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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Sometimes It Just Hits You!

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For more slice of life stories, head over to the Two Writing Teachers blog.



Do you ever have a moment when you realize just how your students must feel sometimes?  I had one of these moments today.  It was one of those "ah ha" moments when it all made more sense.

This morning, during our independent reading time, I helped my kinder kiddos shop for new books for their book boxes.  It's really a pleasure to watch their faces light up as they find a book that looks interesting to them AND is at a level they can read independently.  It's that time of year when those two things are colliding more and more.

I was enjoying the process of watching them look carefully through each book in the tub until they found just the right one (or four).  They were so excited to take their new treasures back to their book boxes and get started.  With all of the snow days/cold days we've had in January, it had been far too long since we had done any shopping.  The kids were absolutely devouring their new books.  It was the quietest read to self time we've had in at least two weeks.  It was lovely.

At lunch, in the teacher's lounge, I was talking with several co-workers who are in a book club with me.  I dared to ask how the current book was coming along and received quite a response!  One person had finished the book but had hated it.  Another was close to the middle and didn't like it either.  I am about 15% in and I can't make myself like it or even want to read more of it, for that matter (and I'm not the type to not finish a book I've started).  Another person is only on page 10...out of 503 - she can't get into it either.  We were debating the problem: continue to read and follow through with what we started OR throw in the towel and choose a new book?  We didn't reach an answer, but I kept thinking life is too short to read a book I don't enjoy.

And then it hit me!  I bet this is how my students were feeling after reading the books in their book boxes over and over too many times since we hadn't been able to shop for new ones!  I bet they were feeling the dread that I feel each time I try to make myself read this book! 

What did I learn today?  I need to make shopping and choice a higher priority for my students.   As my dad used to say, I can do it if I put my mind to it.  So, I will!

9 comments:

  1. I know what you mean about snow days getting in the way. My seventh graders are getting tired of the books in my classroom library and beg to go to the school library. I'm glad we finally got there this week before--probably--missing more days to snow.

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  2. Oh my goodness! Reading this reminds me that I need to have my students go book shopping too! I'll put it on my to-do list for tomorrow. I bet my students are starting to feel this way too.

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  3. Yay for book shopping! My students LOVE when I come in with new choices. I can just picture all your kiddos hungrily devouring their newfound treasures!

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  4. Those moment do hit you, right in the face. I say throw in the towel and find a great read. I also say, I know you will put your mind to it and won't throw in the towel when it comes to helping your students find the books they love.

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  5. Yup, life is too short to slog through a book you don't enjoy. Abandon ship and pick a new one, you will feel better if you do. Sometimes reading the same thing over and over does border on drudgery. Choice is always best.

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  6. I love the connection you made between your students reading the same books over and over and you trying to immerse yourself in your book club selection. This insight oozes with respect for kids!! You are right on - more choice, more shopping! ;-)

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  7. So glad we finished our Mock Newbery project, so it's back to more choice for independent reading. Time for us to schedule a trip to the library and to watch some book trailers! I frequently go to my book club without having read the book. Life is too short to read a book one doesn't enjoy!

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  8. Love the connection too, Robin, & I agree with everyone-drop the book-too many wonderful ones out there! Enjoy the search too!

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  9. Robin,
    You captured that moment of joy when a student finds just the right book. I love the connection you made, later in the day with your own reading life. I hope things are going well in your corner of the world.
    Ruth

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