Knowing that this past week was going to be a bit on the crazy side (and knowing that my mentees, or any teachers in the building for that matter, didn’t particularly want coaching support during a week like this), I filled my calendar for the week with read aloud sessions in several classrooms. My hope was to give the teachers I could get to just a few more minutes to plan and prepare for conferences or lessons or whatever else was on their plate.
In the primary rooms, I shared Ame Dyckman’s newest book, You Don’t Want a Unicorn. The kids cracked up.
In the upper grades, I shared the first two chapters of this year’s Newbery winner, The Girl Who Drank the Moon, by Kelly Barnhill. By the time I left each classroom, a majority of the kids were on the edges of their seats, hungry for more.
In the second and third grade classrooms, I introduced the kids to the beloved dog Hattie, narrator of the Fenway and Hattie series by Victoria J. Coe. These groups, too, hung on to every word.
Friday, as I wrote about in my previous post, was the final day before Spring Break and anything but a normal day in my school. In addition to the anticipation teachers were feeling throughout the day, it was a half day of school. Nothing normal ever happens on a half day in elementary school.
As I gathered materials to leave my office and go set up our kindergarten room for Breakout Edu, one of the third grade classes I had read aloud to the day before came by. The teacher caught my eye over the heads of her class and said to me with a bit of an apology in her voice, “I’m so glad I caught you…I have a huge favor to ask. K.”–she pointed to one of her students–“went and asked about Fenway and Hattie in the library and they don’t have it. Would you consider letting her borrow your copy?”
She then rushed on to add, “I promise she’ll take great care of it. I won’t even let her take it home.”
It took me less than a second to grab the book from my shelf and pull the student aside. “K, do you really want to read this?” She nodded enthusiastically. “Then please borrow it and enjoy! I’ll write your name down here on a sticky note on my desk so I know who borrowed it, and you may keep it and read it as long as you want. You’re welcome to take it home for Spring Break if you’d like, too.”
By that time, a second little girl was by her side. “Can I read it when she’s done?” she asked shyly. So I grabbed the book back from K, affixed a large sticky note with lines inside the front cover, and added the second student’s name. I then gave K directions to pass the book on to her friend just as soon as she finishes it–and to make sure to keep the list going if anyone else is interested, too.
As the class moved on away from my cloffice, K with my copy of Fenway and Hattie in her hands, my heart was full. My bookshelf may have been one book lighter, but my list of kids I have impacted in some way with my love of reading is two names longer. And you just can’t beat that. Especially the day before Spring Break.
I’m excited to join other writers every Tuesday (and daily during the month of March) in 2017 to participate in the Slice of Life writing challenge through Two Writing Teachers. Read all about how you can Write. Share. Give. on their website here.