Saturday, 16 October 2010

Mimosas and Mentor Texts

A recent conversation with the librarian from The American Embassy School in New Delhi inspired me to start some teacher book clubs at ISB. The idea is simple, yet brilliant--gather teachers together to have a kid lit club.

At first, the idea started out as teachers all reading the same book (that Hunger Games book club will take place in a few weeks with HS, MS and ES teachers--cannot wait!), but when our literacy council discussed this idea, it morphed into a mentor text book club for the younger grades. I found about 5-6 quality new books to introduce to the teachers, we rotated the bag of books between us all, and then we met last Saturday to talk about them for our first 'Mimosas and Mentor Texts.' It was just a blast.

Here are my reflections:

*Meeting outside of school made it such an 'event.' It brought us together for some quality time and not just a quick chat in the hallway. The bonus is that it was an excellent way to build community because we wound up chatting for three hours, mostly about books.

*Teachers are so eager for exposure to new books. This is where librarians or literacy coaches can be a big help by keeping current with new releases and organize an event like this.

*Food makes everything better. But we already know that.

*I loved how we were talking about books just the way we want our students to talk about books. With the book, Life-Sized Zoo, we had such authentic conversations about our awe over the pictures and talked through our own curiosities. My friend Erin turned to me at one point in the conversation and said, "This is exactly what we want our students to be doing with books."
*Some of us chose to leave sticky notes in the front endpages. Loved seeing what others were thinking while reading.

Overall, it was one of my best days, and not just because of the chocolate fountain. I can't wait to have more book clubs with more grade levels.
A special thanks to Franki and Mary Lee from A Year of Reading and Katie from Creative Literacy who blogged about many of the mentor texts I chose for our club.


struan said...

A very cool idea from a VERY COOL library lady. :)
How cool that teachers come together on a Saturday morning to talk about books, learning and collaboration!! We are modeling the kinds of conversations that are happening and we want to continue happening with kids about books everyday!
One suggestion for next time - a little testosterone!!!! :)

Tammy said...

Thanks so much for organizing this very fun event, Tara. Your choice of books was inspiring. It was great being able to talk with colleagues about how these wonderful new texts could be used with students as mentor texts. Also, thank to Erin for graciously hosting this (hopefully) recurring event.

Dear Librarian said...

How FUN! Great idea!

Did you have a chocolate fountain at your house?

Gwen said...

Another great idea for me to purloin! Our shipment has yet to arrive, so I will save this event until then. Maybe my chocolate fountain will have arrived as well.

Jen Munnerlyn said...

What a great idea Tara! I think I might see about getting this up and running at ACS. I especially like the idea of getting out of school for the "meeting". It's amazing how a different space can make work feel less so. Mimosas don't hurt of course!
Keep up the good work of there!!!

katied said...

I am totaling stealing this idea. I love the post it idea in the end pages and just sharing authentically in a big group. Love this!!

Stella said...

Oooooh!!! THis is so exciting! What an awesome way to grow and learn as a community! Like Katie said, I might need to steal this idea too and share it with teachers as well in my school. But I will be quoting and footnoting you guys! Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea with the rest of us!