Day 4 – Slice of Life Challenge – in front of kids again!

Being retired means I don’t get to be in front of children much these days. I am working part time but that only means I am in front of a class helping them log in to computers and begin testing.

Thursday was Read Across America and our building had scheduled a guest reader in every classroom at 8:00 a.m.  Since it was also Dr. Seuss’s birthday we were also reading a Dr. Seuss book. I was paired with a 2nd grade classroom. These kids know me a little bit due to testing so they were a bit confused as I came in to read.

imgresWe settled on to the carpet space and I shared whose birthday it was. I asked about their favorite Dr Seuss book. I choose to read Oh! The Places You’ll Go. Several kids started with “we have read that book” and added a bit of a sad face –  like “I don’t want to hear that book again.”

I used this comment to talk about how I have Dr. Seuss books back from when I was a child and also from my own kids who are all grown up. I talked about the fun of re reading old friends and it wasn’t long before they were settled in and totally engaged in the story.

I read, they shared endings to lines, we discussed the pictures and what Dr. Seuss was thinking when he talked about being in a lurch or in a slump. What did he mean when said your shoes full of feet so don’t go down any not-so-good street?  This simple book with simple language had so much meaning that was confusing to this group of 2nd graders who speak many languages beside English.

What a delight it was to explore this through their eyes, to give them suggestion about what they might be seeing in the pictures, what it meant to keep trying and to think about where they might be going in the future.  We were all very lofty in our conversation until the very end when I asked “and where might you go?”  In unison they called

“The ballet!”

Yes, indeed!  They were getting ready for a field trip and would be going to the ballet. They took us right back to the daily life of a 2nd grader. They would be getting on the bus and going in just a few minutes.

You got to love kids – we can go from the wild adventures of Dr. Seuss right back to the ordinary day in one big leap!

Oh, how I miss reading to kids!!!

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About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
This entry was posted in Reading, Reflection and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Day 4 – Slice of Life Challenge – in front of kids again!

  1. dandre3 says:

    I love your post and a look at your day reading in the classroom. I think that is what I will miss most when I retire. Thanks for providing me with a Saturday morning smile.

  2. onathought says:

    Reading to kids is one of my favorite things in the classroom too. When I was out of the classroom last year, working as an instructional coach, I ached for that read aloud time!

  3. Morgan says:

    I love the ending. The short two-word paragraph pulls me out of the moment, just like it did in the moment!

  4. My favorite part of this piece is when they looked at you with disappointment and the “We have already read that…” look, and by gentle discussion and sharing you turned that around. I love showing kids that the best books are worth reading many times, and you walked them through that appreciation.

  5. arjeha says:

    I love how you turned their disappointment into active engagement. It is nice to revisit old friends.

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