So, I’m a 5th grade teacher, right? And I tend to think I’m a fairly “cool” teacher. The kids like me. I make them laugh. I get student compliments on my attire and my hair. They know I care about them, and they make cards and draw me pictures. All good stuff. But you should see how my coolness factor has skyrocketed after making a few additions to the classroom.
As a Christmas gift, my husband gave me some Twilight items to enhance my classroom. In addition to the books (I’m only comfortable with providing Twilight and New Moon due to mature content in the latter books), my classroom has grown to include the 2010 New Moon calendar, a New Moon game, a Jacob action figure, and an Edward Barbie doll. Now my preadolescent girls can fawn over “RPatz” and “Taaaylor Laaautner” (imagine the sing-songy, ooey-gooey voice of a 10-year-old) on the calendar, which makes me extra cool. But, an even more important thing has happened.
Instead of talking about what happened over the weekend or when the next episode of American Idol will air, my students are talking about books. When they don’t have to be! And it’s not just movie talk. That may be where it started, but the majority of the discussions are about the actual novels. The books have mega vocabulary words and girls are working to understand them. They are using all of the skills we’ve been teaching (context clues, visualizing, inferring, etc.) to comprehend the text. And though the Twilight books are not on their “reading level,” their desire to read them usurps that so-called “ability.” They are putting the skills they’ve learned to action, and (shh, don’t tell them…) they don’t even realize they’re doing it! It’s fantastic, it’s wonderful, and it gives me a huge reason to say…
Thank you, Stephenie Meyer!