Tuesday we visited the library to check out new books for the upcoming nine weeks. Ms. Hoomes and I worked together to develop a silent gallery walk for some of the most popular books in the media center. You all moved around to various stations and had a chance to explore some of the Florida Teen Read books. Many of you checked out books and seemed genuinely excited to find something new to read. Before you explored the books, she reminded you all of the same graphic I showed each of you and your parents at the beginning of the year. Twenty minutes of reading each night can truly help you in every single area of academics. Reading is to the mind what running is to the body. Everything works better when you train yourself to be disciplined in these areas of your life. If you don't leave my classroom remembering anything else, I hope you will always remember how much I urged you to read.
I believe so strongly in this practice I devote the first 20 minutes of every Monday class period to reading anything your choose. I hope you continue the practice of reading throughout the remainder of the week as well. I stress reading, not because it is part of my job description, although it is. I stress it because I know there is nothing more important that I can teach you. In all of my years of working with students who struggle to succeed on standardized testing, I have never seen a student struggle who was an avid reader. Without question, there is a direct link between reading and academic success. Please, please keep reading. It is a gift you give yourself.
Each Monday we also participate in Writer's Workshop. This past Monday you each wrote six word memoirs, which exceeded my expectations. I was very impressed with your creations. My favorite came from a student in fourth period who wrote about homecoming. His memoir. "I am socially awkward, please help."
Those six words helped confirm my place as a freshman teacher. My six word memoir would be this. "You've come to the right place. "
We are all awkward together,