The MSPA is working with the teaching staff at the middle school to create literature circle libraries for every grade.
Why literature circles?
One of the professional development studies we have been working on is developing independent readers. Several of our readings (i.e., Kelly Gallagher's Readicide and an article, "The 800 Pound Mockingbird) decry the use of whole-class novels, citing this common literacy practice as detrimental toward the goal of creating independent readers.
While schools are working hard to encourage a love of reading, the current research on the most common practices indicates the opposite effect, the majority of kids are reluctant readers.
Providing students with the opportunity to self-select novels, determine reading pace, and determine discussion group "jobs" is an instructional strategy that shows promising results in these same studies. Commonly referred to as Literature Circles, CEMS students report actually reading the books versus accessing Spark Notes online, for example (there were 14 million hits on this site last year in the US). In order to provide students with a broad array of texts to choose from, teachers need access to multiple copies of numerous titles. They also need current hot topic books that appeal to girls, and current hot topic books that appeal to boys.
How can parents help?
The teaching staff of CEMS has provided us with a list of books that are needed to fill the literature circle libraries for every grade. We are asking families to search your book shelves at home to see if there are any books from the list that you can donate to the school. If you have books to donate, please contact Amy Bates at Bates7994@gmail.com