Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Sweet Spot

On days that I don't have planning, I find myself summoning all of the powers of the universe to come to my aid.   I imagine some hybrid of Cat Woman and Aqua Man.   Telepathic rings radiate from my being and lasso the tiny bits of extra energy that I will borrow from the world.   When underwater animals show up at my classroom door, I will change my approach.

I do this before leaving the house, and when I'm in my truck I scan radio stations until I find the right song.   After filling up my gas tank, I found a little Zeppelin to energize me.   Halleluyar.

I was feeling pretty good about today, and it went better than even I anticipated.   I almost don't want to talk about it for fear of jinxing myself, so I'm just going to tell you.   Got it?

One of my five language arts classes seems more diverse than my others.   I have all kinds and levels of readers in there.   My preference is to have children grouped, so I can dial in instruction and book choices based on what works for them.   I know that I lost some of you right there, but it works for reading.   I teach struggling readers with as much heart as I do my confident readers; trust me on that.  And no one is worksheeted to death.   It just makes it so much easier for everyone involved when children are closer in reading abilities.

Back to this particular class.   I only see them every other day, and I've been feeling like I just wasn't getting any traction with some of them.

It takes some time for new 8th graders to:

1) figure out that I'm not kidding when I say read
2) realize that I can smell fake reading a mile away
3) understand that I'm not giving up or letting it slide
4) decide to get with the program.

This class hit their sweet spot today.

I looked around the room, and everyone was reading...for real.   Then the assistant superintendent came in right in the middle of the magic.   He saw it too.   I wanted to cry happy tears and dance around to James Brown.

No one was reading the same book.   Everyone was doing his/her own thang.   We had everything from Dr. Seuss, the graphic novel of Paul Bunyan, The Fault in Our Stars and some Tolkien.

Holy Hobbit Toes, Bat Girl!   I'm telling you the truth.   Who knows what will happen next time, but today was more enchanted than a British wardrobe.

I hope that your day had a few great surprises in it too.

No comments:

Post a Comment