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Getting Them Hooked on Reading

Mondays are not always fun…can we all just agree?

They mark the end of relaxing weekends and the beginnings of long, tiring weeks…especially when you are a teacher!

That is why I was pleasantly surprised when my Monday went swimmingly yesterday.

Although we’ve been in school a week now, I had yet to get my students reading.

Oh, they were starting to get excited, mind you, looking at the books on my bookshelves, but I’d held them back so we could review procedures and get to know one another better through various activities.

Yesterday was finally the day, though…the day when we did our Read Around.  You might know this as a book pass.

I filled five baskets with books, and students had a minute and a half to two minutes to preview the books in the basket.

I had given each student a copy of a Read Around form from the book, Igniting a Passion to Read, by Steven Layne…a reproducible he provides in the book.

I had instructed my students NOT to keep any books for the independent reading we would be starting today.  They were simply to preview, list the titles of any books that interested them, and when the time was up, pass the baskets around to other tables.

Now, I must be doing something different because ALL of my classes got very excited as they began previewing books.

I don’t know if they had been skimming from the enthusiasm I’d been showing since Day 1 for the various books around my room.

It could have been that as I walked around and provided bits and pieces of various plots, gleaned from personally reading the books, they grew even more enthusiastic.

MANY begged to be allowed to check out books, but I had to hold them back.

I had to have enough of my better books to share with ALL of my classes.

So the first two classes reluctantly agreed.

Then, my sixth period came in, and Lord Have Mercy, but you would have thought that Christmas had arrived.

I could not keep myself from being pulled in, so I spontaneously announced that I would allow them to check books out.

I explained that as my last class of the day, they would probably find themselves getting what was left over from book chats I’d be doing throughout the year.

To make up for that, I let them have first dibs on my books.

They.

Went.

To.

Town.

I have a new procedure this year where I have a checkout binder in the back of my room.  It is divided by class periods, and students can fill out the form to let me know which books they have and when they checked them out.

I have often found myself unable to locate certain books, uncertain which students are reading them.

My sixth period class could not get a hold of the binder quick enough, and it made the rounds from one table to the next with quite a few of the eighteen students checking out books to take home and read…

Many of my Allison van Diepen and Jennifer Brown books got checked out.

My name will be mud with my second and fourth period classes.

In fact, one young lady had pitched a fit earlier in the day because she insisted that she HAD to read Thousand Words.

I was so nervous about the yelling she was sure to do that I stopped by Books a Million to buy another copy of the book.

Unfortunately, my store had a crappy supply of Brown’s books…

There was ONE freaking copy of her newest book, which I refuse to pay $18 for.  I’ll wait for the paperback.

There were a few copies of Hate List on a display, but this was not the book my students were fighting over.

I’m peeved at the sucky supply (do you like my alliteration?), and I made a suggestion to the cashier that they would probably be inundated with young ladies looking for these books, and that the store needed to put them in stock.

*Ahem*

I did pick up a couple of books on the clearance shelf…

My teacher discount allowed me to get these books for under $5.

I’m hoping I can coax my students to try some different authors like Jay Asher, John Green, and Neal Shusterman.

I have a feeling that, unlike previous years, I won’t have to beg my students to read during their silent reading time each day.

I’m excited just knowing what we are all in store for!!

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