40 in 40

On Friday, the opening writing activity (OWA) asked my students to think back on their first month (3 weeks really) of school and set some goals for the trimester and the year. It also asked them to write down some steps for achieving those goals.

On Saturday morning, a colleague and I presented at NJCTE. The theme of the fall conference was writing, and our topic was building a writing life and strengthening your teaching. The presentation explored five revisions teachers can make to improve writing instruction in their classrooms, one of which was actually writing—not the students but the teacher. We asked participants to interrogate their writer identity. As I presented my writer identity, one of my statements was I am a writer who gets cranky when they don’t write.

Today, I started the morning reading, which is typical for a weekend morning. As I was reading through a YA book I’m not particularly enjoying, I was reminded of a reading goal I set for myself and shared with my students and my writer identity.

And so, after too long of a hiatus, I am back. One of my goals was to continue the writing life I nurtured this summer into the school year. September was an utter failure. As I like to write in the mornings, if the morning came and went without me writing, then I had the “well, I blew it, so I can’t write today” thought. Knowing that stating goals publicly helps me achieve those goals, I am stating now, dear Reader, that I will write two posts in October. As today is September 30, today’s post doesn’t count.

And so, now I’m back to my reading goal that I shared with my students. After listening to a guest on What Should I Read Next and seeing all the new books that were ordered for my classroom library, I decided that I would challenge myself to 40 books in 40 days goal. I shared this with my eighth-grade students. Their faces were great. Those who knew me from 7th grade gave me a bored “really we know you can read more than that” look, and those who have just met me this year looked at me wide-eyed as if I were some mystical devourer of books. And now, they ask me about my goal.

As of today, I have completed 13 books and have 50 pages left in my 14th book. I am 14 days in. I consider that I win.

My students are my motivators. I know they’re going to ask. I don’t want to disappoint them. Then again, they don’t want to disappoint me. I suppose that means we’re on our way to being a community of passionate readers.


SISTERS_cover_shadow.jpg  Finding Perfect BookPICTURES OF HOLLIS WOODS



 TELL ME THREE THINGS by Julie Buxbaum




A Long Walk to Water Ghost+Cover.jpgif-you-come-softly-2016


Posted in Independent Reading/SSR/Reader's Workshop, Reading Life, Teacher Tips | Tagged as: ,

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