If you want to teach me to write, first you have to love me. ~AVI

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Slice of Morning

Journeying Writing my way through March. Not exactly meeting the goal of the challenge, but not giving up! Head over to Two Writing Teachers for more on the March Slice of Life Story Challenge.

I love the quote the ladies have posted today and since I am writing about delving into books, I took the liberty to copy and paste it here. LOVE Sharon Creech's writing. Especially love her character Jack (Love That Dog & Hate That Cat) who is often a part of our literature discussions.

“I love the way that each book — any book — is its own journey. You open it, and off you go. You are changed in some way, large or small, by having traveled with those characters.” 

― Sharon  Creech

Book Browse is a regular arrival routine in our room. Kids love it. I love it. I love it in the classroom. I love it when I am waiting at an appointment. I love it at the beach. I love it at a book store or at the library. I simply love to book browse. 

What is book browse? Let me tell you what it looks like in our classroom. Students clustered around the room, most in pairs or threesomes, or a few individuals that prefer to fly solo. Elbow to elbow, knee to knee, huddled over books and magazines. Reading snippets: photos, captions, bold words, side bars, and other standout features. 
What do you need? text: non-fiction, magazines, poetry, or picture books are all perfect choices. It's not the time to settle in with your novel.

When: Any short period of time will do. Arrival time in an elementary classroom, waiting anywhere, when you finish a task and it's not quite time for whatever is coming next, and so on. 

Where: in the classroom, the lunchroom, the car, the bus, the doctors, the dentist, the beach, most any place will do, especially if you have to wait! 

Why: we love to peruse different types of text with interesting facts and pictures. We love to read and learn new information with our friends.  

Arrival time in an elementary classroom is not conducive to the focus that many tasks require. In my opinion, bell work was a fiasco, a management issue, etc. There's the unpacking, the pencil sharpening, the hand washing,  the taking of lunch orders, the pledging of allegiance, the announcing of news, and so on.  It's a social time, yet also precious classroom time. Why not seize the moment? Encourage interaction. Find a partner.  Select text.  Choose a place to read and stay in that place. Beyond these few steps, the only rule is you must be engaged and enjoying written language. 



  1. Bell work ... been there... done that. I realized like you said, it was a management technique, but there was no community building, nothing social. And so now, like you, my classroom has become a library. Without prompting the kids come in, browse through books, I love walking in and catching snippets of what they read last night, as they are sharing it with one another. This is what creating readers is all about.

  2. I love the idea of starting the day with a book browse! Much more positive than fighting with kids to get that dang bell work done!