Wednesday, January 27, 2010


In the midst of the end of term - report cards, wrapping up projects, starting new material- day-to-day middle school craziness, and being sick, I'm trying to take time to savor those seemingly little things that remind me why I love teaching. My students are reading! My 8th grade boys, who have been so resistant to reading, are talking about the books that they want to get and are eager to read!

I've been working away at them slowly, trying to find books they might like, reading to them, and encouraging, even nagging them to read. The tipping point for these guys was The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. I began reading it to them and they are all dying to get their hands on a copy so that they don't have to wait for the slow pace that we have to take reading only 10 or 15 minutes a day in class. They're going to their local library to try to get it and bugging their parents about going to the book store.

One of the boys, S, whom I wrote about last week has already read the second book. Today as we were walking back to the classroom after working on a project in the media center, two of my most reluctant readers where talking about the series: "I wish there were more books. I want to know what happens, but I don't want it to end."

Because of some other things that were going on we didn't get to read during class this morning. They begged me to read during snack break. So for 10 minutes before Math, this group of boisterous boys and giggly girls, who are always looking for chances to get free time, sat in silence, eating their snack, and listening to me read.

Yesterday one of the 7th grade moms said, "I don't know what you did, but T loves to read now! Thank you so much!"

These moments bring me joy. My kids are discovering the joy of reading!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Slice of Life

Before Christmas break I began reading The Hunger Games to my 8th grade class. I was very excited to read this to them and they were excited to have me read it to them. They were patient through the first part, although they did get to the point of asking nearly every day when we were going to get to the part in the arena. Last week we finally "got to the good part". Today one of my boys, S, came in and stated, "I finished The Hunger Games!" Of course there were several cries of "What? How?" and then one of his friends asked, "Did you buy it or something?" and someone else asked, "Did you get it from the library?"

He went on to explain, "When I left school Thursday, {we didn't have school Friday for a teacher work day} all I could think about was the book and wondering what was going to happen next, so I called my mom and asked her to go the library on her way home from work and get me the book. I finished it in one day!"

This, from a student who bragged about only reading two books on his own last year, made me smile.