There’s no excitement like the excitement that comes when a book order arrives. And when it is a BIG box, the suspense is overwhelming. One by one, the kids pop up by my elbow, next to my desk, in front of me…”when are you going to open the box?”
This time the box contained a few copies of a much-anticipated series of books. As soon as I lifted them up from the bottom of the big box, the gasps of delight echoed around the room. It didn’t take a moment for the frenzy to begin…
“Can I read them first?”
“Can I have the green one?”
“I want THAT one! Please, please, please, PLEASE!!!”
I searched for a way to keep it fair. I would have loved to hand a copy of all three books to every child that wanted one. As it turned out, I didn’t have to figure out a solution at all. The kids worked it all out on their own.
“Let’s make a sign-up list and hang it up. Then when one kid is done reading it, cross off your name and hand it to the next kid.”
“Let the people who already read #1 sign up first for #2.”
“If you get a turn for #2 or #3 before #1 and you want to read them in order, give it to the next person, but don’t cross off your name. We can check with you again when they are done to see if you are ready yet.”
The list is posted, and everyone is content. It’s their system, so no one complained about where their name landed on the list. Several kids signed up to read #1 just because their friends were SO excited about the books. And each of the books has been exchanged at least once already.
I had to chase one reader out to recess because he couldn’t put his book down. Another student wanted to stay after school until he could read it the whole thing.
Happily, I think the tide is turning with my “Get them hooked and constantly engaged with books” goal…