The first week back to school is a puzzle. We’re trying to figure it out. Students and teachers. We come with expectations and hope, misinformation and baggage. A collection of stuff from so many sources. Now we’re here. In this room. All bright and shiny.
Seeing each child is a challenge, always, but especially the first week of school. Who is this person and what can I do to help them find their way, drives the curriculum.
After a few days, a flow of sorts begins and I start to see the pieces of what could be. Some students stand out like neon flashing lights. Others are stealth.
This week I want to celebrate the glimmers and sparkles I’m starting to see as kids open their books.
“A” is shy. Reading is a struggle. But he has a book that holds him. HiLo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth. “A” is the first student to finish a book this week. He stands and shares. I order book two.
“B” had finished I Survived The Battle of Gettysburg and a biography on Lincoln is in his hands. I can hardly contain the fireworks going on in my heart when I ask, “Are you a fan of the Civil War?” He smiles and nods.
“C” asks if I could order the next Stick Dog book.
“D” is reading Shiloh. I sit next to him and ask how’s it going. He starts to tell me the story. I ask, “Is this a book you can’t wait to pick up?” He looks at me. I follow up with, “Is this a book you want to read or is this a book you must read?” He looks at me. I stop and interrupt the class. “Make sure the book you have in your hands is one you want to read not one you feel you must read. “D” wanders over to the bookshelves. “E” and “F” follow him. Sometimes, I tell the class, there will be things you must do. The book you are holding now should be a “want to” book.
“G”, “H”, “I”, “J”, and “K” tell me, when I pick up Each Kindness as our read aloud, that they LOOOVE that book.
“L” is reading a nonfiction book on animals. Shiloh sits next it. I sit down and ask him about his book. He informs me he just realized there are no characters in this book so he should probably put this book away. I tell him that’s a great realization. But, I add on, readers read fiction and nonfiction. Doing both is ok.
“M” came up to me, book in hand. She pinched a chunk. “I read this much. Today!”
“N”, “O”, “P” and “Q” took pictures of their favorite reads.
“R” asked if I could order the next in the Stick Dog series.
“S” said he felt like he wasn’t in the classroom. He was in the book.
“T” asked if everyone could find their personal reading spot.
“U” and “V” are both reading books by Peg Kehert. They plan on trading.
“W”, “X”, “Y,” and “Z” shared their reading on the Grafitti Wall.
We’re looking for book love. For many, we’re there, for others, we’re on our way, and for a few, we’re still looking. Here’s to week one of the journey.
Happy New Year!
Thank you, Ruth Ayers, for the opportunity to share weekly celebrations. Read others here.