To me, nothing is greater than getting kids excited about books.
I have one student in my class who has never read a chapter book. I've done all kinds of songs and dances so far this year trying to find a book for him to read. They're all too long, too boring, not enough pictures, and simply not interesting enough. I found one this week that was about bunnies - an Animal Ark adventure. I showed it to him and he agreed to have a look. He came to me and said, "Mrs. Ackroyd, I really prefer books that have a picture on every page. There aren't enough pictures in here." I encouraged him to give it a go. The sales pitch didn't go well. Finally, I resorted to bribery.
"If you read this book I'll give you a no homework ticket."
I knew that is his weak spot. (hee hee)
He took on the challenge. Yesterday he came to me and told me he was finished! It took him four days. The book was 133 pages. He said, "I feel so proud of myself! I've never read a book this big before!"
I could have just hugged the poor boy to death. The principal walked by about then and so I grabbed her and said, "You've got to see what he's done!" She gave him a suitable amount of praise and love. She said, "I'm dying to hear what you read next!" I said, "Oh ya! If you read this book, do you think you might be able to read another?" He said maybe he'd give it a go.
I have some kids in my class who spend all of quiet reading time perusing the books in the library corner. Drives me bonkers! I finally decided enough was enough. I got the book on CD of The Invention of Hugo Cabret and got some head phones and one of those doo-hickies that allows multiple kids to listen at the same time. I picked three kids - two of which just don't stick with books (one I put in there just because with that one there won't be any silly behavior issues....maybe a calming influence??) They seem to really be enjoying the book. Today was one of my favorite moments.
Everyone in the room is finally quiet and into their books. Suddenly, there's a stirring at the listening center. Something exciting has happened in the book. One of the boys suddenly says (you know how when you have ear phones on and you don't realize you're talking loud?), "Oh. My. God!"
Everyone in the class stopped and had to know what was going on.
I love love love that he was so into the story that he had to vocalize his shock.