Slice of Life: Ancillary Moments

My teaching life goes by at full speed. I’m continually hit with the ups and downs of learning.  Along with the anticipated bumps, it’s the unplanned tidbits that make my day. They aren’t huge.  It’s the moments in between.

Before school.
“Mrs. Harmatz, I’m in this terrible situation.”

Thinking of all the possible things a nine-year-old could be facing. I asked him what happened.

“I’m nearing the end of Zombie Chasers Number 6, and I hate that it’s ending, but that’s not the bad part,” he said barely taking a breath. “The horrible part is that there are only eight in the series, and I don’t know if there is going to be another one after that.”

How I love this kind of terrible situation. M is the kind of reader who is in love with the silly, gory, fun genre. At this point in his reading career, I must say I feel the same kind of panic. What if number eight is the last one?

“You need to write the author,” I tell him. “We can look for some contact information online.”

“I think I’ll do that,” he said.

During Reader’s Workshop.
K shows me Ralph Fletcher’s Guy-Write, and asks, “Is this a nonfiction book?”

“It’s a book on writing,” I tell him.

“I’m using it in Writing Workshop, It is so funny!”

“Yes, it is. I’m glad you found it.” I just put it on the shelf. That’s all it took for J to find it. And now, I have no doubt it will find its way into the hands of many boys. The finding of this book is perfect: right before we start our independent fiction work.

After school. K  picked up Wonder. “We should read this as a whole class read aloud. And then go see the movie when it comes out as a class.”

These moments bubble up. The ancillary pieces that make my teaching day.

They are born from the just right books that connect to my students. The books that incentivize students. Books that make them think, laugh, and make plans for. I am forever grateful for these writers who make my teaching reading and writing a joyous place to be.

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers for Slice of Life Tuesdays. Read more slices here.



12 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Ancillary Moments

  1. Those are good problems to have… although something tells me you do more than just simply put books on the shelf. Seems you have truly created a literacy club in your classroom –and ensured everyone is a member.

  2. My granddaughter just read Charlotte’s Web & now I have the new wonderful picture book about E.B.White for her. “Books that make them think, laugh, and make plans for.” I always love your stories, Julieanne. Thank you for telling them.

  3. So fun to be a “fly on the wall” and listen in to your conversations with students about books! I had a similar discussion after one of my friends say she was so sad because she finished Rob Buyea’s 3rd Mr. Terup book. So we tweeted him and he tweeted back “I guess I should write a 4th!” So fun to be able to connect with the authors! Thanks for sharing today!

  4. Please make sure you read Clare and Tammy’s post if you haven’t already. So much of what they write is what you’re breathing in and out in your classroom. I love how much your students LOVE books!

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