The Slice of Life Story Challenge (to write each day during the month of March) is hosted by the lovey ladies at Two Writing Teachers. They continue the Slice of Life series with postings each Tuesday throughout the year.
Monday was my day back to school after Spring Break. I decided that in each class I would book talk the books I read over break plus a couple of books I picked up at Barnes and Noble. I also wanted to find out what they had read over the break.
I saw one of my former students before school as he was walking to the library to return a book. I had loaned him Prodigy before break, so I asked him if he had finished. He replied, “Almost! I can’t believe we have to wait until next year for the next book! Did you read Gone?” I told him I hadn’t yet, but I planned to start it this week. He followed me to my room, saw my stack of books to booktalk, smiled and said, “Man! I need to come back and shop in this library!”
A little background for next part: My campus used to be somewhat open-concept. Now, our classrooms don’t have a 4th wall, and the walls don’t quite go up to the ceiling, so students can usually hear a bit of what’s taking place in next door rooms.
Well, my third period class has second period right next door to me, so when the bell rang to switch classes, they rushed inside with these comments:
- “Miss! What book trailer were you just showing? Do we get to watch it?”
- “Miss! It’s not fair that we’re in 3rd period for the waiting class because then we’re at the bottom of the list!”
- “Did someone already check out that Yoda book? I want that one!”
- “Miss! Roger said he gave you back Under the Bride, so can I get it? And I want Skate when he’s done!”
One of my students from 1st period had arrived late during 2nd period, and she came by to see if she could look through the books when she was done in her 3rd period class. She also had to update me on her progress through The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and make sure I had book 2.
When my students leave me, not all of them continue reading. Their teachers don’t provide them with books, don’t encourage reading, and don’t provide them with time to read in class. The teachers say that the students don’t/won’t read. But if you were to witness what took place during our return from Spring Break, you wouldn’t dare tell me that my students aren’t readers. To build readers we must encourage and nurture their reading. We must build a community where we can share our reading and celebrate books. To me, there is nothing better than having students rush to my room eager to talk books.