RECAP: Scholastic Book Fairs Reading Summit

Michael Barrett  //  Jul 18, 2014

RECAP: Scholastic Book Fairs Reading Summit

Yesterday, I traveled up to Norwood, MA to attend this year’s Scholastic Book Fairs Reading Summit. It was wonderful to sit down with teachers from over 16 states and learn what their needs are in the classroom.

Here are some highlights from yesterday’s summit and the sessions I attended:


How to Create a “Booktalk Club”:

School librarian John Schumacher (@MrSchuReads) shared some amazing ways to foster a book culture amongst students. Here are some tips:

  1. Collect books for your club to read. Students need plentiful choices!
  2. Spread the word through your adminstration, teachers, parents and even students.
  3. Establish and “environment of choice.”
  4. What is the goal? Always be organized and 
    create a timeline.
  5. Create a routine and encourage kids to write, perform and rehearse their booktalks.

Here shared some great ideas including peer video reviews (remember Reading Rainbow?) and more.

iText Informational Strategies for Students Success:

This was fascinating. This educated teachers on how to show PARENTS (yup, not students) how to understand informational text. This helps learning go beyond the classroom and, hopefully, allows children to absorb informational materials (i.e. text you see in standardized tests and more). Here are some tips:

  1. Have students and parents ttend informational text workshops.
  2. Encourage parents to communicate with each other and foster a supportive environment.
  3. Provide a range of informational texts. This helps children and parents discover fun informational text together.
  4. Always provide ideas to help parents teach their kids “what they know” “what they want to know” and “what they learned” to foster an authentic comprehension of texts.

Here are some fantastic quotes from the session:

Keynote speaker, Pam Allyn of LitWorld (@pamallyn @litworldsays):

"Many characters go through doors to enter a new world. It transforms them. That's what reading is."

"Angel became the author of her own story because of her reading community."

From Anne Lee (VP, Program Development, Scholastic Book Fairs):

"Parents make a HUGE difference when it comes to independent reading."

From Alan Boyko (President of Scholastic Book Fairs)

"We are like-minded. We are here for kids - it takes right-fit books."