The Reflection Pool

Let’s Have Classrooms Full of Books!

Photo Credit: Raphael de Kadt Flickr via Compfight cc

Creative, inquisitive classrooms are wonderful. But no matter how great the classroom looks, or how many provocations are employed, a classroom must have books.

I love to read. I’ve talked about it in this space before here.  Frederick Douglass said, “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”  It’s the freedom to go anywhere and to learn anything.

When I visits schools and classrooms (hands down, one of the best parts of the job) I see lots of wonderful practice, tested and true and innovative. I love seeing cozy nooks and corners where students of all ages can curl up, lie down or relax and…read. And listen, they don’t have to all be paper books, because ebooks and blogs work too. But we need books!

Pernille Ripp blogs at Blogging Through the Fourth Dimension and her posts are full of literacy: reading, writing, listening and speaking. But not only that, wondering, thinking and creating too. Some of my favourite Ripp posts are the lists of books: picture books, fiction, non fiction poetry. Every day, she encourages her students to read and read and read, and they do, even the reluctant ones.

Every teacher, every educational assitant, every principal, every educator needs to make a literacy rich environment a priority in our classrooms and schools. Reading is for everyone. How can you help make this a reality?

Goodbye! Goodbye!

What should we wave goodbye to in education, for once and for all? There are obvious answers: word search puzzles, homework projects, some would say cursive writing, focus on standardized high stakes testing. It’s a big list.

Sound of Music

I wish that we could change the subject and department silos in secondary school. Yes, that’s right. I want to see an end to subject departments and subject specific teachers. That system has been in place for over 100 years and it no longer makes sense.  Why can’t we have multidisciplinary and inquiry courses of study in high school? We could even see the end of the final exam. That would be nice.