Book by Book…

Yesterday we talked about the journeys that readers take.   Today we talked about how readers can make little goals along the way to help the goals in their journey seem more attainable.

We talked with our elbow-partners about goals that they’ve made, and when we shared out from our conversations, we realized that we had made goals that fit into 3 basic categories: goals for at school during RW (like reading 30 pages before the end), goals for at home at night (like reading 2 hrs before bedtime or “scheduling” it for after dinner or before bed), and goals that span the whole week (like finishing a certain number of books each week).  It was a great conversation that helped us all better envision how to have (and keep) a growth mindset.

Then I was ready to give them a goal of my own.  It is a year-long goal, and is definitely a pretty big one: to read at least 40 books, in a variety of different genres.

Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 8.47.27 PM(Remember how I read The Book Whisperer this summer?  This challenge and genre requirements came from there. 🙂 )

I put this slide up on the ActivBoard and waited for the reactions.  To my surprise (is it ok to say that?), no one freaked out.  No one cried, and no one seemed discouraged!  I was really expecting at least one person to say that this was an impossible challenge, deciding already that they were doomed to fail.  But beautifully, what happened instead were a variety of responses somewhere along a continuum of “only 40? I thought it would be more like 150!” to “on 40?  I know I’ll read more than that this year!”.   I loved it, too, when one sweet friend looked at me, slowing nodding and smiling, seemingly saying “I can do that, Mrs. Bearden! I don’t know how yet, but I know you’re going to help me.” 🙂  And YES, my friend, I will help you!

But then my favorite part happened.  My friend Brittany (remember her from that big pile of books yesterday?), who had been talking to Grace, looked at me and said, “Mrs. Bearden, you’re going to do this, too, right?  You’re going to read 40 books with us?”  I was a little surprised, because I was surprised that she asked.  But I was SO GLAD that she did.  It would have been one thing for me to say that I was going to join them–which I was planning on doing anyway–but it’s a completely different thing when it’s their idea.  Now it’s OUR challenge instead of just mine.  And we’re going to accomplish it together, book by book. 🙂

9 thoughts on “Book by Book…

  1. I think 40 is to many for some people because some people always read very long books like 700+ pages so I think you should check how long our books are then decide a number of books based on that number of pages so everybody has there own goal. So what i’m saying is that the size of the book
    should be a factor.

    • You know, I completely understand your concern. The idea of the requirements, though, is to be able to experience many different kinds of books–especially some you may not have considered before. It will be up to each reader to determine how many pages they can manage and still get to the 40 book requirement. We will all get there!

  2. Wow Mrs. B. That is amazing. Are some of those 40 going to be read alouds? Because I don’t want you guys to beat are class this year!:) I can’t believe you are to read 40 books this year. I don’t think I even did that!! That’s amazing I hope you guys have tons of fun!!!

    • Those 40 are all on their own! I’m going to read the same 40 books on my own, too, in addition to our read aloud. That’s a lot of books, huh? I wish I would have given you that challenge–you would have gotten to 50 or more! How are you liking middle school?

      • I love middle school. It’s verry diffrent from Elemantary school. But in a good way. I already have pretty much my whole schedule memorised. I don’t know if I would have been able to read 50!! I read a lot of thick books but I bet if you would have given me a number of pages to read I could have met a goal! 🙂

        • I’m so glad you’re liking it! It doesn’t surprise me, though–you will do well with WHATEVER you are doing, girlie! And as for a reading goal, I’m pretty sure that whatever goal I gave you, you would have knocked it out of the park! And by the way, I LOVE that you still come back here and visit me! Do any of your new teachers blog? Will you get to do any blogging? If not, you should think of starting your own. I’d follow it!

          • No none of my teachers have blogs. So I don’t think I will be blogging this year. If I did start a blog I’m not sure what I would write about. Hehe. Maybe in a few years I will. 🙂

  3. Pingback: 40 Book Challenge Revisited | 20somethingkidsand1kookyteacher

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