Another school year is in the books! This was a special year. I’ve now been teaching advanced reading for 3 years, so there were 5 kids who were in my class for all 3 years of this elective. I’ll never forget all of my students, but these 5 will always be special because of that.
End of Year Survey
At the end of each year, I give my students a survey to help me grown and learn as a teacher but also for them to reflect on the year. Here are some answers from the survey:
I need to reflect on this one because most of the kids who chose the same or less are 8th graders. I saw a huge drop for my readers between 7th and 8th grade. Why?
Does my classroom library benefit students? How did it benefit you this year?
- I think that your classroom library does benefit students. It benefited me because there’s a lot of books. So many different types books makes it easier for me to find something that interests me. It also benefited me because having books in your classroom makes it easier to find books when I can’t buy some or can’t go to the school or public library.
- I think that it does because students are able to have a wide selection of books.
- Yes! Your classroom library benefited me this year by allowing me access to multiple books. It exposed me to multiple genres, authors, and adventures.
- I definitely believe that it benefits students because since you’re usually here and we can kind of get some help on what to get by telling you our interests and things that we like to read about. Then you can help us find a book and it makes students feel like they have somewhere to go when they’re wondering what book to read.
- Yes, by having a reading class that has an actual private library is very good for getting students to read because of this easy environment to get to books. By having this library situated right in the classroom allowed me to instantly check out another book anytime I’m done with one, allowing me to read more and more instead of having to plan about when to go to the library and having that planning becoming potentially postponed resulting in less reading.
What would you say to someone that says that a classroom library is a waste of money?
- I would say it is not. It’s not because the teacher is helping students and providing them with books to help them in their classes.
- It is really not. Being a in classroom full of books pushes the students to read more. Also, since the library is inside the classroom all the books are titles students are interested in.
- It’s not a waste of money it is a preserve of knowledge.
- I think that a classroom library as cool to have because kids have interesting books right at their fingertips since it’s in their classroom.
- I would say they have to learn to appreciate the love of reading kids have because without a library in a classroom kids will have a harder time being encouraged to read.
- I would, politely, tell them that they’re wrong. Classroom libraries help people get books easily. Students can find things that interest them in classroom libraries. Besides, you learn things while reading books.
- I would have said that it doesn’t matter, the more books the more learning. The learning can improve students in their language.
Do you like how the classroom library was organized? Explain.
- Yes because it was very quick and easy to find a book by just looking up the last name of the author.
- I liked how the classroom was organized because it made things easier to find. For example, if an author wrote two series that are completely different genres it would be much harder to find because they wouldn’t be in the same place. But since you organized it in alphabetical order you could see all the different series written by the same author.
- Yes because I can find books by my favorite author or genre.
- Yes, it’s because not only is there a system given to us to find books of our interest, we could also stroll around the class searching for books that are there in a shelf organized by genre and finding books that we mostly likely wouldn’t find as fast in the systems.
What do you think the benefit of taking advanced reading is?
- It helps me read more and it makes me be a completely different (in a good way) person.
- You can find authors that you can follow for the rest of your life.
- I think the greatest benefit of taking advanced reading it that we are really pushed to read more, and that improves our progress in language arts and all other subjects.
- You’re vocabulary definitely expands because once you read enough books, you start to see a bunch of new words and you’ll get to learn what they mean as you read.
- It helps with close reading and deeper thinking.
- The benefit of advanced reading is that you get to read more for pleasure.
- You learn more and it helps you become a better reader and writer and helps you a lot, I believe, in the real world.
What have you learned about yourself through the assignments in this class?
- That I can do more than what I am capable of doing. I’ve learned a lot about myself for the past 3 years in this class.
- I have learned that I need to stay more focused, and that I should pay attention to the news more often about other countries.
- I learned that I actually enjoy non-fiction books even though I don’t read them often. When we did the non-fiction unit I enjoyed learning about animals and the Titanic.
- I learned that nobody is perfect and that we should always strive to be a better person instead of flawless.
- I have learned that I still have a lot of books I can’t wait to read.
- I’ve learned about myself that I am a bookworm. I didn’t think I would be, but I am.
- I’ve learned that I can be a very determined and hardworking person.
- Some things that I have learned about myself through the assignments is that I could do many things that I really didn’t enjoy in other years and now I do them nearly everyday now. Also I learned about things that I didn’t think I was good at and now that I know how to use them they are easy to use.
What was your favorite assignment or activity we did in class? Why?
- The Rescued book was my favorite because of what Raja had went through, how it has to do with real events, and the Center for Great Apes.
- Book trailers because I was able to tell people about a book that i really like and recommended it to many people.
- I’d say book clubs because we get a chance to step into an unfamiliar genre that we aren’t used to reading but we get to read it along with our classmates allowing us to discuss details about the book, identifying the facts of it whether the book is more interesting than we think.
- I think the nonfiction unit we did was very fun because it showed me that there are interesting nonfiction books and that not all of them are just boring facts.
- My favorite assignment we did in class were word parts because it helped me a lot when I’m reading other books with a hard vocabulary.
Favorite Books My Students Read This Year
My students read A LOT this year! 1,514 books read by 41 students in my Advanced Reading class. That is an average of 37 books per student! I am so proud of them!
Here are the titles they listed as their favorites on our end of year survey
(click on either image to enlarge):
If you don’t have any of these, you definitely should get them:
Top Checked Out Books from my Classroom Library
From 2011-2013, I taught an intensive reading class with students who had not been successful on the state reading test; however, since 2014, I switched to teaching advanced reading, an elective that students choose to be in (and I still get to work with my striving readers through being reading coach–a win/win!). Students from all intervention reading classes as well as my class use my classroom library.
1. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
2. See How They Run by Ally Carter
T3. Ghost by Jason Reynolds
T3. Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
T3. Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter
T6. All Fall Down by Ally Carter
T6. The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart
T8. Drama by Raina Telgemeier
T8. The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi
T10. Double Down by Jeff Kinney
T10. Smile by Raina Telgemeier
T10. Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm
T13. House Arrest by K.A. Holt
T13. How to (Almost) Ruin Your Summer by Taryn Sounders
T13. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
T13. Prince of Elves by Kazu Kibuishi
T13. Scythe by Neal Shusterman
T13. Swing It, Sunny by Jennifer L. Holm
T13. The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
T13. The Girl in the Well is Me by Karen Rivers
T13. The Stonekeeper’s Curse by Kazu Kibuishi
Happy summer to all of my fellow teachers, and here’s to another awesome school year in the books!