What I’ve Learned About Being a Kick-Butt Reading Teacher–Part 3

Psst!  Look to the right.  Not at the del.icio.us link–above that.  It’s a list of some of my supermostfavorite literacy-related blogs.  I subscribe to these blogs using Google Reader, and whenever any of the very smart people on that list posts something new, it gets magically sucked into my RSS feed list, where I can skim it or scan it or carefully study it to steal great ideas.  I’ve been doing this Google Reader thing for three (four?) years, and its like having my own personal readers workshop think tank, giving me the best information about upcoming middle grade novels, excellent picture books, the next perfect read aloud, or a truly worthwhile professional book. 

Sure, I still spend unseemly amounts of time in book stores, and I pay attention when the ALA hands out awards and such.  I am no stranger to the Horn Book Review.  But the “kidlitosphere” is full of teachers and librarians who are close to the reading hearts of my students.  I’m always interested in the latest crop of Newberry Honor Books (like Savvy from my last post), but it is through a great blog review that I got connected with Sir Fartsalot Hunts the Booger by Kevin Bolger, which is just as popular with ten-year-olds as you are imagining.  

Say what?  You are not hip to the world of RSS?  Just go to google, search “Google Reader”, and follow the links–it’s simple to set up (RSS stands for something like “really simple subscription”, I think). 

You already did that, but are not sure how to find all these great blogs?  Pop over to Kidlitosphere Central and you’ll find an insane list of blogs.  Sort through some, and simply copy the addresses for the ones you like into your Google Reader.  Voila.  Sit back and let the smarty-pants come to you.

I know what you are thinking now…but, but, but that was so easy, why aren’t all reading teachers doing this?  My only reply is:  I know, right?!?  One thing I definitely learned about being a kick-butt reading teacher is you have to make some parts easy for yourself, because other parts will NEVER be easy.


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