I am loathe to complain too much, so let me tell you about a great day with my 9th graders today:
We've made a commitment to offer Silent, Sustained Reading every Monday, as well as a visit to the library once a month. During library visits, students may read the assigned readings, but they also may explore other books they might be interested in. Our library is big, beautiful, and under-utilized, and we want students to have the experience of getting lost in a book there.
I was worried. A big area, where I can't see all of them? 33 ninth graders? Monitoring their engagement and their adherence to the rules (no socializing, no electronics, no homework) No way that would work.
But, folks, it was amazing. Some kids found a comfortable place to read and then read Persepolis, their assigned books. Others looked at the Young Adult section, picking up titles by Walter Dean Myers or Sharon Draper. Others read books about College Scholarships or Russia. I can honestly say I had just about 100% engagement at points, and my last class was so wonderful that I got to sit down myself and read for pleasure for a few minuts while the rest of the class did the same.
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