At 2:55pm I sat in an empty library thinking no one was going to show for my Just Read introduction meeting at Partee Elementary. I did not blame anyone for not wanting to come to a meeting at the end of the day, and the end of the first week of preplanning. Monday is the first day of school, for heaven’s sake. Who has time to learn about something else to add to their ever-growing agenda?
At 3PM over 20 folks came streaming in. Twenty-five people eventually dropped by, and over half have already committed to giving their students time to free read every day. Others are going to work out when it will work best in their schedules, which is one of the best things about Just Read- flexibility. Teachers choose when it will work best for them. I gave them a very quick run down about what they are committing to do, and they seemed happy to have permission to let their students have some instruction free, assignment free, free choice reading every day. The agreed to no “buts” as in “but no graphic novels” or “but of course on their reading level” or “but they will have to choose chapter books.” No, no, and no “buts”. I think they understand that Just Read does not ask them to throw out instruction or assigned reading, but that during that very special time every day they will let students discover what they love to read. Some of the folks who came were not classroom teachers, but they are working out how they can find time to let their students free read. Many who were not able to come will be asking their peers about Just Read, and will choose to join the team.
In a few weeks we will meet again to celebrate the forming of the first Just Read Team at Partee ES. This blog will be a place for encouragement and celebration as we begin our adventure.
So, Partee friends, what questions do you have about starting a Just Read time? What ideas do you have for making your Just Read time special for your kiddos?