Monday, March 12, 2012

"May the odds be ever in your favor"

Midway through 3rd quarter, I decided to read “The Hunger Games” (by Suzanne Collins) with all of my classes. While I know that most of my students despise reading, I was convinced that this book was going to win them over. Several of you wonderful blog readers sent me copies of the book and I now have a total of 21 books, which has been perfect! I did not want my students to have to read the HG on photocopies (and now, there’s no way that could have happened – all the printers at school have either run out or are almost out of ink…). Having the books has been so helpful. Each student has a number and that book is their baby, their responsibility. On our first day that we read, one of the books went missing. I pounced all over campus trying to find the student. I found him at his turf. Turns out, he thought he got to hold on to the book (clearly he hadn’t been paying attention when I told the class five million times that they were never to take them out of class!)

So far, the book has been going great! We aren’t very far yet, mainly because the past few weeks have been crazy at school with History Day, Science Fair, JROTC inspection, swing choir practices, and midterms. Following Spring Break, we’re going to be reading like crazy people – nonstop. Well, we have to stop and recap every so often, but we’re finally getting to the intense parts!

If you haven’t read the book yet, go to your nearest library or bookstore and get it. People are so quick to say, “I won’t like it,” or “I hate reading.” PFF PLEASE. Start reading this book and you won’t want to put it down. If you hate it, I’ll send you a dollar. Promise.

If you haven’t heard, the HG has been made into a movie which comes out on March 23rd! That is so soon. Students come running into my room yelling, “I SAW THE PREVIEW LAST NIGHT! This and this happened and I remember when we read that!” Hooray! I really hope that the movie comes here. I have a feeling that it will, but I don’t know what we’re going to do if it doesn’t! Well, actually I do. Samoans are very good at pirating. Not a good thing, but hey, you’d probably do it too if you were on an island in the middle of nowhere. They somehow download and get movies that were in the theaters last week. Amazingly (and not so amazingly), some of my students have already seen the HG movie. Fo realz? They are not allowed to tell anyone what happens. The bummer part about the movie coming here is that there’s no way we can finish the book before then. Darn it! Oh well! We’ll still finish it anyway.

And now for some fun, cute, awww stories that put a big smile on my face:

“When you read it, I understand.” This quote is coming from a boy who has skipped my class 42 times since the beginning of the year. He was the kind of student who never really cared. He did his homework occasionally. Most of the time, he wouldn’t pay attention. Since we started reading the HG, he has only missed 2 classes. 2! Now, he is one of the very few in his class to raise his hand to answer questions I ask. He pays attention when I read. He moves to other tables so people don’t distract him while we read. I am so, so, so proud of him. 

My classroom is right next to the bathrooms. There is a heavy traffic load of students walking past my classroom at all times. They yell through my windows. They bang on my door. They walk into my room when the door is open and even when its not. They blast their speakers. Sigh. My students always respond to the yelling by talking back. They will yell at people out the windows. They get up and leave my classroom to go talk to their friends. They unlock the door so their friends can come in. Sigh. Since starting the HG, no outside noise is allowed. When people walk by and make noise, almost everyone in my classes is either “SHH”-ing, or “AUA LE PISA!”-ing (stop the noise). It’s incredible and it makes me smile every single time. They get so irritated by outside noise. I love it.

For the most part, they get bummed if we aren’t reading. “C’mon Miss!” Some students come in during our break or lunch to keep reading. I have a girl that read the entire book in 2 days and she re-read it three more times (if that isn’t enough motivation to go get the book, I don’t know what is!). My mom sent me books two and three (that’s right, there’s three!) and I had students drooling at my feet to borrow them. Yes, yes, yes! Read them! Seeing my students enjoy reading is incredibly heart warming.

I have some seki a bulletin boards but they are still a work in progress. As soon as I have more stuff up, I will show you some pictures. I recently added some pictures of the HG movie cast and everyone went insane. The boys are calling Katniss their girlfriend and the girls have a hard time deciding whether they want to date Gale or Peeta (um, Gale, duh!).

For their midterm, I had them write everything they know and remember from the book so far. Some students were really into it and wrote 4 pages. Others wrote a page (probably because some hate writing just as much as reading, haha.) Should I be overwhelmed that I have 100+ essays sitting in front of me? Naahhh I’m excited. Teacher, much?

So, your homework (if you haven’t already guessed it) is to 1) go borrow/buy the book! 2) make some coffee and 3) start reading and don’t stop!

Period 5 loves HG! 

Period 6 loves HG!

 Period 2 loves HG!



Mom said...

Yay for Read Alouds at any age!!!

Do you have time to read "Hatchet" to them???

Kristine said...

This is awesome! What about Divergent? It just came out in paperback and the second book in the series is coming out soon too. I've been told "if you liked Hunger Games, you'll like Divergent." And, that was a friend, not Amazon telling me that. :-)

Anonymous said...

I forget to read your blog & have to catch up!!! I love, love, love your style! Also love: the Hunger Game trilogy ~ seriously good, More Than Words ~ excellent harmony, all your pictures, your enthusiasm, your love for the kids & your wonder. 80 days til NZ! Can not wait!