School has resumed, for me, on the 23rd of August, with three busy ped days, then the first day of school with the kids. Confession: I seriously loved that the first day with the class was on a Friday! We only had to meet our class, get to know them a little, explain the class rules, etc.
The problem, there, is that I had a review to write for Jason Kasper’s latest and, with the heat wave and the return to work (and to living on the opposite of my body clock – I’m a night owl), come Friday night, I was completely drained, and the same was true for last week, which was the first full week of school. I wanted to write my review during the long weekend, but I confess that I crashed on Friday evening, slept most of Saturday, and spent the last two days doing house chores and some work for a committee I’m part of at school.
In other words: my review was posted on Goodreads and Amazon on release day, but I am late for the blog one, and I sincerely apologise to Jason and to you, readers.
The story behind my hectic new routine is that until early June, I was considered “substitute with contracts”. This has changed when I applied for a post leading to permanency, post that has been confirmed in June. Consequently, for me, this is something completely new, despite my working at the school board (now called service centre) for the last 10 years. I am now only starting to reach the surface of my overwhelming new routine.
Thank you for giving me the time to adapt to it. I appreciate it.
A special project
How’s my class? Well, I started with the advantage of having subbed in both classes with third graders last year (one week and three weeks, respectively, except for my Wednesdays), so I arrived knowing them all except for one, who made a return to the school after having been at another one for the last two years. And I already loved them all, so I am quite happy.
Plus, having my own post and my own class has the advantage that I can make projects, and my biggest one is a Reading Challenge. Mind you, my class is a class of fourth-graders, so there is no way I would make something complicated, and my goal is the simplest, yet the most complicated one of all: working towards teaching the kids to love reading.
That’s what my Reading Challenge is about: every other week at most (some will only need one week until they pick their next read), each kid has to read a book of their choosing, adapted to their reading level (some are more advanced readers than others), then rate their read and explain why they gave the book that rating. Once a week, we will talk about our reads (myself included).
That’s a 3-in-1 for this teacher: reading, writing, oral.
Why choosing their own reads? Simple: because when you’re forced to read something, especially when you’re that young, many get to loathe reading and books and that’s something that I do not want to see happening to my class. I want them to enjoy reading the same way I do, or something close to it, and the pleasure of losing themselves in a story written by someone else, develop their imagination, improve their vocabulary, and so on.
All this with a prize sorted at the end of each month (possibly their favourite incentive, obviously).
So that is what I am also very busy implementing, on top of my regular planning and cursus of French (mother language), math, science, history/geography, and so forth.
However, I promise that I will be back to my regular schedule of reviewing books soon, probably as early as this week, if time and energy permit. (In other words: if I stop ending up collapsing asleep at 9 PM every night only to get up at 4 the next morning.
Again, I thank you for your understanding and for your patience in waiting for more of my spoiler free reviews and personal artworks. ❤
Yes Caro please teach your students to love reading!! Prizes are a great idea too 🙂 They are fortunate to have a teacher like you!
My 1st grader is learning to read this year and I’m so giddy when she points at signs now and says, “Mom! L – A, la!”
And I didn’t know you are an artist also? Looking forward to seeing your works 🙂
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I’m writing a follow-up on the reading challenge, today, because they really have gotten into it big time!
Well, artist is relative. What I do is some photo montages to represent the book that I’m reviewing. Some might be a little trickier (like the one I did for A Discovery of Witches), but I don’t draw. 🙂
Yay to your daughter!!! As a teacher, it’s always so rewarding when teaching reading to a first-grader and seeing them entering the readers’ world! ❤
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