This is a guest post from School Librarian and MSTA Reading Circle Chair, Brenda Steffens.
The purpose of the Reading Circle is to encourage an interest in and enjoyment of reading. Since 1885, this program has encouraged incalculable numbers of children to discover the wonders of reading and earn the Reading Certificate. The Reading Circle program is open to all students in public, private or parochial schools and participation is very easy. Students must read a certain number of books for each grade level and keep track of the books read in a reading log. At the end of the year, those students reaching their goal will earn a Reading Circle Certificate. If a student earns the Reading Circle certificate for five years, they earn the Lifetime Reading Circle Certificate.
It’s easy to get started, just go to the Reading Circle website to download the certificates, policies and procedures, Reading Circle poster, log sheets for different grade levels and more information will be added throughout the year. The MSTA Reading Circle is open for grades preschool through 12.
Students in preschool should have least 20 books read to them throughout the year. Choosing books for preschoolers can be tricky. If you follow these guidelines when choosing books to read you can’t go wrong:
· Choose books about relationships such as families and friends.
· Books with lots of rhymes, silly language, and riddles.
· Information books about dinosaurs, insects, rocks and different countries.
· Books with a variety of art styles.
· Any predictable book is great.
· Books that make them laugh.
· Books that they can memorize.
· Alphabet books and counting books.
· Books about going to school
· Books that have songs in them.
There are many lists of books to read to preschoolers on the Internet, but one of the best sources is the list from the Missouri LibraryAssociation each year. “The Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award, administered by the Youth Services Community of Interest of MLA, is presented annually to the author and illustrator of the picture book voted most popular by preschool children in Missouri's public libraries. Designed to encourage reading aloud to children from birth through kindergarten age, the award was first given in 1996. Parents and other caregivers are encouraged to read aloud to children from a list of ten titles selected annually by a group of Missouri children's librarians.”
Each year 10 books are nominated and children in kindergarten and younger may vote on their favorite book. This year the list of nominated books are:
Mitchell’s License by Hallie Durand
Rrralph by Lois Ehlert
I Spy with My Little Eye by Edward Gibbs
The Wonderful Book by Leonid Gore
Dog in Boots by Greg Gormley
Douglas Hugless by David Melling
If You’re Hoppy by April Pulley Sayre
Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow by Susan Shea
Is Everyone Ready for Fun? By Jan Thomas
Press Here by Herve’ Tullet.
For more information and to download free activity sheets to go along with these books, click here.
The winner last year was my all time favorite book, Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes, written by Eric Litwin and illustrated by James Dean. If you haven’t read this book, check it out today and you will be singing “I love my white shoes” all day long because “it is all good!” Happy Reading!