Book Creator

Promoting Literature in Schools Portfolio

by Tara Degelmann


Promoting Literature in Schools Portfolio
Mid Term Reflection
Tara Degelmann
Bear Creek K-8
Jeffco Public Schools
School Demographics
Enrollment by Gender
Female 47%
Male 53%

Minority Enrollment
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander
Two or more races
Black or African American
American Indian or Alaska Native
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander

economically disadvantaged students at Bear Creek K-8 School

Full-time teachers
Percentage of full-time teachers who are certified
Student-teacher ratio
Percentage of teachers with 3 or more years experience
Number of full-time school counselors
As I move forward from this course, there are many things I'd like to implement as I begin my DTL role this year. I'd like to embrace comics and graphic novels and share the benefits of this writing style with my colleagues.
I enjoyed reading in a discussion post about another teacher in my district using pictures as a way to prompt book discussions. I feel this would be a powerful way to encourage my students to elaborate in book talks whether they are in the elementary or middle school setting. I enjoy reading what other DTL's are doing with students so that I can also strengthen my own practice.
In reviewing Chapter 2 in the book, “Cultivating Genius”, I gravitated towards the section around understanding students’ experiences and personal histories. I believe there are so many ways for us to truly know our students, involve ourselves in our communities, and connect with families on a more personal level. This way, we will feel a sense of belonging in knowing their personal histories (Muhammad, 2020).
Book Club
I would definitely say that our book club was very successful. Everyone shared books they had read that were in next years' Battle of the Books selection. I read "Root Magic" by Eden Royce and I loved it. The story had many personal connections for me, but I had to reflect on this initial response and realize that most students may connect to the book in other ways. The story centered around a family from the 1960's during challenging times for a black community. The family's roots are revealed as the children begin to learn root magic for the first time.
Many of my group members shared how their books were either written or how themes interconnected with other book shares. There were some skeptics on how students would respond to books in verse. This was a great opportunity to discuss books like "Love That Dog" and "Hate That Cat".
Our group also shared a variety of ways on how to run the Battle of the Books club within our schools and we were able to gain some new knowledge around successful book club discussion.
Cultivating Genius
I would say that when I was young, I grew up in a Christian home in which we learned that we accepted all people, no matter the color of their skin. I still model that same philosophy today and have had to work to put myself in others' shoes to truly understand what happens to them, when they encounter a society that may not be as accepting. I've tried to learn, grow, and seek to understand others' bias.
Culture is a beautiful life experience. What makes public education so special to me, are all the different people who bring culture into our community. This makes for a unified classroom. Muhammad speaks to us about how to self reflect and to truly know our students through their personal histories. As I continue to grow as an educator and human being, I want to ensure that I tap into others' histories in order to fully know them.
The first book my mother read aloud to me was "The Boxcar Children". It was the first book that I could visualize based on how my mother read the story to me. It was a time when I realized that I loved literature. I just needed to bring it to life, whether through a read aloud or a visual/sensory tool. Audio books have saved me as an adult. I reflect on my own literacy journey and I know that I have not been well versed in classics. I truly did not read much as a kid.