Thought I’d share a couple quick comments I heard in the library stacks lately. A resource teacher came in to tell me: "Those students we "forced" to check out a book this week cannot be pried loose from reading. During the entire advisory period they read." She has no discipline problems and they are totally obsorbed.
"What are they reading?" you readers ask me… the new Orca Soundings books we ordered. My good teacher friend Susan took time while her class was also in the library to booktalk these to the students of another class and we watched them reluctantly check out a book for the first time in months. The result was a bunch of converted readers. YES! This is why we spent money on Orca and other publishers who create books of high interest for lower reading ability levels. I don’t have Death Wind yet, but wouldn’t you read it just based on the cover? Susan is making me peel off the barcodes that hide some of the text and move them on the back cover to the bottom. She says our reluctant readers need to be able to read the entire paragraph on the back to interest them. They aren’t willing to invest as much time in a book if they can’t read the excerpt. What do you think?
Several boys were checking out football books about the SEC conference. When I asked them if they like the football books, they raved about them. I asked, "Should I purchase some of the other conference football books then?" and they said to me "There are other conferences?! Yes, sure, we’d read them." Guess, I’ll be heading back to Rosen Publishing for more titles.
Maybe I’ll slip in a few basketball and other sports’ titles. I wish more companies put out wrestling, volleyball, soccer, and track books. The students who participate in those sports often feel neglected. They come in to ask, but don’t find what they need.
Another resource teacher returned the 50 book "class set" of various titles I checked out to her room so I could choose another 50 titles. She was bemoaning the fact that one book was nearly destroyed from "over-reading." It turns out the Eyewitness Football book was the absolute favorite title in her room. Her boys would come in every day and pull it out to read in a huddled mass. My assistant assured me we have 10 copies of the book, so we are repairing it, discarding it, and putting it in the teacher’s permanent classroom library so they can continue to read it. I’ll even put a note inside letting them know the library has more copies.
We also have the "greatest" books from Edge books (Capstone Press) like The Greatest Football Records. It’s strange, but I haven’t seen or put away this book since it went on the NEW BOOK display shelve.
Norwood House has the series "Team Spirit" that has captured my students attention. They’ve realized they can tie their recreational reading into fun computer searching as they look for other books in the set. Now they want more basketball, baseball, and football titles. I think we’ve created monsters. They are learning they can seek, request, and receive books they want.