Monday, September 07, 2009

SSR Minor frustration

Let me tell you - SSR works VERY DIFFERENTLY with seniors than with sophomores. I originally started this post with a stub back in May when I was grumpy with my students:

It bothers me that during SSR I don't have the option of getting lost in a book. I have to patrol the room. Grh.

It's not NEARLY so much of a problem this year (yay!) although I still can't really get lost in the book since I'M the one who needs to keep an eye on the time. And ... I wasn't expecting that! I was completely in battle-mode, ready to go into full combat against SENIORITIS. But I really haven't had to.

There's generally some shushing I have to do at the beginning of the period, but what with the pledges and the announcements, that's somewhat to be expected. We don't really get fully settled until about 30 seconds after announcements.

And let me tell you - having those 10-15 minutes at the beginning of the day (I have my English class first) is just glorious.

It's like beginning the day with meditation. The room is quiet, except for the occasional whssshhh of pages turning. But it's not just the stillness - it has a sense of fullness to it. As soon as they get themselves situated and I've got the attendance marked on the computer system, I can pull out MY book.

And I'm probably the noisiest person in the room. I know I've had students look over at me somewhat curiously when I've gasped or broken out into a laugh before biting it off. So then after we put things away I have to say, "no, I wasn't laughing at any of you, it was just a funny part in the book."

I love sharing books with students. I love the intellectual puzzle of matching a student to a book. It is such an honor to have someone come up to you after you've recc'd a book to them and say YOU WERE SO RIGHT! I LOVED IT!!! (Honestly, having someone come up to you and say "you were right!" is fun in just about ANY case, but especially so when you've gotten them hooked on reading.)

Hopefully I can give THAT experience to my students, too. After we finish research (and I have a bojillion papers to grade - yikes!) I'd like to have them write book recs on quarter-sheets and then post those on the wall over my classroom library; this way, they can begin - continue? - to recommend books to each other. (And me!)

Reading can be very isolating. That's not necessarily a bad thing; it can provide a sanctuary - a place of peace and exploration. But reading can also create communities among readers, where we share and encourage and support and explore together.

I'd like my classroom to provide both.

Image: "Girl Reading" by Jean-Honore Fragonard


HappyChyck said...

A community of readers is AWESOME! I love it when I can talk books with students--and when we have time to talk books.

I can't live without an egg-timer in my classroom because lose track of time A LOT!

Clix said...

That's why I put a standard clock on my back wall. Well, part of it. The (digital) school clock is on my front wall, so it's behind me and clearly visible to the class. So I covered it with a small poster that's got some Mark Twain quote on it. :P

This way I know what time it is, students are less tempted to watch the clock, I can catch those who do, AND they have to THINK in order to figure out what time it is. ;D

Melissa B. said...

I'd love to have a community of readers, but my students probably would create a community of chaos. For now, they do their reading at home...

Clix said...

You never know, Scribey... ;D

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