Today was day two of “Mr. Valencic can’t speak above a whisper” in my class. For the most part, the day went incredibly well. The students focused on their work, listened intently as I gave instruction, and worked hard on the difficult math concepts we began exploring today. There was a bit of chaos in the afternoon during an assembly we had, but they quickly got back together for the end of the day.
One of the highlights of the day, though, came from the very first thing we did after our journal writing this morning. The PTA has been able to resume the Wily Coyote Book Exchange. The students were very excited to learn that they would once again have the opportunity to acquire gently used books that they can choose to keep or exchange for another book the following week. Because this was the first week, each student was allowed to select two books.
We are incredibly fortunate that the PTA has been able to acquire a large enough selection of books for the students to build up their own personal libraries at home. In future weeks, the boys and girls will be allowed to bring their own books from home to exchange or they can purchase a book for just twenty-five cents. As my students made their selections, I looked at the choices available, and was very impressed at the quality of literature available. Among many others, I saw several Newbery medal and honor books, new series titles, graphic novels, reference books and other works of nonfiction, and a wide array of chapter books covering nearly every genre.
One of my students last year made it a habit of selecting a book from the exchange and then donating it to my class library each week. I have a hunch I’ll have at least one this year who will do the same. However, I will continue to encourage my students to read the books on their own before donating. After all, the entire purpose of the Book Exchange is to promote literacy outside the home!