I’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.