Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice"
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Betsy, Dana, Beth, and Anna
for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday
and for nurturing our writing lives.
It's Read Across America Day, one of my favorite classroom celebrations, and I'm not there to celebrate this year! When I read Catherine's post, I started thinking about the different ways I've celebrated this event with my students. One year we wrote postcards about our reading lives and requested a return postcard, attempting to connect with someone from every state. That would certainly be easier in today's age of virtual connectedness. We didn't reach our goal, but each and every postcard we received was proudly suspended from the ceiling over student desks to remind us of the power of reading.
We ventured across the playing fields to a neighboring elementary school several years to share favorite picture books with students. My students laughed when I insisted on plastic bags to protect the precious books, but banned umbrellas for our walk. (Ever tried to herd a group of 30 sixth graders carrying umbrellas?) They insisted that I cared more about books than I cared about them. One year we paired with fifth grade classrooms to share favorite books. My students were amazed that many fifth graders were reading the same books they were reading and came away with books to add to their Want To Read lists. One year we listened as students read to us. My students were reminded of the power of sharing what we're reading with someone else.
One year we did state reports. Another year we read books set in specific states. One year we focused on favorite Dr. Seuss books. Another year we celebrated with games and quizzes based on Dr. Seuss books and Theodor Geisel's life. It didn't matter that our celebrations changed from year to year. Regardless of a particular year's focus, we always found a way to celebrate this beloved day. Next year, I may have to adopt a classroom so I can share in their festivities for the day. How are you celebrating Read Across America?
I've herded 32 fifth graders with umbrellas through Manhattan. It's awful. I totally get it. I think kids should be issued ponchos when they go to school. (I'm half-kidding!)ReplyDelete
I'm not in a classroom anymore so I don't do much for Read Across America Day. However, you and Catherine have given me lots to think about for the time when I return to the classroom.
Enjoy this special day!
You and your students have certainly done a lotto celebrate this day. How lucky they were to have you as their teacher.ReplyDelete
That's pretty funny about the accusation that you cared more about books than students. ;-) I'm sorry to say I'm not doing anything to celebrate this special day because we're in the midst of PARCC testing, and my schedule is all messed up. Bummer! Love your ideas, though!ReplyDelete
You do know how to celebrate! What fun for your class and other classes you interacted with on this day.ReplyDelete
Loved your reading walk through memory, Ramona - especially the story about the bags for the books but no umbrellas. We teachers have our priorities!ReplyDelete
I loved hearing about all the special things you've done to celebrate Read Across America day... I admit; this year the special day was thwarted by state testing. But, you raise a good question --- if it is all about being connected to what we love to read and sharing it with someone else, why doesn't every one love to read? It is all about the emphasis, taking the time, and having the right books for our kids. It's simplex --- simply complex. You've got me thinking...ReplyDelete
I loved reading Dr. Seuss to my 4th graders. I didn't plan anything with my 6th graders this year though. Testing interferes...again.ReplyDelete
You have had rich learning experiences. I wonder if your students enjoy the same reading power in the classrooms they now live in.ReplyDelete
Loved reading about your celebrations! I may snag a few for when we celebrate next year. One of our favorite ways to celebrate is by inviting members of the community to be guest readers.ReplyDelete
All of your celebrations sound wonderful, Ramona. I especially love this: "the power of sharing what we're reading with someone else." Happy reading!ReplyDelete
I have been so busy this year, my first year at a new school, I didn't even think about this day. I'll have to bookmark this post for next year!ReplyDelete
So many great ideas you did, Ramona. We don't do anything at school, but I love hearing what others have done, are doing.ReplyDelete