I had the wonderful opportunity to be featured on an episode of a weekly “Kids Deserve It” podcast/videocast. These sessions are hosted weekly by the authors of “Kids Deserve It,” Adam Welcome and Todd Nesloney. I read their book while ago and was a quick fan at their message to support kids, build relationships, and make schools a memorable place for students.
It’s a simple philosophy that we drives my work as an administrator and lead learner. It is also a message that we continually need to focus on in our work as educators. We were able to connect at the Illinois Computing Educator’s Conference in February 2017 and I’ve enjoyed watching them spread the positive message through twitter, instagram, remind, voxer, and in any and all ways possible.
Our conversation was able to focus on one of my favorite topics and passions: literacy and developing a culture of readers! I shared a simple challenge with the viewers… Connect kids with books with no strings attached. I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below. Tell me how your school or classroom fosters a love of reading!
Some ideas I suggested for connecting kids to books during the summer months:
- Host a story time at school during the summer months. Think of a fun theme to engage kids. We’re hosting a “Popsicle with the Principal” and “Donuts and Pajamas.” Each one includes a story, treat, and playtime on our playground. Simple, easy and fun! I even solicited our Scholastic representative to loan us their Clifford Costume for one of the events:)
- Record a read aloud and post it to your school facebook page or social media site. Go further and have members of your staff each record a read aloud on a flip grid and share them periodically.
- Send a book in the mail to students! Make sure to leave a special inscription.
- Show up to your local library’s story time and see what students are there! Ask to read with them!
- Create a Little Free Library on your playground or outside your school. Consider placing one in a neighborhood or area of town that could benefit from it. Place “honor book” baskets in local restaurants and coffee shops with your logo and encourage kids to read!
- Create a summer reading blog and have students share their reading reflections throughout the summer and comment on each other’s posts!
Our conversation also focused on developing relationships with kids by remembering to have FUN with them. Whereas I will always encourage staff to be safe, use their professional judgement, and follow district policy, it is also important to have a little fun with kids. This can include:
- Sitting down and eating lunch with them.
- Getting a HULK Hand and giving High Fives
- Using a bicycle horn to send them on their ways or to walk into a classroom
- Having fun at recess and taking time to chat with kids! They love when they can show you their newest trick on the monkey bars or play a game of catch with you.
- Wear a crazy hat or head piece.
- You can read 75 MORE ideas at a previous blog post of mine HERE
The point is… go out there… be a champion for kids!
Thanks Todd and Adam for allowing me the honor of being #77!