Saturday, March 8, 2014

A spark to celebrate

8 of 31 at Two Writing Teachers!
One of things I love about the March Challenge is that it makes me make time for writing. I get to do all the writing that I always mean to do, but somehow never get around to. (Of course, every year I vow that when March is over, I'll continue writing more often... and then I don't!) Anyway, the Celebrate posts on Saturdays keep calling to me, but I haven't participated yet. Since I have to write today anyway, it's the perfect chance to join the celebration!

This week was the kind of week that leaves me collapsed in exhaustion, but with a proud smile. Since I've already celebrated most of those moments in other slices, I'll focus on a different victory today.

This week, a low-intermediate student who's lived in short comics and non-fiction readers all year picked up One for the Murphys from my classroom's "We recommend" bookshelf during reading time.
Before I moved into this room, this book display thingy held textbooks. Ugh. Now my students' best-loved books (that aren't in someone's hands at the moment) live on the top 3 shelves. On my shelf, I rotate themed collections of books that I want to introduce to students. I took this picture in mid-January (see, I told you I catch up in March!) so my shelf was related to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. 
Later, when I asked him what he thought, his face stretched into a wide smile and his eyes glittered. "It's so good! I thought it would be hard, but I can understand it!"

Not only has he found a magical book (it never stays on the shelf for very long in my room!), he's observed a noticeable improvement in his English. What a moment of pride for a student who has been in America for less than a year!

Even better, I know this book could be the SPARK that turns him into a reader. Now that's something to celebrate!


  1. Yay! That's fantastic and I love how you transformed that book shelf into a recommend space. I need to do something different with how my students post recommendations. I don't think our bulletin board is quite working. Thanks for giving me something to think about (and thanks for the Skype call connect!) We'll have to plan another call soon.

  2. Hooray for books, and hooray for teachers who help kids find books!

  3. Finding THE book that turns someone into a reader is such a pleasure. One For The Murphys is a great one. I have had several boys start the reading bug with Crispin this year, even when other things that I thought would get them for sure failed. Whatever it takes!

  4. Book love is always a celebration!

  5. Love your bookshelf! Books for ELLs! You would love my library bookstore!

  6. Your spark has lit a fire in all your students. Absolutely LOVE your bookcase!


Comments make me happy and I'd love to hear from YOU! :-)