Finding New Shoots of Reading Love

imageI’m taking part in the weekly Slice of Life Challenge sponsored by  Two Writing Teachers, where teachers write and share each Tuesday. Join in yourself or head over to check out what’s happening with other slicers. If you’re taking part in the SOL, leave a link to your post. I’d love to read it.

As I slog through the cold, dark days of February every year, I always wonder if I make any difference at all with my students.  With the weather disrupting our schedule more than usual this winter (last week was our first week of school with no snow days, two-hour delays, or early dismissals), I’ve found it even harder.  But if I look carefully, I can see signs of new growth among my readers, just like I will see new green shoots poking up from the ground soon–even if we do have more snow on the way!

Many of these signs of reading taking root came after discussions about abandoning books.  Maybe some pruning is needed for new growth to take root.

  • One of my boys was reading a book of poetry (I ask students to read at least two poetry books) that he hated.  When I asked why, he replied that he didn’t like any poetry except for limericks.  I offered him John Grandit’s Technically, It’s Not My Fault, and he devoured it in less than a day.  Now other students are lined up to read it, too.
  • Two girls in another class are swapping books back and forth between them.  Now every day I hear, “Have you finished The Fault in Our Stars yet?”  Before that it was “What page are you on in Michael Vey?  I’ve finished the first one and am waiting for the second.”
  • Speaking of the Michel Vey books, they may not escape my fourth period.  As soon as one student finishes one, someone else grabs it before it makes its way back to the shelf.
  • One of my boys who would much rather be doing anything outside than reading, discovered the Amulet series.  After hunting down copies of all the books in the series for him, I had to ask him to stop reading to do our other work–writing.  He even wrote about how much he loved the Amulet books (quickly, so he could go back to reading).

There are more signs of reading sprouting among my students if I look for them.  I will keep looking and nourishing.

12 Comments on Finding New Shoots of Reading Love

  1. Leigh Anne Eck
    March 1, 2014 at 3:40 pm (8 months ago)

    My students seem to be in a reading slump right now. It could be the weather and the crazy schedule due to snow days. I love your plant analogy. Maybe I need to start pruning and look for new growth to take root.

    Reply
    • Mrs. McGriff
      March 1, 2014 at 6:27 pm (8 months ago)

      My students sure haven’t gotten back into the school routine with all the crazy weather. It’s been hard.

      Reply
  2. Tara
    March 1, 2014 at 11:59 am (8 months ago)

    There’s something about dreary old February that really pulls us all down – so glad that you stopped to reflect and realize that so much had been accomplished with your kiddos. Hooray!

    Reply
    • Mrs. McGriff
      March 1, 2014 at 6:26 pm (8 months ago)

      Thanks. Sometimes I just need to change my focus.

      Reply
  3. Cindy
    March 1, 2014 at 8:59 am (8 months ago)

    I’m no longer in the classroom but am always looking for ways to bring my love for books to my children at home. Just like in the classroom, some are more in love than others. I’m motivated to look for more ways to use one child’s motivation to pique another child’s interest. It may just be a way to get them to read while home during that impending storm on Monday. :)

    Reply
    • Mrs. McGriff
      March 1, 2014 at 9:27 am (8 months ago)

      I find my students are much more willing to try a book if a classmate recommends it. I’m incorporating more and more opportunities for students to share their books with each other.

      Reply
  4. Melanie Meehan
    March 1, 2014 at 8:28 am (8 months ago)

    Love the metaphor of student learning and crocuses–also have to agree with missmoyer about the use of slog! What a great example of the importance of word choice. I may have to use slog over the course of the slicing month!!

    Reply
    • Mrs. McGriff
      March 1, 2014 at 8:48 am (8 months ago)

      I knew I liked the word when I chose it. I’m glad so many others are enjoying slog, too!

      Reply
  5. Maria Selke (@mselke01)
    March 1, 2014 at 7:56 am (8 months ago)

    I love this! My students are eagerly awaiting the next Amulet book (late August). They also negotiate with one another for highly desired books… “Oh, you have that one? Don’t return it unless I’m here so I can grab it next”

    http://www.mariaselke.com/2014/03/slice-family-movie-night.html

    Reply
    • Mrs. McGriff
      March 1, 2014 at 8:25 am (8 months ago)

      I love those conversations between students. I know reading has finally taken root. We also spent time watching book trailers on Friday (that students had created much earlier).

      Reply
  6. missmoyer
    March 1, 2014 at 7:41 am (8 months ago)

    You hooked me with the word “slog.” Then to hear that you too finished your first five day week of school, I was easily connecting. The reminder of looking for “new shoots” was a good one. Well timed. As here we are looking at a big storm arriving in time to ruin school on Monday.

    Reply
    • Mrs. McGriff
      March 1, 2014 at 8:23 am (8 months ago)

      We are in the path of the same storm. Who knows how many days we will make it next week.

      Reply

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