I attribute this to moving schools during the process of learning to read. I remember being in a class and having a teacher (Ms. Hitmar) say "Oh she doesn't know Spalding," as if just because I did not know their approach to decoding that I did not deserve the right to learn to read! Maddening!
Anyways. My students of course don't know this about me. I fake it pretty good!
One of the things I instill in my children though reading is not just books! Reading is EVERYWHERE. As an opening to every lesson I ask my students "Why do you need to know this?" Then I proceed to show them some real world text that proves they need to know. I then post it in my library and refer back to during other times where I can link it in.
I make this environment print fun and substantial! I have recipes, bills, games, movies, and even a map from DISNEYLAND! (The kids LOVE that one!) I will literally say to my kids "Do you like to watch cable TV? Well guess what... if you can't read the bill, how are you going to know they charged you the right amount of money?
Speaking of the Disneyland Map... we make a really fun activity for our zoo trip every year. Students match animal stickers to facts about the animals that they read on a grid I provide them with. And guess what... last year my students actually read the map to find the animals! We didn't have to do it for them! They connected reading with the real world all on their own and I attribute it to doing this one thing in my class! It's amazing I tell you! (I will post that activity in another post soon I promise!)
So here are some pictures of my classroom library.
And oh yeah... I said that whole I hate to read thing in a graduate class I am taking the other night and you would have thought seriously hurt them personally. "How could a teacher not like to read?" Well... it's the truth and it's also the truth about many of our parents and many of our kids! So I hope I don't offend anyone by saying that! It makes me NO LESS effective of a teacher! (Just saying!)
Head over to see other fun libraries!