Ah, summer. Time for relaxation, fun in the sun and enjoying the lazy days of reading because we can…and want to. Right around this time of year, teachers all over the world are posting about their TBR (to be read) summer stacks. We are happily ordering the professional books we want to read over the summer, as well as our personal reads, and are stacking them up, taking a ‘shelfie’ and sharing with colleagues. Here is my summer stack that I shared with the #cyberPD group that meets each summer to discuss a common professional text. 

As I created my stack to share, my own children asked what I was doing and why. I explained to them what a summer stack was and asked them what they might include in their own stack. We gathered the books recently purchased at the buy-one-get-one Scholastic book fair (Thank you, Scholastic!) and took a quick snapshot of the stack.

I couldn’t help but reflect on what a simple, but powerful practice, this is. Taking time to intentionally choose the books we want to read and then sharing our choices with others not only fuels our excitement for summer reading, but provides accountability for our reading as well. Sharing our TBR titles proclaims to the world that we will indeed read them this summer and share our thinking with others. By taking pictures of our summer stacks with students, we can provide them with a real reason to read over the summer: to share our reading and our titles with others, not to simply practice our reading skills, something true readers would never think of as a reason to read over the summer.

So, what books are in your summer stack? Don’t worry if you do not actually have the books yet. Enjoy browsing the Internet for some books recommended by friends or those newly published. Create your stack using images instead and then set out to order to find the books at your local library. Share your stack, and your thinking behind it, with your students and own children.

Then, encourage your students to do the same. View books trailers, provide engaging book talks and listen to the buzz generated in the classroom as students prepare for their summer shelfies. If you have a class twitter account, post the pictures online and encourage students to tweet about what they are reading. If your class is not on twitter, you might use Padlet to curate the summer stacks and encourage conversations about the books over the summer. Start with the summer stacks and then see where the journey takes you and your students!

What is in your summer stack? Tweet your pictures to #summerstack! Want more summer reading resources? Click here to access my Padlet!

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