Sunday Sit, Sip, and “Sync” ~ 2-15-2015
I think I first heard about it in a graduate reading class.
I remember distinctly thinking, “Brilliant! I wish my teachers had celebrated “D.E.A.R. Day” when I was in school!”
The following week, it appeared in my lesson plans.
In my classroom, D.E.A.R. Day was celebrated in many ways. I remember early in my career we would head outside to read under the trees in the weeks before school was dismissed for the summer. My favorite memories were when my teaching partner of many years, Ron Ghere, and I would carry in milk crates filled with picture books from the library for our fifth graders to read.
Who doesn’t enjoy “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus”
and “No, David!”?
In addition, to reading to my class every day, D.E.A.R. Day gave me a chance to spend an hour to sit and read right alongside my students.
Last Tuesday, we included D.E.A.R Day as part of our “Library & Media Literacy” session at METC.
As we’ve moved into the digital age, many teachers have forgotten about it, and we feel that D.E.A.R. Day needs to remain an option for our teachers and their students.
For those of you who are wondering what D.E.A.R. Day is, it’s an acronym for “Drop Everything and Read” Day. Beverly Cleary first wrote about it in her book, “Ramona Quimby, Age 8” on pages 40-41. To honor Beverly Cleary, April 12th, her birthday, was set aside to celebrate D.E.A.R. Day as the first day of a month focused on making reading a priority.
Our METC session included multiple digital resources to foster reading and to motivate students to read and to write about what they have read. One suggestion we had was to create a Google form to collect the data our students usually record in their reading logs. It would be the teacher’s responsibility to decide when students fill this form out and how often. The results are generated into a Google spreadsheet that can easily be filtered as a starting point for teachers to use while conducting individual student “book conferences”.
Why are we posting about D.E.A.R. Day when it’s over a month away? One of the teachers who attended our session approached us as we were packing up and told us that she also celebrated D.E.A.R. Day in her classroom, and that last year she asked each parent to purchase a book for their child. The parent, or grandparent, wrote a message in the front of the book, and the teacher surprised her students with their personalized gifted books from their families. We thought this was a wonderful addition to D.E.A.R. Day, and of course, in the case of those parents or guardians that couldn’t afford a book, there are always creative ways we, as teachers, have been able to supplement the extras that our kiddos need to feel loved and part of the class.
Although this tip isn’t as “techie” as what we usually share, we hope it rekindles the tradition of celebrating D.E.A.R. Day in your classroom.
If you would like to see a copy of the Google form that we shared in our session, just click on the image below.
Stay warm, enjoy your weekend, and the good news is that we are on the downside of February. Spring is just around the corner!