In the Classroom: 100 7th Graders Invade Books-A-Million | Teachers College Columbia University

Skip to content Skip to main navigation
News & Events Header

Teachers College Newsroom

Skip to content Skip to content

In the Classroom: 100 7th Graders Invade Books-A-Million

The Reading and Writing Workshop that was developed by Teachers College, Columbia University aims to use students' interests and creativity as the foundation for teaching curriculum standards. Marianne Schand a 7th grade reading teacher at Hunter Middle School uses the program to "light a fire and passion for reading-'"one of life's greatest joys! And to teach the skills as they read selections of their own choice from the classroom library."
The idea is simple. Instead of prescribing literature that students do not want to read, let students choose their own books from the classroom library. Or if there is not a wide selection of books in a classroom's library, let students handpick the books they want to read in class. At least, that is what Marianne Schand did.
Schand, a 7th grade reading teacher at Hunter Middle School, is the recipient of a mini-grant awarded by Unum. With $1,000 at her disposal, she decided to build up her classroom's library with books that her students selected—from Books-A-Million that is. Last week, one hundred 7th graders invaded the book store to stock their classroom library with a variety of books, which were generously discounted by the retailer.
 
The project blends seamlessly into a program piloted by a handful of Hamilton County schools, including Hunter Middle. The program, The Reading and Writing Workshop, was developed by the Teachers College of Columbia University and aims to use students' interests and creativity as the foundation for teaching curriculum standards. Or as Schand puts it, "To light a fire and passion for reading—one of life's greatest joys! And to teach the skills as they read selections of their own choice from the classroom library."

Hunter Middle School's 7th grade writing teacher Suzanne Simmons says her students learn grammar through their own creative writing and personal narratives. This allows her to identify each student's academic strengths and weaknesses. Simmons can then differentiate (or individualize) instruction and challenge her students to not only identify problems in their own writing, but apply new skills necessary for standardized tests.
 
For reading teachers, The Reading and Writing Workshop means building up classroom libraries to reflect various genres and reading levels. Each student is allowed to choose from a variety of books with different themes, subjects and reading levels. “We try to pair students up with a book on their reading level and increasingly challenge them along the way,” Schand said.
 
But it's not just about giving students books they want to read; the Reading Workshop model also gives teachers more resources for teaching curriculum standards. "These kids choose a book," Schand said. "So obviously, they are going to read it if it's something that is their choice. And then we teach skills, and they have to find the skills within the book. So it's like an individual reading program for each child."
 
The article "In the Classroom: 100 7th Graders Invade Books-A-Million" was published on February 1st, 2010 in Chattarati News' website. http://chattarati.com/metro/government-politics/2010/2/1/classroom-100-7th-graders-invade-books-a-million/

Published Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010

In the Classroom: 100 7th Graders Invade Books-A-Million

The idea is simple. Instead of prescribing literature that students do not want to read, let students choose their own books from the classroom library. Or if there is not a wide selection of books in a classroom's library, let students handpick the books they want to read in class. At least, that is what Marianne Schand did.
Schand, a 7th grade reading teacher at Hunter Middle School, is the recipient of a mini-grant awarded by Unum. With $1,000 at her disposal, she decided to build up her classroom's library with books that her students selected—from Books-A-Million that is. Last week, one hundred 7th graders invaded the book store to stock their classroom library with a variety of books, which were generously discounted by the retailer.
 
The project blends seamlessly into a program piloted by a handful of Hamilton County schools, including Hunter Middle. The program, The Reading and Writing Workshop, was developed by the Teachers College of Columbia University and aims to use students' interests and creativity as the foundation for teaching curriculum standards. Or as Schand puts it, "To light a fire and passion for reading—one of life's greatest joys! And to teach the skills as they read selections of their own choice from the classroom library."

Hunter Middle School's 7th grade writing teacher Suzanne Simmons says her students learn grammar through their own creative writing and personal narratives. This allows her to identify each student's academic strengths and weaknesses. Simmons can then differentiate (or individualize) instruction and challenge her students to not only identify problems in their own writing, but apply new skills necessary for standardized tests.
 
For reading teachers, The Reading and Writing Workshop means building up classroom libraries to reflect various genres and reading levels. Each student is allowed to choose from a variety of books with different themes, subjects and reading levels. “We try to pair students up with a book on their reading level and increasingly challenge them along the way,” Schand said.
 
But it's not just about giving students books they want to read; the Reading Workshop model also gives teachers more resources for teaching curriculum standards. "These kids choose a book," Schand said. "So obviously, they are going to read it if it's something that is their choice. And then we teach skills, and they have to find the skills within the book. So it's like an individual reading program for each child."
 
The article "In the Classroom: 100 7th Graders Invade Books-A-Million" was published on February 1st, 2010 in Chattarati News' website. http://chattarati.com/metro/government-politics/2010/2/1/classroom-100-7th-graders-invade-books-a-million/
How This Gift Connects The Dots
 
Scholarships & Fellowships
 
Faculty & Programs
 
Campus & Technology
 
Financial Flexibility
 
Engage TC Alumni & Friends