Saturday, September 7, 2013
Kids Engaging Kids
After 3 weeks of school, I feel like my students are beginning to get the hang of some of the routines evolving in our room. They are remembering (with less reminding) to put their folders away and to make a lunch choice. They are beginning to understand workshop and anticipate their time to write and read. And, they are showing more engagement in choosing books that they know, that look interesting or that I have read aloud as they settle into what we call Books in the Morning. I don't know if I love the name of this routine but it is simple enough to remind kids to grab a book.
On Friday, as kids wrapped up their choices during this time, I noticed a little reader, Jack, had tried to read a book that I talked up the day before. It was Hello! Hello! by Matthew Cordell. (Love Cordell and his books Trouble Gum and my boys love the Justin Case series) Jack told me how much he loved electronics and how he just had to try this book. I asked if he would share what he thought about the book with everyone. But instead of just talking about the book, he walked over to the document camera, slid the book underneath and began reading the book aloud to everyone. I'm not sure if he didn't pick up on my directions or if he had his own plan in mind but what I saw was complete engagement with the class. Kids were joining in the text as he read. Eyes and ears were locked on Jack as he helped the character come alive, commented about his favorite page and stopped and reflected during the reading. It was a great way to start our day.
Jack talked about how he loves electronics and that's why he loved the book. Other students talked about how they felt like the story teaches them not to stay on electronics all day. It definitely has a powerful message for young kids today. Katie Wood Ray writes that kids just notice more than adults do, it's that simple. After watching Jack, I will say... kids can engage each other more than adults do, it's that simple.