Today was the last day of classes, which is always bittersweet for me. I love celebrating all of my students’ accomplishments, especially their reading accomplishments. Below are the class pictures with each student’s page totals for the year. (NOTE: When I say “year,” it’s really more like 35 weeks.)
As you can see, my students have a lot to be proud of. I’m still in shock that a group of 89 students read over 400,000 pages! Of course there were weeks when many of them struggled, but there were so many more weeks when they beamed with pride because of their achievements. In each picture above, you can see a poster in the top left corner that says, “Our Goal: 384,904.” That is the total number of pages that the Class of 2017 read as 9th graders, which is still VERY impressive! When the Class of 2018 entered my room last September, they accepted this challenge, but honestly by October they forgot all about it. They didn’t need it. The book talks, conferences, Goodreads reviews, and book rotations helped motivate them. However, after reading their end-of-the-year reading ladders, I knew exactly what helped them surpass this goal: they truly learned the importance of reading in their lives, and that was what made me more proud than anything else.
Below is an excerpt from a reading ladder that made me smile, cry, and everything else in between. This student told me in September told me that he “hated reading” because it was too hard and it took him too long to get through one page. He stated that I would never be able to get him to read even one book. Well, he didn’t read one book. He read three. Below are his reading goals for this summer, and beyond: