It was the day my students had been waiting for.
After a few days of gearing them up for reading, talking about books, modeling read-alouds and sharing my reading life (as well as making it past the multiple schedule changes), we were ready.
- I had explained that they would have time to read IN CLASS every day.
- I had shared how I've lovingly collected books for our classroom library over the past years, carefully selecting ones that current students would enjoy...hoping that my next year's students would as well.
- I had shared how these books are like my babies, and we need to treat them carefully and keep them organized so others can find them.
- I had reassured them that I trusted them to take these books home. (How else were they going to become WILD readers?)
- I had book talked some favorites, and engaged the students in a book pass of recent acquisitions last week.
Today was the day they had been waiting for, ever since they walked into our classroom and saw the wall of books.
Anticipation had been mounting. Students had been asking..."When can we check out these books?"
Today was a day that I felt lucky to have four sections of ELA. Lucky to have 140 students. Lucky that I have this incredible job..
Today, I experienced the joy of students having pure, unadulterated BOOK CHOICE.
No required reading levels.
No interference, other than to book talk and recommend favorites.
I was one of them, rediscovering favorite books among the bins.
We oohed and aahed as books were taken off shelves, held excitedly in our hands.
Front covers begged us to pick them up. Back covers assured us that this one or that one may be just the right book.
Students checked out my babies. Books I have read and loved. Books I wish I could reverse time so I could read them again without knowing what happens. However, a few students were rereading a favorite, and that thrilled me as well.
I had many incredible book conversations and witnessed books flying off our classroom library shelves.
What a beautiful thing to then see them start reading. Right there in the classroom.
OUR classroom, where choice reading is valued, where independent reading time is a non-negotiable.
This teacher is a reader. I model WILD reading and encourage my students to become WILD readers, too.
In this room we read.
In this room, choice is encouraged and respected.
Today, I felt like a reading teacher.