Books are Awesome

Last year, I had a gushing moment about my love for shared learning.  Grade twos taught me so much about the power of learning (especially reading) in community.  They LOVED telling everyone about cool learning that had rocked their brains.

Every Friday my twos would read with each other.  Group sizes didn’t matter.  They could be as big or small as the students wanted.  The only rule was that if someone asked a student to read with them, that student had to accept them into their group.  It was always so cute to hear little ones ask “can I read with you?”.

When I moved back to grade five (this September), I wondered how that would look in a junior class.  

… and I over-thought it.  

Today I finally just let it happen.  We spent the day on three trips to fill independent reading “book boxes”.  We went to the Children’s Book Bank and to the St. James Town Library.  Finally, we went to our very own school library.  

Kids filled their boxes with books then we read.  

There was such a buzz in the room.  Kids would elbow their neighbours and say things like “you GOTTA see this”.  There were giggles; there were smiles.  There was a very real love for books in room 303 today.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder about how we teach reading. If we focus too much on the mechanics of reading, do we rob it of its beauty?  Maybe if we focused more on the awesomeness of books, the mechanics of reading would be seen as more of means for interacting with texts?

As I look at these four students completely amazed by a Myth Busters experiment on sneezing, I can’t help but think about the soul of books and how much that soul matters.  

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We’re definitely going to ride this wave some more tomorrow.

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