Now originally, I said that I would choose the books in the group, but there was a little twist. Instead, of having me choose the books, I let the kids vote. It is important to let students have a voice.
Group A was very energetic and excited.. They were very talkative and didn't need much prompting to chat. This group was full of avid readers. However, when they went to write down titles, their ideas were all different. I loved this because it showed that everyone in this group was original, not taking from others, but using their own opinions.
Group B was quiet, but experienced. You could tell that many of the people in group B were readers, but they kept their thoughts to themselves. This is exactly what I was looking for. I wanted this challenge, teaching kids HOW to have those great conversations. Honestly, this is the group I am the most excited to work with.
My final group, you guessed it, Group C. They changed my thinking on so many levels, which is weird because I thought I was the one that would change their thinking. One girl told me that she didn’t like reading. Now many people would think, “Wait, she doesn’t like reading?” But, I looked beyond what she told me to figure out exactly what she was really saying. This girl is trying to break the bad habit of not liking too read books by joining my group. This was amazing to me because it showed how she was trying to improve herself and break her bad habit. To help her, I am now prompting her to read more often in the group to improve her reading habits, to reread over the text that she doesn’t understand and to put in more sticky notes of key points to discuss.
After my experiences with these three groups, I have done some reflecting. Like my good friend Matthew Bender stated “ People come pretty, ugly, small and tall, but we’re people after all.” Everyone is different and that is what makes us special. You never judge someone by their differences. Just remember differences are what make YOU who, YOU are. What I also took away from this experience is that we all have varied opinions about reading. We approach situations in our own way. It is important to embrace our unique attributes as we come together.
P.S. I just want to mention one more thing. Let’s discuss something called REBRANDING…. To change the corporate image of (a company or organization). In this case, I am rebranding my blog alongside a girl named Natalie Carslake (Read her blog called Carslake’s Corner). We thought it would be great to share out our projects, but also further advance a Culture of Readers by connecting to other schools. To expand a Culture of Readers we will give them mini projects that will take no more than a week to finish. These details have not been set in concrete yet, but I will keep you posted.