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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March Madness: Read A Book Day

Read A Book day, it turns out, was one of my favorite days, like...ever. The kids were encouraged to bring in all their comfy things from home: pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, bean bag chairs, whatever. I brought my blowup Aerobed and a pillow and blanket, as well as two books I'm reading, one a no-dig method of organic gardening, and No Child Left in the Woods, which I can only handle in small doses because I find it infinitely depressing, yet an important read. The kids all brought their books in as well and the first hour of school was simply: Find a comfy spot and read. Well. That comfy spot happened to be on the Aerobed! I was like: Hey! What's up with this?! Get your own bed. But they piled on like a pack of puppies. It got so crowded I gave up and sat in a chair! Kicked off my own bed!
I thought it was going to be like pulling teeth, all this sitting around and reading, so I brought lots of snacks, too. They didn't need bribery, though. They were psyched! They kept exclaiming about something that was happening in their book, which I absolutely love to hear about. They do this every morning as they come into school, telling me about their homework book they are currently reading. I'm the kid who was reading under the covers by flashlight, so it doesn't take much for me to get excited about books.
After recess I read aloud from Jack Gantos, my favorite new children's lit. author. He won the Newberry Medal for Dead End in Norvelt so I started reading that to them. I got laughing so loud I was snorting and tears were streaming down my face. Priceless. Seth, oops, I mean Rotten Ralph (we all chose our favorite characters to be for the day) kept exclaiming, "That is so disgusting!" A surefire sign I picked a winner.

After lunch, I was afraid they were all read out, but they ran in and jumped on the bed or in their chairs, grabbed their books and started reading without any prompting. We read for another 45 minutes and I snuck out to set up a rhyming game outside. We took a break, ate some snack, and went out to play the game and then did another reading game about nouns and verbs before I read to them some more and we ended with a short silent read. The time flew by and Rotten Ralph said it was the best day of his life. Professor McGonagle thought it was pretty swell herself.

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