Friday, April 24, 2009

A Wiki is BORN!

The Principal's Book of the Month was introduced to us by our founding principal, Dr. Terri Stahlman, in the first year of our standards based reform implementation, America's Choice. It is a leadership strategy in which the principal selects an authentic piece of children’s literature for all classes in the school with the purpose of creating a common literacy conversation between students and teachers. In addition, this strategy can be used to connect children’s literature and an adult professional text to drive professional development. Since its inception in 1999 Book of the Month immediately became a highly anticipated opportunity for our learning community to grow our vision for students and introduce new instructional practices for the classroom. Whether its an oldie but goodie like Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse or a new read like Woolbur teachers and students alike enjoy revisiting these great stories year after year after year. Thanks to Melanie Holtsman we have created a wiki to house all of the work done to create the BOTM experience monthly. It's a work in progress so make sure to check it out frequently and let me know what you think.

Risk...Care...Dream...Expect...

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is one of my favorite times of a month. The whole faculty (family) gets to share a book together. Our time together is always informative and entertaining. Keep up the great work.

Rick Pinchot

Michelle Ellis said...

I love the Book of the Month. It has always allowed me to grow and learn new things each month as a teacher. Sometimes it is a new strategy, but it is always a new book that I love. It has also allowed me to have cross grade level conversations with my children at home. I can't wait for the new book each month.

JJ Ossi said...

This has always been one of my favorite Chets Creek traditions. I have learned many new strategies over the years that I return to year after year. It has also introduced me to new books and authors that I have since fallen in love with. Keep the great books and lessons coming!

JJ Ossi

Melanie Holtsman said...

My favorite thing about Book of the Month is finding out what book you choose, seeing what we're going to do next as a strategy, peeking into the media center to see how their team has decorated and then hearing you read the story aloud - one of your greatest gifts.

I know many others will benefit from having this work transparent and accessible. Thanks for sharing it all!

Mrs. Metzger and Mrs. Morris said...

My collection of present and past books of the month are often the "go-to" books I choose for mini-lessons. I can count on these to be high quality, high interest books. I do have one question though... What's with so many farm animals? Lori M.

Laurie Thomson said...

You always seem to find a book that I have never even heard of! Our kids look forward to this each month. They especially loved Woolbur!

Mrs.Mallon & Mrs. Dillard said...

Books of the Month are often used as as touchstone texts - our "go to" books that have just what we are looking for - great beginnings, patterns, details, or just a great story to live and learn by. They have their own genre basket where students can visit old or new favorites easily.

Anonymous said...

Not only do you share a strategy or two for us to use with the Book of the Month, but it allows me and my colleagues to collaborate and think of other strategies and activities to implement with the book.
The books are always meaningful and dynamic. I often have to go buy my own personal copy to keep in "my favorites" to use over the years as anchor books. Plus, I just want to have it for myself!:)
Thank you for continuing this tradition, introducing rich literature and enhancing my learning experieces by watching and learning with you.
Christy C.

Anonymous said...

As a math teacher, I have, at times, struggled to implement some of the strategies that we have learned during our book of the month meetings (I also only remember reading two fiction books as a kid, which probably explains much of my demeanor :-} ).

However, every BOTM meeting is fun, and I know that every child at CCE IS in touch with the BOTM, because I hear them talk about the latest BOTM all the time (like when they should be doing math!)By the way, I loved Woolbur, "Rebel Without a Care"!

I also know that BOTM must take a great deal of effort and time to make it so uniquely purposeful. I fear that there are not many others that could pull it off with such aplomb. Once again, we are more fortunate than most.

Yep, even the most ardent math geek recognizes BOTM as a great tradition!

Peace,

T-Cubed..... by the way, did you hear that Tracy is a teacher?

Anonymous said...

I do so love the BOM. There have been many that have become Classics to me. Some make me laugh, others make me cry (Esp. Thank You, Mr. Falker). ALL of them have made me think! It is a blessing to be able to have this wonderful tradition. Cindy Tsengas

Antonia said...

Dear Susan,
You always seem to capture the feeling of what's to come with just the right book. You have in the past and continue to have the knack for selecting texts for our BOM that serve as trademarks of our work and our philosophies at Chets. I love feeling like a little kid in your classroom. TLC

Lourdes Santiago said...

BOTM is a powerful tradition here at CCE. I truly enjoy finding out what book you have selected each month. This month was especially enjoyable as we not only had the pleasure of listening to you read us the book Woolbur during our meeting, but also famous author Leslie Helakoski read it aloud during an assembly (which was inspirational--to say the least)...

It is also so enlightening to come home and hear my own children rehearsing the repeated phrases from the books. This month's was especially catchy: "I know...Isn't it great?"

Thank you, Susan, for continuing this special tradition and thank you to Dr. Stahlman for introducing such a wonderful and creative learning tool.

PS - I love the farm animals =0)

Debbie Harbour said...

Susan,
All the years I have been at Chets, BOM has been one of my favorite things. I love too see what the book will be and the fun things to do with it. This wiki is a great idea. What a useful tool for new teachers (and a good refresher for us old ones). I can't wait to see how it grows over time!

KK Cherney said...

The work you continue to do for children is astounding. Being a "fly" on the wall in the process of the choice and the introduction of the BOM is an honor and I will never take that for granted.
Thank you, Visionary.
The Bookfairy

Debby Cothern said...

Susan,
BOTM is one of the ingridients that helps foster the amazing culture we have at Chets. I remember the very day when Lilly and her purple, plastic purse first joined our family in the media center. I feel so fortunate to have been here for every BOTM since. You have a gift for finding a relevant purpose for each book that you pick. Any author should feel extremely honored to have their work spotlighted as a Chets Creek Book of the Month.

Dorry Lopez said...

Susan,
Book of the Month is like Christmas, as I eagerly await the day and anticipate what the book might be. Being that I am just an older kid, I love being read to by you. We are never too old to hear a good story, and you are a master at choosing just the right story that will touch our hearts in some way. As you are reading, dare anyone talk, as I am hanging onto every word and visualizing how I will use the book in a way that my students can connect with the text. Of course, after you get finished reading, you give us meaningful strategies to try with our students. Once again, I find myself eagerly anticipating the moment I can take center stage by reading it aloud to my students and making this book come alive for my students. Thank you for providing us with this wonderful opportunity each month.

Love,
Dorry

Anonymous said...

I have been anxiously awaiting the Book of the Month wiki since there was first talk of its creation. This is an awesome resource for a first year teacher to help immerse their students in literature. Thank you for making it a little bit easier for us first years!

Tracy Ruark