Oh, the books…
Oh, the books! Oh, the conversations! Oh, the life lessons!
Books are changing me. Books are changing Grade 7. After reading The Book Whisperer as a personal professional development text, things have changed in my Grade 7 classes. We are devouring books!
During the first quarter, I required my Grade 7 students to read 800+ pages for an outside reading requirement. We went to the library at least two times. I book-talked a couple of books from the front of the classroom. And 5 of my 44 students didn’t meet the 800 pages. Another 10 had less than 900 pages. I just wasn’t happy with those numbers. I thought it could be better but I didn’t know what to do to see growth…to see a whole mindset change.
I started the second quarter making a few changes but mostly praying for a miracle. We must be doing something right. Even my reading is going through a mindset change. Three weeks into the quarter, I challenged students to make their own goal for the quarter. They should have an idea what they are capable of and what would be an achievable challenge. For some, it has been a page number goal – and you should see their page number goals! I had a student send me an e-mail last week to tell me that she was going to have to change her goal – she already met her 1500-page goal and was going to go up to 2500 pages. Other students have decided to read genres that they are not as familiar with. One student decided that her Quarter 2 goal was to not read any books that she had already read before. I love their goals!
They inspired me to make my own goal. At the same point of the quarter, having read 33 books during 2009, I made it a goal to read 12 more books – two of my “just right” books, one from an unfamiliar genre, one professional development book, and 8 other books. I have 6 more to go before December 31.
We are having such a blast! We’ve started book crazes among our class and they are spreading to other classes. Hello, Alex Rider! Oh, Margaret Peterson Haddix, we love your books!
Oh, the fun! Oh, the recommendations! Oh, the books…