If you are just now tuning in to my Classroom Library Project, you need to catch up! Go here first for the week one update, then here for week two.
As I have done for the past two weeks, I stayed about an hour late after school Friday afternoon to read and respond to every student's letter in their Reading Notebook. What was different this week is now they are asking for certain books, authors, and series to be added to the library!
When I started buying books last spring and filling out the Amazon Wish List, I think I was pretty heavy on fantasy and gothic sort of YA novels. I did NOT anticipate the huge love of manga and graphic novels. I have now added lots of these to the wish list, as requested.
I also am learning about my students and their individual interests. I have one young man who wants to draw comics and he is obsessed with Stan Lee and Marvel comics. He has asked for a couple of titles to be added to the Wish List that he would love to read, and so I have added How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way for him as well as Stan Lee the Man Behind Marvel.
I have another young man who is burning his way through the My Hero Academia series and is reading them as fast as I can order them; he is currently waiting on volume 5 which I have on the way. I have added other volumes to the Wish List.
I can't keep The Hate U Give on the shelf; both my two copies and the copy in the school library have waiting lists and so I went out today and picked up another copy. Everyone wants to read it before the movie comes out next month. As many book donations as I've received, trust me when I tell you I've spent a fortune out of my own pocket at both Amazon and thrift stores. A.Bloody.Fortune.
There is another young lady who is currently reading Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Beals about the integration of Little Rock Central high school. She's dying for more books like that one and so I've added some titles that she would read.
The bottom line is that they are reading and asking for more. It doesn't get any better than that.
In their notebooks this week, when I wrote back, I started prompting various students about titles they might consider for their next book because I know they are getting close to the end of their current book. Additionally, I've started displaying books on the chalk rail with catchy blurbs to spark interest. These books tend to get picked up faster than ones on the shelf, so I'm going to probably add to that and increase display area.
It's not all sunshine and roses. I have two boys who will not open a book. Both pull out the same book every day, set in on their desks, and leave it closed, staring sullenly into space. I'm not sure what to do with these two. They're not ugly about it at all, but they don't want to make an attempt. Both are smart boys. I've talked to both and both insist they are reading but I never see the books open and neither book ever leaves the room. I don't want their reluctance to spread to others so I need to find something that will catch both of them and spark interest. I'm working on that. It is my personal challenge! Bring it on!
The best part of this whole thing is that I know the large majority of my students are reading and enjoying their books. They talk to me about them and they tell me about their books. I hear the gasps of surprise in those fifteen silent minutes every day and I see them pull their books out when they finish their work to read for just five minutes more.
I have two Donors Choose Projects up - one for fiction titles and one for non-fiction. I'm hoping some philanthropist will come fund them. I have the Amazon Wish List which works better than anything else. And I have a couple of grant proposals out there. I'm going to keep this going and keep adding books, one way or another!