Sunday, November 2, 2014

5 Ways to be a Book Pusher

As a book lover, it is only natural that one of my first posts be about reading and books. As my team partner (aka #workwifey) likes to put it, we are book pushers. We push books and reading to our students and families. Let me take a step back and explain why I am a book pusher.

As a child, I actually despised reading. I was always the one pulled to the small group because I struggled with reading comprehension. It was not until high school that I was able to see the why so many people were captured by reading. As one of my students put it this year, "I love reading because I feel that it takes me to a magical place. I can escape everything and live a different life." Reading is exactly that. However, in order to get that point you have to know the basics. In elementary school, I struggled with the basics. I share this with my students and families. All my students have the same reaction... "But... you are a TEACHER!" They give me the look like that is impossible. Oh, but it is. I like to share this story with them, so they can see that there is a light at the end of a tunnel.

So what book changed it all for me? Shiokari Pass by Ayako Miura. It is based on a true story and is a compelling story of love eclipsed by sacrifice and tragedy. I read this book my sophomore year in World Literature. It changed how I viewed reading. For the first time in a long time, I read ahead and I wanted to read more books like this. Ayako Miura is a very respected Japanese author and has many great novels. I must admit that it was not just the book that reeled me in. It was also the discussions that took place. I realized that it was not just about reading a book, but sharing that journey with others. As a teacher, I vowed to share my reading journey with my students and became a book pusher.

Anyways... now that you know how I became a book pusher. Here are five tips on how to be a book pusher:

  1. Join Scholastic's Teacher Club. Yes... Scholastic is EVEN better as a teacher! Not only do they have great prices for your families, but every day is a "tax- free holiday" when it comes to scholastic book orders. Scholastic provides many freebies and you, as the teacher, can rack up a lot of bonus points, which then in return gets you FREE books. So not only are your families getting great deals, but you are also getting FREE books to build up/ replenish your classroom library! Join at
  2. Discuss what you are reading with your students. I love discussing what I am reading with my students. This past year I have been reading the Harry Potter series (I know it is really weird that I have never read the HP series, but that is beside the point.) I have gotten so many of my students to read the series with me because I am openly talking to them about what I am reading. Students naturally love to talk about anything... and well why not have a discussion with them about your reading! You may be their teacher, but they love to get to know you for who you are outside of the classroom. And well let's face it... the book you are reading says a lot about who you are and what you are interested in!
  3. Give away FREE books! Now that you have joined Scholastic... why not use some of those bonus points to give away FREE books when students have, as I put it, "caught the reading bug!" At the end of the each quarter, I give away five FREE books to students who have "caught the reading bug." Before I give it to them, I write a little congratulatory note in the book! I see my student carrying around that book long after they have finished it because it is something special!
  4. Showcase New Books. Last book order, I ordered about twenty-five new books for the classroom that my students had requested. When they came in, I made a BIG deal about it. I showcased them on the whiteboard and wrote "New Books" above them. Both of the classes I have jumped at the opportunity and the majority of them were gone by the end of the day! Again, this opens up for discussions about books and reading!
  5. Organize Your Classroom Library. This past summer I spent about a week and half reorganizing my classroom library. I organized them based on series, author, or genre as well as book level according to I have noticed a big difference in my students this year and finding books. Students can easily find all of the Rick Riordan books or Roald Dahl books as well as books at their reading level. The classroom library is much more accessible to them, which makes them want to read!
So now you are able to join our club of #bookpushers!

The Chronicles of a Teacher (and a book pusher!)

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