Thursday, October 14, 2010

Franklin vs. Hulk Hogan

     Today I had one of those fantastic moments when the planets align perfectly and rays of sunlight filter right into a child's brain! This epiphany occured during a second grade class checkout time and I had oodles of students pawing through the "wrastling" biographies.  Several students really wanted to check them out but I  went through the five finger rule and they discovered they really could not read these biographies. 

     One of the young students then went to the paperback area and came back with a Superhero comic book.  He went to check it out and my amazing volunteer asked him about being able to read this comic.  He said something to her and she brought him to me out in the stacks so he could repeat what he had said.  This is what he said:  "Well, I can't really read because nobody's ever taught me.  I wanna read but I just can't! [in a almost 'near-tears' voice]  We both smiled at him and I said "Well then you have come to the right place!" and promptly showed him the easy reader section of our library.  It took about two tries before I found one that he liked but when we did he read the first page so proudly!  He was so happily excited to see they were books with chapters and he could read the whole page.  He left with his class, smiling, and hugging his book.

     Now I know there are two schools of thought on this and many are scratching their heads going, but why do they have to be able to read a book to check it out?  By second grade they should be able to practice their reading skills, we think.   I know it can be wonderful to just have a book to look through but that doesn't work through the week and it doesn't give them a true feeling of success that comes from actually reading the book-even if it is a Franklin book instead of a Hulk Hogan biography.  The proof is in the smile.  What do you think? 
      I'm glad Franklin took Hulk Hogan down and for me, the bigger question is Why do I have to even have "wrastling" books in the library?  And that is a whole nother post because when I first came to this school they were a mainstay of every check out but not so much anymore-except suddenly for this one class! 


NatalieSap said...

I definitely have a wrestling crowd at my school, so I hesitantly bought two biographies from the DK readers series (here's John Cena), and they're actually pretty popular - even with older readers.

But mostly I just wanted to say - yes, I totally agree about finding books students can read on their own. I wasn't sold on it at first because I wanted kids to be able to check out anything they wanted, but my wonderful teachers have pushed for independent reading, and I love seeing those smiles on kids' faces too.

Heather said...

It's so wonderful when a younger reader can met with success. I remember the excitment of figuring out a word when an adult refused to tell me but offered to help me sound it out. That was a pivotal moment that I can remember over 40 years later. And ps, the word was 'earth'.