Literacy abounds at Stephen S. Wise Elementary school this week. We all had the pleasure of hearing from our guest author, Erica Silverman, who shared with us the writing process. The students found it very interesting how she selects a topic to write about, researches that topic, works with an editor and illustrator, and most importantly, uses her imagination to bring words and ideas to life. The author visit is a special part of our book fair week, and the book fair has had tremendous success. I want to thank all of the WPA parent volunteers who coordinated and executed such a wonderful event. In the classrooms students are also busy discussing books and authors. Our first graders are “eating” up their reading by creating sandwich story boards. Each student has a front cover of their sandwich with the the title of a book they read, the author, characters and setting. The back slice of the sandwich is their three favorite parts of the book with their own illustrations. The students were so excited to share their stories, and a few of them took a trip up to my office to show off their work.
As I walk through classrooms every day I am amazed at the high level of work the students and teachers are doing with literacy. It is so exciting to engage in conversations about comprehension strategies, story elements, depth and complexity and big ideas, and differentiated work with vocabulary. The students are reading novels, short stories, plays and poetry in many different genres. Research shows that one of the key elements to student success is exposure to lots of reading, both for pleasure and instruction. We encourage every student, kindergarten through sixth grade, to read (or be read to) every night. While you can always find great books at our school library, I also hope you will join us at our Book Fair next week, December 5 – 9, in Hershenson Hall. Every class will visit the Book Fair during the week, and we are excited to welcome our author in resident, Erica Silverman on Wednesday. Please send your child with money to purchase some great books, and also make a stop yourself to find the perfect Chanukah present for your kids.