Saturday, February 18, 2012

Reading Moments

I woke up this morning thinking that I needed a topic for a blog post. Ideas raced around in my mind. I’ve been thinking a lot about beginning teachers. The last two years have brought me four student teachers, all wonderful, but they make me consider what it important. I’ve been thinking of some post related to that. I have many books I need to review. Some reflections on what is happening in my classroom popped to my mind. But then, I listened to Frankie Sibberson’s podcast on Choice Literacy with Donalyn Miller, Colby Sharp, and Cindy Minnich. And my topic was there.

Listening to their conversation made me think about my reading life. The reading communities I am part of online, my classroom reading communities, and my reading life at home. I thought today I’d simply list some wonderful reading moments from this week. Honestly, this was a rough week. One of those where you think, “Why am I doing this?” But always, always, when I sit back and look at the bigger picture, I am grateful. So here are my bright spots from the week of reading.

Entering my colleague, Wendy Stokowski’s, classroom to ask her a question and having our conversation be continually interrupted by students who had to tell me what they had read the previous night. They were buzzing with excitement about reading.

A text message from a teaching aide, Buffie Burket, telling me that she was enjoying John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars that I had lent her. She had been telling her college age kids about it and they had told her they loved him, the Vlog Brothers, and Nerdfighters.

My friend, Wendy, pulling me out of my classroom to look into hers. In the back of the room there was a table of boys using iPads because it was “choice” time where you could grab one to play some apps or work on their research paper. In the middle of that table was a boy who Donalyn Miller would classify as a dormant reader. He had his nose buried in a book. (School’s Out Forever by James Patterson) Yay! I did an impromptu jig in the hall. He was choosing reading over iPads? Sweet!

Having a student shout out, “Where’s my copy of Knuckleheads?” And three other kids helped her find it and then shared their favorite chapters. (Crossing Swords was mentioned several times)

Talking with one of my IEP students about the Babymouse series and having him tell me he connects with Babymouse because she has a vivid imagination, and so does he, but his isn’t pink. J

Conferencing with a student and discussing why we love reading series books AFTER they have already all come out so we don’t have to wait for the next one.

And, finally, reading Wonder by R.J. Palacio with my son, Luke, this week. We just began Thursday night. It is already one of my favorite reading experiences with him. I got to the part where the parents are telling Auggie that the principal’s name is Mr. Tushman. As I read I wondered if Luke knew that “tush” was a term for butt. Then I glanced to my right and saw him with his hands over his mouth, giggling. Yep, he got it.

Those are just a few examples of reading moments I’ve had this week. I wish I could tally every time some child comes up to tell me what has happened in their books unprompted, it is huge. I think that alone tells me that reading is becoming a major part of my students’ lives. I can’t wait to see their growth by May; I think it will be amazing.

Today Luke and I are headed to the bookstore because I need more books. (Need, want – those terms are a bit fuzzy when it comes to books.) I will have a stack of books to dive into and a long weekend to do just that. Have a great weekend everyone!