TXS&S: You’re a big proponent for innovation in publishing, even going so far as to teach students how to use QR codes to promote and learn about their favorite books. What’s next for you?
JS: My students are wild about Picture Book Month. They are connecting with schools in
They will :
-discuss picture books via Skype
-communicate with their virtual friends through a Google Form
-motivate each other to read picture books
-serve as Ambassadors for Picture Book Month
-Skype with picture book authors
-write essays about the importance of picture books
-read, read, read, read, read, and read picture books
-participate in a bookmark exchange
-explore iPad storybook apps
-meet Kate Messner and Linda Urban
TXS&S: What are your top three technological ways (website, device, application, etc) that parents and kids can connect with books?
JS: 1. I teach a popular unit during which first graders explore characters and series websites. They try to outrun Babymouse’s locker, travel with Jack and Annie, and color with Charlie and Lola.
2. Ummm....book trailers. My blog is dedicated to them. Book trailers are one of my favorite ways to connect kids with books.
3. I have friends on Goodreads who share an account with their children. I love when families write reviews and reactions together.
TXS&S: What are your top three non-technological ways that parents and kids can connect with books?
JS: 1. A child should read with an adult at least twenty minutes a day. Richard Peck says it best, “Read to your children. Twenty minutes a day; You have the time, And so do they.”
2. Children need to see that authors are real people. Take your child to author and literacy events at local bookshops and public libraries. Sometimes this gives them the confidence they need to become active readers.
3. Model good reading behaviors. Explore different formats, such as magazines, comic books, graphic novels, recipes, and newspapers.
TXS&S: What aspect of your job is the most rewarding? The most challenging?
JS: The most rewarding aspect of my job is chatting with kids about books. There’s nothing better than when a child stops you in the hall, or comes running into the library, shouting, “OH MY GOODNESS, MR. SCHU! YOU WERE RIGHT! THIS REALLY IS THE BEST BOOK EVER WRITTEN.”
The most challenging part of my job is convincing parents and teachers that graphic novels are real books. They are! Please respect readers.
TXS&S: Thanks so much, Mr. Schu! The world can always use more librarians like you. :-)