One of the features that I admired in Penny Kittle’s classroom as shown on the DVD accompanying Write Beside Them is a regular book talk in which Kittle shares good books with her class and has them write down titles that sound interesting in their writer’s notebooks. I tried it out, and realized my students weren’t getting the point.
I understand I was a very weird kid, but I liked book recommendations from my teachers. I got what we call in my family “a wild hair” [crazy idea] about getting ready for college by reading all the recommended books. I craved book lists. I wanted someone to tell me what to read so that I could be ready for college. I asked my eleventh grade teacher Mrs. Patsel for a reading list. Now that I’ve been teaching about 11 years, I totally understand her reaction. After she picked her jaw off the floor, she promised to bring me one the next day. When I asked for the list, I was presented instead with a box of discarded books that used to be used in the school’s classrooms. I didn’t know what to say. I just wanted reading suggestions, but she gave me the actual books. And you know, if a kid asked me for the same thing I asked Mrs. Patsel for, I’d probably do exactly what she did.
At any rate, my point, and I’m getting to it, is that I decided to create a podcast to share these books instead of using the class time. I don’t know if it’s a good idea or bad idea, but my thinking was that if you decided it didn’t suck, maybe you might want to use in your classroom, so I decided to publish the first podcast here, too. I will recommend that you subscribe to my podcast feed f you want the whole shebang I provide for my students, including links to Amazon so you can buy the books, links to information about the authors, and other interesting links, as well as a podcast transcript. Through the feed, you can also subscribe via iTunes or another podcatcher. I spent an hour or so trying to figure how to create a feed just for the podcasts. I feel accomplished, but I am also nervous it wasn’t worthwhile.
Here’s my first ever podcast, warts and all:
I probably won’t update this blog each time I post a podcast, so check out the feed if you decide you like it and might want to be notified when it’s updated. If you want to download the podcast, try clicking through to the feed to make it easier. I have downloading audio disabled here on this site.