Read-alouds are often the best part of the school day in preschool, kindergarten, and even the early elementary years. Children are free to dream and wonder about the story their teacher is sharing. Young children often develop a love of reading because of the excitement this activity creates. Reading aloud can benefit older students as well by helping to build community, allowing educators to connect academically, socially, and emotionally with their students. Reading aloud on a regular basis can also establish a commitment to literacy in an authentic way.
For these reasons and more, I am excited to unveil Mrs. Shoemaker’s Book of the Month (BOM). Each month, I will share a picture book with every class at The Woods from Montessori through Grade 8. While I read the book, I will spend time discussing the important themes and ideas from the story. The books I have selected this year will help unite the school community around essential diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility topics as well as social emotional learning goals. It is my hope that teachers and families will continue the conversations we start while reading these books. Look for a monthly Window on The Woods post from me highlighting the book and its important themes.
To kick off the school year, we read It Fell from the Sky by The Fan Brothers. In this story, we explored the topics of generosity, kindness, and community. The crafty spider wanted all of the creatures in the garden to agree that the “Wonder from the Sky” was his. It wasn’t until the Wonder is taken back to the sky that the spider realizes how amazing the garden could be if he shared the many wonders he caught in his webs with everyone without a fee. I love the “wonderful” message from this book. Be generous. Even the youngest students were able to tell me ways that they could make The Woods Academy a “WonderVille.” Students told me that they would share the equipment at recess or comfort a friend who was sad. Students suggested that we could all pick up trash or smile at our friends to make The Woods a more wonderful place. I look forward to experiencing just how wonderful our community will be this school year.