As the students started coming up the stairs to their lockers today, I was greeting students and monitoring the lockers, when the following interactions happened...
"Mrs. Heise, I finished my book last night!"
"Mrs. Heise, I really like this book!" [which I booktalked to her yesterday at the bookshelves during an impromptu, individual reader's advisory]
Student: "Mrs. Heise, I finished Just One Year - that ending!"
Me: "I know, right?! Now do you see why I had to check back in Just One Day while you were reading it to see if what I thought happened really did?"
Student: "Yes! That scene on the beach..."
"Mrs. Heise, I started that book last night...and I already cried."
"Mrs. Heise, I need a new book."
"Mrs. Heise, I read for two hours last night! This book is really good."
"Mrs. Heise, where's the next book in this series? I know I'm going to need it this weekend."
"Mrs. Heise, I loved that book. Best. Book. Ever!" (to which I inquired why and got an explanation)
|The awesome poster my reading specialist has in our book room (that she got from the publisher of this picture book at ALA) pretty much sums up my mood today.|
And later in the day, these conversations happened:
Student 1: "I'm probably going to finish this book tonight."
Student 2: "I want to finish my book tonight."
In library working on computers, listening to librarian read aloud to K5 class, "Mrs. Heise, Click, Clack, Boo!" [with huge smile on her face because she remembers how much fun it was when I read aloud Click, Clack, Moo to them in language arts class last year]
Student (with a big smile): "Mrs. Heise, I finished!"
Me: "What did you think?"
Student: "That ending..." *pantomimes head exploding with sound effects* "He really grew on me. I'm not embarrased to say I cried a little bit."
This. This is the reason I love what I get to do everyday. The moments like these. Seeing readers growing before my eyes. Hearing the excitement build as they read books that they are interested in. You want to know how I know my students are reading when I don't make them all read one specific book? This is how. These interactions. These moments when they share their responses to what they're read. These reactions can't be faked. They can't be made up. They are how I know my students are reading.