Sunday, October 23, 2016

RAPS Report- Isaac Litton Middle School

"In my opinion, it's what school should be like: kids interacting with books that they want to read, in ways that are meaningful for them, with guidance, support, and relevant resources."
- Allison Crandall, Lead RAPS teacher at Litton Middle School

Every Friday morning in North Nashville, a group of excited and dedicated students comes to Ms. Crandall's classroom at 7:30 a.m. to escape into the world of reading before the responsibilities of the school day bring them back to reality. The students take a moment upon arrival to grab a light breakfast snack or a cup of juice before settling into their favorite spots scattered across the room.

The RAPS program at Litton has been going on for a little over a month. Our main focus is to get the students to come to the classroom and read, read anything and absolutely everything. Each month, we highlight a new opportunity for students to interact with their texts- for the month of Septemeber, we focused on book trailers. Below is a link to one example of the hard work that two of our students have done!

For the month of October, we are inviting students to consider starting book clubs with their peers in RAPS, or even their friends that are not a part of the program. Ultimately, we want our students to read and to never lose that passion. Students can choose to not participate in our monthly activities, and they always have the opportunity to revisit them at a later time. Because our students are voracious readers of a variety of genres, we also try to find individualized ideas to spark different kinds of playing with the texts. 

After reading a book from the Star Wars series, this student decided to make a papercraft version of his favorite character. This student is thinking about taking his crafts and  making a short comic/graphic novel following what he read!

We love what are students are imagining, the conversations they are starting, and of course, the books they are bringing to the program. Keep checking in with us through this blog or on Instagram (@vandyraps) where we post weekly updates of all the good things we're doing!

Friday, October 21, 2016

We had a great first day at JT Moore Middle School on Tuesday! Our middle school students met us in the library for some healthy snacks and get-to-know-you games, like coming up with adjectives that start with the first letter of your first name. We met “Perceptive Peter,” “Curious Chloe,” and “Lovely Lexi,” to name a few.
We then started talking about what kinds of books everyone liked to read. Action, mystery, and fantasy were popular choices, as were graphic novels. We were so thrilled, because the first book our RAPS group will read is a graphic novel called March by Andrew Ayin and John Lewis. After watching the book trailer, our middle schoolers had a discussion about the serious topics this book brings to light, such as racism, inequality, segregation, and whether these issues are still present today. March is a graphic novel about the Civil Rights Movement, and some of it takes place right here in Nashville! We hope this will help our students to make connections between then and now. Shout out to Nashville mayor Megan Barry for recommending this book when she came to speak at JT Moore earlier this year!
Finally, we headed back to the library to do a fun art and writing activity. We provided our students with blank graphic novel templates, and instructed them to write a mini graphic novel that represented themselves—and that they could get as creative as they wanted! One of our students even wrote in that he found a vat of goo and turned into a superhero.

We hope to keep this creativity flowing! Lets RAPS begin!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

10/19 Apollo RAPS

Today at Apollo we chose quotes from the three different books, and then wrote them on colored paper and posted them in Wyatt. Students chose quotations that inspired them, spoke to them, or stuck out. After we chose quotations, we started on our character charts-also hanging in Wyatt! Each character chart has a picture of the main character, character attributes, and phrases that relate to the characters. Students really enjoyed this activity, as it promoted creativity and community engagement.