Last night was the second of two nights I set up to casually "catch up" with my students from last year. I have always written a letter to my students over the summer but this year I decided to invite them to "run into me" at the library on one of two Monday nights in July. My purpose was to keep connected with my students. I wanted to hear about their adventures and their lives (first grade teachers do hear it all). I wanted, of course, to hear about their summer reading and writing plans and be a resource for those who might be stuck with what to read. After thinking it through and sending the letters, I started to second guess myself. Was this too much? I didn't want families to feel pressured or to come across over doing things. I would just have to wait and see...
Fortunately, both Mondays were a success. I feel like the 5 families who dropped by appreciated the meeting time. Here is a general sense of what I felt the meeting times provided:
1. Time to reconnect and share summer stories. Not only did I get a chance to hang with the kids but I think the moms enjoyed it too (me too moms)!
2. Time to get some summer homework accomplished (this summer we(Chapman Elementary) are inviting the kids to bring in a picture of themselves reading for the first weeks of school...what a great way to begin talking about reader identity...great idea Franki).
3. Time to talk to my students about what they are reading, listen to what have been their favorite reads and finally...REMIND KIDS THAT THERE IS NO NEED TO RUSH INTO JUST CHAPTER BOOK READING.
This is all I have time for today but I am thinking about how important it is to be able for our primary kids to PICTURE READ even if they can already read words in the text. More about my observations of a student able to read Henry and Mudge but not yet really picture reading! Any thoughts? What is picture reading to you?