Saturday, October 19, 2013

I Just Kept Smiling

Discover. Play. Build.
Like this idea? Head over to Ruth's blog and read some more. Better yet, share your own celebrations there, or on Facebook or tweet it out using the hashtag #celebrationlu  No matter what, celebrate what you do!

Monday, 7:45am I am met at the door by a student. 
She just finished reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Now she wants to know if Alex dies at the end of the book. I just smiled.

"You'll have to read the next book to find out."
"Mrs. Day...." in that whiny voice only teenage girls can have.

Every time I saw her, she begged for the answer. I just kept smiling. She googled a summary of Pandemonium to see if she could find her answer. No luck. I just kept smiling.

She came to class 7th hour.

"Where's that book?"

I point to where it's at and she goes over to get it.

"I'm going to read the last pages and see!"

She flips through the book, looking for her answer. She doesn't find it.

"I'm just going to read the whole thing tonight to find out."

"What if the second book doesn't tell you either?"

"Mrs. Day!"
Wednesday, after our 10 minute reading time:

"Mrs. Day! Are you kidding me about the end of this book?"
I just smiled.

Freshmen boys aren't my biggest group of enthusiastic readers. Some will play lots of games to make me think they are reading, but they fake read a lot.

But this boy, this one, he found a book he loved. Gym Candy by Carl Deuker  This is a no fail book for my high school boys. I've never had one not like it. They like all his other books too, but this is the gateway book.

And now that this one read the book, it will find it's way into more hands. And more boys will say, "Are you kidding me about the end of this book?"


All week.
The bi-quarterly meeting of PA (Procrastinators Anonymous) meets bi-quarterly in our high school The large group meetings take place in Roomie's classroom. The Retake Queen, as I like to think of her, allows students to reassess their learning constantly. If they don't score well enough on an assessment, they can retake it. There are procedures to follow, but they can bring up their grade. And that is a wonderful thing.

And we don't believe in zeroes. What do those show? Nothing. Zeroes are easy. But for us, zeroes are a placeholder until you get the work done. So, we are always on kids to get the work made up. Don't let those zeroes stand in the way of showing what you've learned.

It does, however, make for an interesting week right before midterms or the end of the quarter. The smell of panic is in the air. Early mornings, prep periods, class periods, after school.
The Procrastinators arrive. Anxious. Knowing they waited too long. Hoping for the best.

And we just smile.


  1. What wonderful reasons to celebrate!! And now I must, I MUST, read Gym Candy! I hate to be out of the loop on such a great book!

  2. I love the Procrastinator's son would probably be a member! I love teachers who believe in second chances!

  3. What a lovely title for this celebration.
    I sometimes think I should join PA for adults.

  4. PA - I'm definitely a member of the club. I love thinking of zeroes as placeholders until you get the work done.

  5. Just Keep Smiling. Great advice!

  6. Nothing beats the feeling of hooking a reader!

  7. Love these celebrations. Oh, those have to laugh. I had pretty identical reactions to the end of both Delirium and Pandemonium. I love that this reader is so hooked on a great story.

  8. This makes me miss my media center. I love those days when kids fell in love with books. Hope my book blog will reach others and encourage life-long reading. Thanks for sharing your inspirational week of celebrations.

    Mary-andering Creatively

    Mary-andering Among the Pages

  9. Love those ideas, Deb, about PA & thanks for the Gym Candy rec. I'm always looking to share good ones for some of our older boys. Nice that you give second chances; we don't let students just "not" do an assignment. It's too easy an out. Thanks for sharing good stuff all the way through!

  10. I sounded just like your whiny student when I got to the end of Pandemonium. I literally yelled in my empty house, "Whaaaaaaat?!!!!!" But how great that she is hooked on the series and invested in the what's next!

  11. I love the whole notion of PA -- I think I could definitely join in many areas of my life! I caught wind of this through your tweets, and I giggled with each one. I'll just smile thinking about what your meetings must be like. Do you start on time? ;)

  12. I love the whole notion of PA -- I think I could definitely join in many areas of my life! I caught wind of this through your tweets, and I giggled with each one. I'll just smile thinking about what your meetings must be like. Do you start on time? ;)

  13. Love, love, love your comment that "zero is just a place holder." Again and again I wish my boys had had the privilege of having you as a teacher! And I am so buying GYM CANDY for my guys for Christmas!

  14. These are the little moments that matter. I know this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to interactions with students this week that left you (and undoubtedly your students) smiling! In the first few moments of following you into your school, before we even got to your classroom, you had to have connected with at least 10 students. Your moments make me smile--nothing better than a teenage girl whining over a book!

  15. I needed to read your list TODAY, Deb. Thank you for the small moments of pure delight. I"m glad you're celebrating on Saturdays (even if I don't read until Tuesdays).

  16. Deb, I only imagine you smiling. You look for the joys in the midst of the daily grind. Your list today is inspiring.