March 11, 2013

Page Turners Blows Me Away

Back in January one of my students suggested we allow students to stay after school just to sit and read. I thought, "Why not!?" And so, Page Turners was born. You can read more specifics about how this club came to be and our guiding ideas at Let's Read For Fun. Photos and thoughts on our incredible first meeting can be found at Reading + Snacking = Fun.

Today was a special day in Page Turners so I feel the need to write about it. When I saw the incredibly high turnout at our first Page Turners meeting (30 students in a school with only 150) I thought the enthusiasm would die down pretty quickly. I just hoped we could convince 10 kids to stick around and read with us. I didn't know if this model would even work -
* Show up
* Eat a snack
* Read whatever you want for 40+ minutes
* Talk about what your reading

Today was our 8th meeting of Page Turners. We have maintained a core group of about 27 students. That number continues to amaze me. Today we hit an all-time record - 31 students! We even had 3 first time visitors - 5th grade girls who had been encouraged by a friend. This means they must be talking together about reading in a positive way. You can't buy that on just any street corner!
Our record-setting group
Apparently everyone agrees that Page Turners is Soooooo Fun even though we really just sit and read.

I have to admit... I'm a little ashamed of my doubts. Of course it's fun to just sit and read! I mean, it's fun for me! Why shouldn't it be fun for the students too? We've provided no activities, no gimmicks, and no rewards - yet time after time these 30ish students keep coming. They tell me that they look forward to Mondays now and they can't wait to share their books with other members.

Consider me blown away.

~ Amanda

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