Thursday, October 9, 2014

Implementing a Book of the Month Program {Why, Getting Started, Actions & Launching}

Hello Friends~

It's Dianna from Sassy, Savvy, Simple Teaching here today!!! I'm so excited to be joining forces with this AWESOME group of teachers & online friends!!! I am currently a Literacy Coach at a year around elementary school & the journey has been awesome!!! I'm excited to be here as I approach my 1 year journey as a TpT author & blogger. You can find me on the 10th of every month right here on our FABULOUS collaborative blog!          
So let's get started~
Today I am here to talk about the importance & benefits of having a school-wide Book of the Month Program. 

First, to get something like this started, you would need to gather with representatives from different grade levels & positions with in your school. We have a Literacy Committee who started putting this together at the end of the previous school year. But, you can also create your own group.

Next, you will need to decide on funding options...
Then, you will need to decide on the books you want to use each month. This took place over a few committee meetings at our school. We all brought suggestions to the meetings with information of each text & why we should use it. We researched books used in other schools that utilize this program & books that we all fell in love with through our teaching experiences.
I am at a year around school, we started mid July therefore we implemented the program at the start of August. We have chosen our titles as follows:
After you have done the following:
  1. Made a common agreement of the reasons & values to implementing a school-wide Book of the Month program.
  2. Researched & chosen funding options.
  3. Researched & chosen the titles of the books you would like to use.
Then, you need to decide on exactly how many copies you will need, how the books will be stored & how you will present this program to your staff. 

At my school we ordered a book for every classroom teacher, Title I teacher, Resource teacher, Special Education teacher, Literacy Coach, Media Center & Guidance Counselor. All books when delivered go through our Media Coordinator, who codes them & enters them into our system. Then we check the books out to the teachers. We bought $1 Store white baskets for each teacher to house the books throughout the year. They cannot leave the classroom but can be used in the classroom by students. We made a little tag & zip tied it to every basket.

Here's what the tag for our baskets looks like...

Also, communication in the building is key. The news of the program was relayed back to each team through our committee members & also shared during a faculty meeting at the start of the school year. Our committee keeps all our meeting notes on Edmodo so anyone can read the notes after our monthly meetings. I also send emails out throughout the month. We have several committees at our school. Team representatives, Edmodo & emails are the ways we communicate. 

Then, another task before starting this program is creating a monthly lesson plan for the book with a variety of ways to use the book in each classroom. This can be tricky... We created a format to use. This format is adjustable, as we have made minor changes in our first two months to it already.
So, after completing everything above it was time to get this program going!!!

At the beginning of every month we deliver the books & monthly lesson plan to each teacher through their mail boxes. The first month [August] we attached a cover letter along with the lesson plan & book to help kick off the program.
Our first Book of the Month for August 2014 was: The Dot. 
Teachers received a copy of the book, cover letter & lesson plan in their mailboxes. We had already delivered the baskets. Here is what our lesson plan looked like...
Here is some sample work from August's Book of the Month: The Dot...
On September 15, 2014 our school celebrated International Dot Day with an assembly & activities.
This is the letter our committee sent out to our staff to prepare for the celebration...
Here are some pictures of our day...
We had a HUGE SURPRISE too!!! Being a school of Technology & Innovation with a Global focus, our Technology Facilitator [She's really good!] had the book read in the languages of our students countries they are studying!!! It was AWESOME!!!

Our second Book of the Month for September/October 2014 [we are on intersession for part of each month so we combined it] is: Those Shoes. 
Teachers once again received a copy of the book & lesson plan in their mailboxes. Here is what our lesson plan looked like, as you look through the second page you can see we altered it to fit this month's book...
Lastly, I think it's important to have a display somewhere in a central location of your school. Here is our August Book of the Month Bulletin Board... 

We return to school next week to start our 2nd 9 weeks & I look forward to finishing the book Those Shoes at our school & for the upcoming months!

So, WOW! That was a lot of information, but I hope it was helpful if this is something you would like to implement at your school. I will continue to post about implementing our Book of the Month program throughout the school year to share with everyone. 

To get a copy of everything above 

I look forward to my journey here with my WONDERFUL & TALENTED crew at The Primary Pack! Thank you so much for taking a few moments to read through my blog post & I look forward to getting to know our group's fans & followers:-)

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  1. WOW!!! Dianna- That was an amazing post! Thanks for sharing all your wonderful ideas. Your school must be absolutely amazing!

  2. You have such fantastic ideas! I can't wait to use this. I'm looking forward to what books you select for November and December. Thanks so much.


  3. Great post, Dianna! I just love what you did with The Dot and Those Shoes! Such great ideas and lessons!

    One Sharp Bunch

  4. Wow ~ Amazing! Thank you for sharing!

  5. Just blown away with the depth and detail in this post - truly amazing work and lovely to have photographs and your learning journey so far with it to show its success - some ideas are fine on paper but not so good when in a real classroom!
    Specia Teaching at Pempi's Palace