February always seems to be a quick whirlwind of a month and this year was no exception. While January seems to move like a snail in the mud, February came and went as quick as I could flip the calendar.
This week was also a whirlwind of celebrations. Check out Ruth Ayres Writes to add your own celebrations.
Here’s what I’m celebrating this week:
1. Unit Wrap-Up
I have officially finished teaching my first unit, Romeo and Juliet. Through the unit, I got to know the sophomores and we did some pretty fun, hands-on activities to bring deeper meaning to the text. This week we finished group presentations when students formed acting companies and acted out a scene from the play:
Yesterday we had the opportunity to talk as a whole class about the unit. I asked students what they loved. The responses were encouraging. They loved acting out the scenes and creating the tomb described in Juliet’s soliloquy.
I know the students aren’t intimidated by Shakespeare anymore. Although not every student enjoyed Romeo and Juliet, they learned that love can be “too rash, too unadvised, too sudden.” I’m hoping they learned not to marry as teenagers.
2. Lighter Days
Spring is almost in our midst; the sun extends its appearance each day, longer and longer. It’s nice to drive home from work in the light, unlike the wintery days of 4:30 pm sunsets. Yay for sunshine in the afternoons!
3. Book Club
This week I finally organized meetings for both the junior and senior high book clubs I’ve started. I was unsure of what would happen. The school has never had book clubs before and, although there students expressed interested, I didn’t know if anyone would actually show up.
I had six junior highers at their meeting, which is a great turnout because there are only 22 students in junior high. We have three copies of The List currently circulating (and are being read by students who didn’t attend the meeting, so that’s three more students!). But because the books are circulating slowly, we picked another book to start reading during the meeting so more students can get reading.
Initially, they wanted to read Beekle, but when I went to buy the book on Amazon it was out of stock.
We had a back-up book: The Absolutely True Diary of the Part-Time Indian. I got three copies and handed them out.
With the high school book club, I had seven students attend the meeting and another one read the book but couldn’t make it. We all read Hidden and talked about it. The students had really interesting comments about the book. I felt like I was at college talking to a bunch of English majors. It was awesome.
The students decided that they want to try to meet every other week to talk about a new book. I questioned their time-table, but then they decided to stick to graphic novels because you can generally read a graphic novel considerably faster than text-heavy books. I had a stack of books on my desk and they looked through them, deciding on Yummy, a sad and poignant graphic novel.
Cheers to developing a love for literacy and a community of readers! I think we’re there.