Saturday, July 7, 2018

Middle School Summer Reading 2018

2018 Middle School Summer Reading

Students in grades six through eight are required to choose one book to read from the master list below. Middle school teachers and administrators will also read one of these choices. When we return to school in the fall, each teacher will host a book discussion group for students who have read that particular selection. This model seeks to encourage students to read for the sake of reading, involve teachers across content areas, and cross grade levels to group students in discussion groups. While reading your chosen book, please fill out the attached sheet and be prepared to share during the book discussion groups.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

High School Summer Reading 2018

Who? All West Boylston High School students in grades 9-12.

What? The podcast Serial, Season One (12 episodes). It's Baltimore, 1999. Hae Min Lee, a popular high-school senior, disappears after school one day. Six weeks later detectives arrest her classmate and ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, for her murder. He says he's innocent - though he can't exactly remember what he was doing on that January afternoon. But someone can. A classmate at Woodlawn High School says she knows where Adnan was. The trouble is, she’s nowhere to be found…

When? Summer of 2018. Be prepared to discuss Serial when we return to school in the Fall.

Where? Anywhere! See below for how to access Serial.

  1. On the web, via Serial’s official website or a cloud podcast player: or Written transcripts are available via the official website.
  2. On your iPhone or Android, using one of the following apps: Stitcher, Speaker Podcast Radio, Podbean, TuneIn Radio, or any other app you prefer.

Why? In light of the Common Core State Standards' shift toward the use of nonfiction, podcasts provide a unique way to build critical thinking skills while adhering to state standards. Common Sense Media cites a host of other benefits gained through listening to podcasts, including: boost learning, reduce screen time, go anywhere, cost nothing, and get two thumbs up from kids!
Michael Godsey cites additional benefits in his 2016 Atlantic article, saying “perhaps most satisfying to me, they [his students] were engaging in adult conversations with teachers, parents, and administrators who were listening to the same podcast.” In another Atlantic piece about “the podcast brain,” writer Tiffanie Wen quoted Emma Rodero, a communications professor at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, as saying that “listening, unlike looking at a written page, is more active, since the brain has to process the information at the pace it is played.” In the same aforementioned Atlantic article, Rodero explained: “Audio is one of the most intimate forms of media because you are constantly building your own images of the story in your mind and you’re creating your own production … and that of course, is something that you can never get with visual media.”

We’re mixing things up a bit this year! Listening to a story and reading a story do have lots of similarities. There are also lots of benefits to listening, including the fact that research shows students can listen to content two to three grade levels higher than they can read. Listening is also a huge part of the Common Core and a standard that we under-utilize. Serial will be a means to an end, and students who get invested in this story will have lots of opportunities to read and further their knowledge, whether it is the long Reddit strands, follow up interviews, or other crime non-fiction stories, there are lots of places we can point our readers to.

Friday, September 1, 2017

What did you read this summer?

What did you read this summer for summer reading? Fill out the survey below to let me know!

High School: 

Middle School

Friday, May 19, 2017

2017 Summer Reading Choices

Attention current 6th and 7th graders! If you haven't done so already, please fill out this survey to indicate your choice for summer reading for next year.

Follow this link to the presentation with book descriptions and this link to the list if you need a little reminder of what to choose from.

Image result for summer reading

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Monday, April 25, 2016

Summer Reading Choices

Follow this link to fill out the survey regarding your summer reading book choice: Summer Reading Survey

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Public Library Programs

Click on the flyer below to see upcoming programs at the Beaman Library in West Boylston!