Book Day (Dates) #sol20
I might have given away the punch line with this photo, but I really couldn’t resist. You see I had a book day date yesterday. Well, you might say, that doesn’t seem unusual or newsworthy. You are in fact, a reading specialist. Don’t you spend all day every day with books. You would think so, but lately, well, for a while now, I have really thought of myself more as a writing teacher. We have lots of reading teachers with strong talents around, but writing gives folks some trouble. That’s a story for another day. Back to book day.
I spend more of my day than I want surrounded by the literacy center of our medium size school. Now that all our pandemic safety protocols are in place, more and more of that time is alone. Also, because of the safety protocols, there is a bucket inside the door for me to collect and quarantine books. I usually put books away one day a week, puttering around in the late afternoon, thinking about the collection and putting the books back in their bucket homes.
I ran out of time last week with other commitments and as I opened the door yesterday, there was that blue bucket overflowing with books. You will have to wait until later today, I silently told them as I organized myself for the morning.
One table in the book room is filled with orders trickled in from last spring. Honestly, I have forgotten why we chose these or where they will eventually live. In the rush to close in the spring, whatever notes I have taken about them is lost both in my files and on my mind. My eyes light on a collection of big books and I know with certainty where they belong. I make five stacks of Three Billy Goats Gruff, I Went Walking, many other titles, and on top, like a secret present, I place a big book of The Gingerbread Man. The Gingerbread Man is a big deal for a kindergarten teacher. Sometimes, in the old days, peals of laughter would be heard in early December in most elementary schools as kinders followed clues to the runaway gingerbread man. There won’t be a scavenger hunt this year, but I hope there was cookies and that classic story, so off those stacks go to be places just inside the kindergarten doors.
Next to my tough customer. Tough customer? you say. Yes, you know him or of him. He’s the kiddo that is constantly returning the books, picture-read, but mostly untouched. The one who peers at the covers and says, don’t you have a book about castles? I’ve been filling up my amazon cart with him in mind. I peruse the stack for today, the first day of the week and mentally play out the challenges that will assault me in just an hour or so. Today I’m mostly ready for it, telling him in my firmest warm voice, Now today when you go back to independent reading, let’s try two things. First, one book reading the words from start to finish… not just the pictures. Then when you get to a word that’s tricky, use all your tools, does it look right, does it sound right, does it make sense. He looks at me sternly in only the way a primary student can and says, I think you are asking too much of me. I hesitate just for a moment, look him right in those sweet eyes and say, I don’t. Can’t wait to hear about it tomorrow!
I read virtually with my little background clicking friend at home- a how-to book about making bird feeders. She would rather talk about having friends over, but she grudgingly gives me her dazzling smile and most of her attention and effort for twenty minutes. She’s doing well and I think we’ll try a bump up this week to something a little more challenging.
There’s a request in my inbox for some reading books switches for the first grade book bags. As the afternoon wanes, I make my list and start filling the book bags like a proverbial santa, making little themes or collections, smiling about this title, and considering what these newly unleashed readers will think of their fresh collections. We have the luxury of putting those real books in the hands of our hybrid learners, and goodness, I am going to help make that happen as long as I possibly can. Who knew that getting books in the hands of elementary students could be such a challenge? Near the end of my sorting, considering and bagging, there it is… a little gift from the universe for me. A thank you for continuing keeping the books out there perhaps. Taped to the front of a book, I don’t even now which one, a little carefully constructed heart with the spelling carefully crafted was this message. Shayr hwith evere bute. So I share it now with you, the dessert for my book day. Book love from an early reader.
Home to read some more books. Make some more slide decks for read alouds. Find myself lost in a book.