Today marked my last day of teaching Language Arts to my fifth graders. We have school tomorrow, sure, but it is centered around things like inflatables and games. Today was my last day to teach fifth grade.
It wasn't a normal day, for certain. Circling the perimeter of the room were boxes upon boxes. 2/3 of our classroom library was crated up, boxes were waiting for former students to come in the afternoon and move them to the middle school. As I looked out upon the faces of my fifth graders, it was a bit bittersweet.
We talked about moving on. I read the book I Wish You More. I had them give me feedback on the importance of classroom libraries and the importance of audience on a Padlet - both are topics of presentations I have this summer. And finally, we settled in to discuss "to read" lists.
By this point of the year they know that readers make plans, and they've been making them all year long. I shared with them that I read a book-a-day in the summer, following along with Donalyn Miller's hashtag on Twitter. (You can find more info on Donalyn's blog HERE.) And then, I showed them my to read stacks around my house.
They laughed, for the most part. Reminding me of the books I still haven't gotten to this year that I had wanted to read. I told them I'll never be caught up, but that I loved the simple act of being able to finish one book, stroll over to my shelf, and grab another. We talked about how cool it is that the middle school library is open for them this summer if they want to check out a book from it. It was a great morning.
So what's on your to read list for this summer? Any great seventh grade recommendations for me? While I'm not quite ready to say goodbye to my students, I cannot wait for days that stretch out endlessly and some fabulous books.
And tomorrow I have to show my students this photo. Coming home today I found four more books had arrived, thanks to a generous publisher. My to read list has grown again.