Friday, February 22, 2008

The Launch of Book Study

Every other Wednesday, as a district, we release students an hour and a half early from school to provide on-the-clock professional development time for teachers. Schools make site based decisions on their topic of development based on school need.

At Chets Creek, we've used this time in a variety of ways to focus on academic instruction. On Wednesday, we started my favorite cycle of Early Release --Book Study. A variety of texts were introduced months ago and a copy of each was left in the front office for teachers to peruse. Teachers signed up for their book of choice, and the principal purchased the text for each teacher. With much anticipation, texts were handed out at this Wednesday’s Early Release, and new book clubs emerged throughout the building.

I selected the text, Faking It, by Christopher Lee; the story of a young man plagued with decades of school frustrations who faked it to make it through. My book team consists of a diverse mix of learning leaders from various grade levels and content areas, and includes teachers in regular education, special education, and art education. As well, we have a mix of experience levels from a teacher who joined the staff just months ago to a veteran teacher who has been at this for decades. What a great learning opportunity this will be with such a diverse group of learning leaders!

Our first meeting was a short one, just 30 minutes long. It gave us time enough to reintroduce ourselves and share our background, and decide on a plan for readng and discussing over the book study cycle. Next time, we meet we will have read the introduction and first few chapters, and I'm sure our new learning will springboard into deep collegial conversation.

Book Study was born at The Creek last year when teachers selected from one of twelve different content texts offered across subject areas. Book Study was a way for teachers to deepen their content knowledge, have dialogue about professional literature, make connections to their own work, and live the life of a reader. It did those things, but exceeded even our expectations, as it also blossomed into vertical relationships with teachers across many grade levels and content areas. You know those kindergarten teachers don’t often make it up to the second floor to observe fifth grade teachers in action!! So this common time, this common text, this common purpose laid the platform to accomplish our common goal--to further enhance classroom instruction to promote student achievement. Happy Reading!

1 comment:

Melanie Holtsman said...

What a priviledge it is to get the opportunity to do these book studies. I'm so glad reading is valued for the students and faculty!