The Book Fort

Instructional Ideas for Immediate Implementation

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Week Nineteen: Jolabokaflod

Happy New Year! As I look back on this holiday season, I realized that I have long been disgruntled with the lack of what I consider true holiday spirit; when I lived in Louisville, KY I never felt like it was Christmas at all until I saw A Christmas Carol at Actor's Theatre, and even that remarkable play has lost a bit of its luster. I have always enjoyed receiving books for Christmas from my favorite aunt as a child and started this tradition with my niece and nephews as a result. This winter, I have also been inspired by a colleague to learn more about Iceland's Jolabokaflod, or the Yule Book Flood.


In Iceland, many residents give each other books for Christmas. The emerging cultural tradition is now for everyone to spend Christmas Eve reading. Yes, reading. Imagine how this would feel in your household, when things can be frantic and stressful, when kids are wide awake and presents still need to be wrapped. Read about how Guinevere de la Mare, founder of the Silent Book Club chose to change her own gift giving traditions based on Jolabokaflod.


So, for the first Book Fort of the year, I thought I would try to inspire you to create your own Jolabokaflod by flooding you with recommended texts for all ages. I am thrilled to share with you books that students, teachers, friends, and family love. There are also some tips and tools for reading success included. I hope you enjoy and spread this love to your students as they return to the classroom this new year. Let's make 2018 the year we all read more than we ever have before! It will pay dividends beyond what we will ever truly expect or know, more than scores on tests.

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High School Recommendations

Check out Amber Armstrong-James's Video about how to manage Independent Reading

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziFZGiz3cdo
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What You're Reading

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Kristie Hofelich Ennis, NBCT

In an effort to systematically study relevant research and stay connected to the teachers I greatly respect and with whom I have worked for years to successfully implement independent reading, this newsletter came about. It will offer research and practical ideas for quick implementation and may prompt further discussion or study with your colleagues. I hope you'll find it useful and thought-provoking; I also hope you will stay in touch if you implement any of the ideas with your students. They are, after all, why I do what I do!