As the creator of the wonderful book lists for the 2014 back-to-school reading challenge, we have asked our very own Nancy Stetzinger, Director of to be a guest blogger! Ms. Stetzinger has an incredible history in the world of publishing! We look forward to future blog posts from her!
Have you heard about the myON Reading Road Trip Challenge? It’s a great way to learn about your state, other states, regions and the U.S. in general. It’s also a great way to engage your students in reading and getting them off to a great start to the school year!
And personally speaking, it was great fun (and maybe a bit painful) creating these lists. I was on every state webpage, every state reading list page, www.awesomeamerica.com, and www.statesymbolsusa.org. But I learned a lot. And as a graduate of let’s say a few years it was so much fun and educational too!
Do you know :
How many states have the Honey Bees as their state insect?
How many different types of turtles are state reptiles?
Did you know that in Texas it is illegal to graffiti someone else’s cow?
Or that Utah is the jello capital of the world?
Did you know that Oklahoma is home to the shopping cart, the aerosol can and parking meters?
Did you also know that Maine produces 99% of all blueberries in the country?
There are so many fun facts and some silly ones to discover, but I digress…
The Reading Road Trip Challenge lists contain books across all grades K-12. They are a mix of fiction and nonfiction. All fiction books have a reason for being there, they are set in the state, the author was from the state or they have appeared on the state reading list. Nonfiction books help tell the story of the state, what dinosaurs roamed the area? Where did early settlers hide their treasure? What famous ghosts inhabit the White House? What Native American tribes lived across the country? What famous people lived in the state? And let’s find out about sea turtles, box turtles and tortoises.
So as you set your students loose across the country don’t be afraid to branch out and incorporate reading and research. Ideas include:
One book per state and one key event in the state’s history
One book per state and one fun fact
One book per state and one important person per state
One book per state and an essay on If You Could Live Anywhere in the US
I could go on, but you get the idea…Take the Reading Road Trip Challenge and see the U.S.A.!
Thank you so much to our guest blogger Lynnette Brent for this wonderful post!!!
When I work with educators who are implementing myON in their schools, they are excited about the engagement that myON creates in learners and the rich opportunities for reading growth. As a former classroom teacher myself working with educators, though, I strive to find even more ways to connect myON directly with classroom instruction.
Text sets are one tool on myON that allows for seamless use of myON in classrooms. In some schools, teachers are engaged in creating book sets on myON and sharing them with colleagues to use with students. In other schools, librarians use their access to create book sets to share out with the building. Book sets can even be created with the admin login and launched to the entire district.
Why create book sets? Book sets are a perfect way to create intrinsic motivation for learning by tapping into learners’ interests. Book sets can closely mirror standards and provide opportunities to meet standards and enhance strategy instruction. Book sets can also provide a way to frontload information. Districts in Illinois and Georgia, for example, created book sets for the summer so that learners could engage in topics that they will encounter in the fall. What a great way to boost understanding of curriculum and build background!
A few words of advice for creating strong text sets—remember that bigger is not always better. Consider how much time learners will be engaged in the text set—a set of 100 books assigned to a student may be unwieldy. Consider the purpose of the text set and how those books are connected. Think outside of the box for reasons for text sets. Are learners considering the characteristics of a particular genre? That’s a great opportunity for a text set! What about a set focused on a theme, author, or time period? Students might be studying text features, like diagrams, charts, bulleted lists, and so on. Texts that are strong with these features could be the focus of a great text set.
Remember that tools on myON allow you to:
create and modify book sets.
share book sets within your building.
use book sets created for your district.
remove book sets that are no longer being used.
assign book sets to groups or classes.
Do you need a refresher about the tools that we use to create text sets? Take a look at the Professional Development portal. You’ll see both a quick reference guide and a tutorial that show step-by-step how to create these fantastic supports for learners.
Every time I visit another school, I’m truly amazed by the ways that educators are using tools like groups and book sets to enhance instruction and generate excitement. We’d love to hear your book set success stories! Please share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch out readers! myON has a new reading challenge for you starting at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year!
Get excited to travel all around the United States on a Reading Road Trip with myON! The challenge will consist of reading one book about every state. There will be a booklist provided on our website of books for each of the 50 states. You will be able to get more information and start traveling through this challenge on August 11th by visiting www.myon.com.
Educators: there will also be an accompanying back to school toolkit coming out August 11th, so stay tuned! The toolkit will consist of resources and activities for the new school year.