Monthly Archives: July 2014

Why library cards are still exciting

Getting a library card is still exciting

Today my mom sent a photo of my two nephews who got their first library card. When I was younger, getting a card meant that you had access to a world of books. You were allowed to get lost in a book, and most importantly, you can hang out wherever you wanted in the building away from your parents. Having a library card meant having power. Let’s be serious, you don’t have much power, but in the hands of children like my nephews, it was the best moment of their lives.
In a world of tablets and e-readers it is a little difficult for your emerging reader to know the Amazingness of print concepts (how the words are supposed to go on the page), smelling the new pages (an intoxicating smell all people should encounter, or most importantly how many books by an author they’re really are). Having a library card heading to the (now endangered) bookstore is probably the most magical experience for any emerging reader. Physical books and being in libraries give students mastery in ways that teachers and e-readers can not.
Today’s professional development focused heavily on the shift of our network to the Common Core State Standards. As a reading specialist, I AMA shocked at how even thought they were written in 2010, how outdated an somewhat unattainable some of these standards are to master considering our information and technological age. For example, how beneficial is it for a student to know how to look up a word in a dictionary when my e-reader, smartphone or other gadget gives me an attainable definition just by my clicking on the word as I read? Skills that helped you and I through college, are no longer a factor in my nephews’ world. It is the equivalent of you and I having as a standard to manipulate a microfiche machine.

As a person who has seen the coming of age of technology, I think, but what if they become an awesome researcher and the only sources are in print, or even worse there is no wifi connection. Those skills are still relevant. In order for them to stay current out children still have to go to the library and peruse through the print. Dictionaries and guide words are still important in their development. I mean if you think about it, it is still less expensive for a school to buy 100 books than 100 e-readers. Practicing what is like to pick out a book. To be engrossed in the the pages. And smell the places its been (when they are not smells that cause nausea) will support your child in their adaptation of the rigor that is coming from their classrooms this year.

As an educator, I am excited for the direction of my instruction. As an aunt, I worry about my balance between technology and print resources. It is easier to download the book on my iPad, than to buy the book, which closely aligns with their classroom experiences. Please don’t think I am against e-readers, (I carry my kindle as if it were my wallet) I just would love it if we can preserve the innocence of print resources until, like microfiche, it is no longer relevant to the world of research and achievement. We also preserve the innocence of childhood as I saw today with my 5year old nephews with their new library cards.

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First comes love

To be honest, it is love.  To be a teacher, to draw knowledge from young and old humans alike, you first have to show love

–Edulovereading

Someone asked me how I get my students to be so engaged.  They seem so eager to read and participate in class they said.  I told them that the answer is simple, okay it is not that simple, but it is simple enough, the answer is love. The school year starts really soon, so now I am reflecting.

On the first day, it is important that your students know that you will still accept them even if they fail.  They know and understand that the first day of learning something new can go two ways, either it will go really well or it can suck.  The idea here is to understand persistence that even though it sucks you can always get better with practice and admitting your defeat.  When it goes well they should know that they can not be complacent that they can always do better, challenge themselves and help others to do the same.  When they make a mistake they should know that failure only comes when they decide to take that mistake and make it into something great.

You as the teacher should know that  making students  feel bad about that mistake can actually make the mistake a failure.  Children should learn from their mistakes above all things.  When students feel the love and know that it is okay to fail, they will reach more success over time.

That is the beginning of learning to read.  First comes love.