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Monday, October 11, 2010

The Bub's New Library - 1st "Bub's Book Selection"

 Below is a picture of the shelf that I have been working on for the Bubs. I finally finished it just in time for his 2nd birthday. It'll be the proverbial "gift that keeps on giving."

Where to put it?

While learning about "literacy in the classroom" in my teacher certification class, I read about how some teachers strategically locate their "classroom libraries." Some place theirs in the center of their classroom with a big cushy couch, while others stick the bookshelf in the corner. I am not sure how important this is, but I gave it serious consideration. So instead of placing the Bub's new bookshelf in his room - upstairs away from sight - I placed it in the living room (where he spends most of his time during the day). I think it was a good choice.
 I think the little guy likes having his book collection in arm's reach. When it was time to read to him today, I asked him to "go find a book for dad to read." He then scampered over to his shelf and shuffled through a couple books and ran over with one. After that book, I asked him to get another. We did this five times and he chose all of his five books that I read to him. I think this is pretty cool. Prior to his bookshelf, his mom and I shelved his books on our bookshelf, which was out of his reach. Because of this previous book location, she and I chose the books for him (thinking that we knew what he liked). Needless to say, the five books he chose today (pictured above) would not have been the five that I would have chosen... or even have been choosing. Perhaps I don't know everything that he likes and because of this reason, I'm excited that this shelf is allowing him to choose. This learning-strategy also connects with some of the research on critical-theory pedagogies, which frowns upon teachers/schools assigning non-diverse reading lists from a limited group of books (a.k.a., from the American canon which consists of mainly dominant group, or like-minded authors).  

I plan to report on my blog the books chosen by the Bubs. Each day (or whenever I remember to do this), we'll see how many times the little guy either chooses the same book(s) or new ones. Perhaps we'll read all the books on his new bookshelf or maybe we'll just reread the five above. Maybe this blog will have to be renamed to the "Bub's Book Selection?" We'll see. I will report on not only the books he chooses, but any significant behavior during this activity. For example, of the five books he chose today, the book titled, "Snowballs" (in the pic above) was not one he seemingly liked. I say this because, he jumped off my lap just after the third page. However, I kept reading to the last page. I am not sure why I did this. Perhaps I thought he might hear something he liked and realized that he jumped to conclusions too soon. 

Or, maybe I just wanted to show him who's boss... (or at least give him the impression that I still am). ;)

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