Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Flying Book Kids

Last Friday I wrote about how the books flew(literally) into the hands of some of my students. As an English department we talked about making sure kids have independent books to read in class and how to make sure they get some reading time every week, so that was the reason for the flying books. The kids needed them for class. I often wondered over the weekend if any of them even looked at the book or if this was just crazy Mrs. Day trying to get kids to read again. Even though I knew I had found good books for them, I worried they wouldn't give the books a chance (Coincidently, I started reading The Book Whisperer by Donalyn MIller over the weekend. It's scary how alike she and I are.)

Fast forward to Monday.

One came in carrying Tears of a Tiger by Sharon Draper.  "20 pages, Mrs. Day. Good Book."

The wrestler came in carrying Four Days to Glory by Mark Kreidler, a book about the state wrestling tournament here in Iowa.   He didn't comment. HE SAT DOWN AND READ!!!!! And he read every time there was a break in the action!  I didn't have the heart to tell him to put his book away (He did tell me after class that I was right, the book was really good).

In every class, students came in carrying books.  Only one came up to me and asked if she had to finish the book she picked out or if she could get a different one.  "Life's too short to read bad books," I told her. And then I asked if she needed help finding a new one.

"Nope," she replied. "I know the one I want."

So, I feel the flying books were a success. Books are in the hands of students and they are being read because the students made the choice.


I feel validated.

13 comments:

  1. Love it! I went back to read your flying books post. I could picture you tossing books to the kids. I like that you made it a "challenge" too. I'd say crazy Mrs. Day isn't so crazy! Very inspiring. :)

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  2. Life is too short to read bad books...so glad you have made it your mission to get books into the hands of teenagers. You are awesome. :) Thanks for sharing this slice.
    Ruth

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  3. You must have felt so very good to see all that reading! And, what a connection you've made with those students. Love the paragraph description of the wrestler. Good for you, and for him!

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  4. Yeah for you and the kids! Choice is so important. I hope they all catch the reading bug. Love, love, love The Book Whisperer! Your picture (from Flying Books) is awesome. You are a book whisperer, keep whispering.

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  5. Well done...what a great moment to validate all the work that goes into making sure those books fly!

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  6. Ahhh! A happy ending! Well, happy beginning really. Congratulations on being able to begin a change in their habits and mindsets. it isn't an easy job at that age.

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  7. Choice matters. Giving time to read matters. Your recommendations matter. Soon you will have students recommending books to each other. It's a huge change for teenagers who didn't care much for reading.
    I like the title: The Flying Book Kids
    Terje

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  8. Ah, to have reached some so early in the school year!!! I waited for those moments, always wondering if I made some difference. Cherish these moments and remember them when it gets tough. Validation has been on my mind this week. That's what I miss being retired.

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  9. When you honour choice in the classroom, you honour the uniqueness, the individuality of your students. How wonderful for your students that they have the opportunity to discover who they are as readers. You've given them so much already and it's not even September yet!

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  10. I like the "life's too short to read bad books" line because it encourages her to keep reading and feel like her preferences are valued!

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  11. I am so happy that you have hooked your kids. All it takes is just one book!

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  12. Mrs. Day, you always knew what books would keep us hooked

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  13. Thanks Christine! Good to hear from you. I checked out your blog. Some of your layouts are amazing. Looks like you could be teaching me a few things!

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