The Big One...
Originally Posted: April 8, 2019
So, I turned 40 last week.
Wow. How did that happen?
In an attempt to avoid a full blown mid-life crisis, I turned my attention to my library. For who better to focus on than my kids?
This is how "Help Read Mrs. Huang Over the Hill" was born!
Shamelessly Promoting Reading...
I pulled 39 of my favourite picture books from the shelves and put them in clear bins outside the library doors. I constructed a modest-sized hill out of cardboard and a green plastic table cloth.
The following sign stood beside the hall:
Each book that was read was placed on the hill creating quite a large stack of books by the end of the week. It was a slow start at first, trying to convince the teachers to read the books among the million things they are expected to do in a day. Along with a few keen teachers, it ended up being the students who led the charge. They snuck in at recess, selected books, and brought them to their teachers to read.
The results were more than I could hope for:
A class created a STEAM/ADST project after reading Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds. They built protective fences out of ordinary classroom materials and made it into a video for me to watch.
An intermediate class was so emotionally moved by Nightsong by Ari Berk that they bought their own copy to have in the classroom.
I found a small group of visiting middle schoolers reading to each other on the bench outside the library so that they too could place a book on my hill. (I had taught them 3 years ago.)
And so much more...
On Friday morning, I read the final "40th book" aloud to the entire school in a mini assembly, Tadpole's Promise by Jeanne Willis. I purposefully selected a book from my private collection that was new to everyone including the staff.
With a caterpillar puppet on my hand and with Lady D (my library technician) ready to flip the pages under the document camera, I introduced the book as a sweet love story.
Now, I don't want to ruin the story for those of you who haven't read it.
However, it was spectacular when the entire audience of 300+ students and staff GASPED and went silent at the sideways turn of events. The silence was broken by the laughter of the Kindergarteners who found the humour too much to hold in.
It was magical.
I love my job!