventure
  • History
  • Memoir & Biography
  • Sci Fi
  • Fantasy
  • Realistic Fiction
  • Historical Fiction

How the books were selected.



What is provided?
  • 8 hours of flexible work time
  • Trade book budget (approximately $60 per person = 5 books )
  • Copy of a professional text

What you will make for your classroom
  • a video booktalk
  • shelf recommendation card
  • Reading Ladder or a Text Complexity analysis or another artifact design by you.