Well, school starts tomorrow. Until 7:45 tomorrow, I think I’ll still have to convince myself that last year’s group of students have really grown up, that they really won’t be sitting in front of my eager eyed and ready to learn. It is true, they do become your own. You love each one of them. At this moment I have 75 kids. Tomorrow I add another 89.
Guys, I forgot how exhausting the beginning of the school year is; I have literally been in bed by 8:30 every day this week. On top of that, my classroom is still a wreck, and classes start on Monday! With us starting a new school, there are so many things that we all still need to work out, and our team has been working together non stop to hammer out the crucial details, sometimes to ad nauseam. But once Monday comes, it will all be worth it. These 6th grade babies – grown ups – will walk through our doors, and we will get to geek out over books, grammar (yes, I love to geek out over grammar!), writing, and everything else school.
Since I can’t show you my beautiful Reading Rainbow classroom yet because it is still a massive work in progress, I will gift you with my list of excitements for the year.
- Classroom Economy, complete with job chart, classroom store, and specially designed money courtesy of my wonderful hubby
- Book Club – what started out as just another thing on the never ending list of teacher obligations has quickly turned into a fun adventure searching for fun titles to share with my rambunctious group of 6th graders
- Parking Lot to house all of the off topic, irrelevant, or lengthy questions for us to get to later
- “Ketchup Binder” to house daily notes, extra handouts, and announcements for absent students
- Classroom Fridge – because every teacher needs teacher snacks, and even better, it has a separate freezer for popsicles or Ben and Jerry’s!
Y’all, if you have not yet read Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover, do yourself a favor and pick it up NOW! This book was on our school’s summer reading list, and many of my boys were excited to see it. This book had everything they were looking for – basketball, girls, family, and poetry (have I mentioned how much my students dig poetry?) The verse in this novel wraps you up and entices you to flip page after page, moving forward to find out what happens to Josh (Filthy McNasty) and JB, whether their dad is sick, and what happens to the Miss Sweet Tea. What I did not expect from this book was the emotional roller coaster it took me through. I naively thought The Crossover was going to be a lighthearted read about a boy and his favorite sport. I knew early on, however, that this was not the case, and the depth of story and characters made it that much better.
My favorite part of the book is the Basketball Rules. These rules are metaphors that serve as life lessons. When taken in the context of the overall story, readers understand the meaning to the characters, but in isolation these Basketball Rules can apply to our daily lives.
Basketball Rule #3
Never let anyone
lower your goals.
of you are determined
by their limitations
The sky is your limit, sons.
for the sun
and you will shine.
I am so looking forward to discussing this book with my students. I also cannot wait to use this book as a model text for figurative languages and poetic devices. There are many great examples of rhythm and rhyme, onomatopoeia, and visual structure.
I hope you enjoy The Crossover as much as I did!