On Oct 9 I published a blog post about my 11 Grade 10 students having finished 10 books. We were so excited that I ordered everyone pizza. They could not believe that they had finished ten books in just over four weeks. I was excited and a little relieved that my crazy “read what you want” book experiment with “lower track” students appeared to be working. (Once again, Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher’s work has really inspired me on this road.)

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, today I bring you (drumroll…): FIFTY FIVE!

Just take a peek into our classroom:

And look at the readers:

And check out these reader behaviours:

  • Students are recommending books to each other. As of now, 3/4 of the class has read Jason Reynolds’ Long Way Down and one student just convinced another that she “has to” read Carlos Luis Zafon’s Shadow of the Wind.
  • Students are reading at home. One girl lost phone privileges over the weekend and finished a book!
  • Students have their next book ready to go. They are developing lists of books they want to read.

Finally, let me tell you what we are reading right now because the sheer variety of levels and topics reminds me of why choice is so important as a motivator for these readers.

Nancy Drew, Amulet, Long Way Down, In Cold Blood, Shadow of the Wind, Tupac’s poetry, The Hate U Give, The Crossover, Skellig, a hockey memoir (forgot the title), The Lovely Bones

They’ve also read Trump’s Art of the Deal, Hatchet, Crabbe, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, 39 Clues, Rupi Kaur’s poetry, another one by Kwame Alexander, One of Us is Lying… and so many more.

So, four-ish more weeks of class, two weeks of Winter Break… We’ll keep reading – and I’m pretty sure that, in the end, we’ll have some readers.


16 thoughts on “55!

    1. I’m pretty excited for them, too – and interestingly, so are their families. I’ve had several conversations with incredulous parents saying, “I can’t believe my child is reading.” Choice. Time. Support. (I really can’t believe it’s working, but it is.)


  1. This is so wonderful! Do you see the culture of your classroom changing? Is their writing affected by their reading volume and choices? So much to celebrate. Congrats!


  2. Cake! What a reward. But we all know the real trophy is the gift of reading. Your excitement and belief in your students leaps off the page. Tell them that your writing community is rooting for them. They must be so proud.


  3. Woot! What a wonderful celebration for a tremendous accomplishment! Your enthusiasm jumps off the pages and I imagine your students are feeling quite proud. The gift of reading is priceless! Congratulations to all of you!


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