I have always loved to read and share my books. At a young age, I would set up folding chairs in my backyard and invite friends to attend a story hour! When they weren’t available, I would read to my dolls or stuffed animals. It was no surprise to my family that later in life I became a teacher. I have been teaching in one way or another for 47 years. I’ve taught all grade levels and ages, including preschool, elementary school, high school, undergraduate, and graduate school. Currently I am an Associate Professor in the Masters in Teaching Literacy (B-12) program at Touro College. I’ve written books and articles about the integration of literature with writing instruction across the content areas. However, my greatest strength is my ability to recommend the perfect book to a teacher that will match the exact needs and interests of a particular reader/writer. I love it when they tell me how their students responded to the books and became totally absorbed in the stories – for some it is the very first time they have experienced this joy! For this reason, I’m always exploring the bookshelves whether they be online or in a library/book store. My criteria for selection is quite simple: the book must be beautifully written and/or illustrated; convey a strong theme that students can connect with; and provide them with lots of room for imagining the possibilities in their own lives. I also look for a book that can lead to students’ proficient writing. That is, the text must be written in a way that I would want my students to write. My hope for this blog is that together we can share our favorite books and ideas for lessons. Wouldn’t it be great if our collective conversation became national or even international? Let’s make it happen.
Joanne Robertson-Eletto, Ed.D.