Saturday, 21 February 2015

Chatting Over the Smorgasbord

I've been following Pernille Ripp on Twitter (@pernilleripp) for a while now and her blog is one of my must reads. Her Global Read Aloud community on Facebook is also pretty inspiring.  So, last night, when one of my colleagues tweeted me a link to one of Pernille's posts I enjoyed the prompt to revisit it.

The post in question talked about giving one minute 'book chats' (you can read it for yourself here). The premise behind a book chat is to spend a minute talking up a book you love with the intention of exciting someone else (in our case: students) to read it, love it and go on to spread the love.

I remember thinking, the first time I read the post, that I loved the idea and should definitely start. Yep. Well. I didn't. You know how it goes: beginning of the year madness. And then I read it again last night and realised that I don't need to start.

I already do it.

I share my passion for books with my class all day.  I regularly pull out individual books and 'sell' them. Non fiction texts about our current topic, picture books I love, novels I've enjoyed or think someone in the class will, poetry books with a hook, biographies of inspiring people... I talk about them all, and more.

Image from
The New York Times
The purpose for me, aside from enticing my kiddos to expand their reading diet, is to model being a broad reader. We all have our favourite genres, authors and topics but good readers feast from a smorgasbord of grand variety. A diet of plain fruit and vegetables may be healthy but it's also boring and uninspiring. We all need a balanced diet, in reading, just as in eating.  We may fill up on our favourites but it's important to throw in a spicy travel tale, or sweet picture book once in a while. My book talks demonstrate being a reader who balances my book choices between all the academic books I read, the picture books I pour over, and the novels I read for book club (or just fun), and... All the others.

If I carry this metaphor through... A book chat is like a taster, so over the course of the day, my class usually receives a tasting plate!

This relates to the following Australian Professional Standards for Teachers...
Standard 2 Know the content and how to teach it
Standard 3 Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
Standard 7 Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community

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