I have a marathon of grading tonight, so this will be a short post…I will try and blog more next week when summer school is over, and I can catch my breath. 

I just had to share with you one of the reading journals from one of my students, Bryan.  He is a student who has struggled with school, and as you will see below, he is a bit spelling challenged (he can never remember to hit F7 to spell check in the new Word 2007).   His reading journal is part of our Peach Book Project—my students got to choose any Peach Book nominee they wanted to read independently (they had class time, and I am very much an advocate of the Atwell mantra of “time” and “ownership”.)  Their task was to write 5 reading journals, create 5 multigenre learning artifacts, and to compose a final reflection essay we did today in the library (of course!) :-). 

As I said, spelling is not his forte, but he has worked so hard the last three weeks—he is not the greatest speller, but he tries, and that is everything in my book.  The emotion and heartfelt sentiments he expressed about his book, The First Part Last by Angela Johnson, literally brought tears to my eyes; I had recommended it to him, and as you can see, he took to the book like a duck to water.   To see any student, especially a tough guy like Bryan, react to a book like this….well, his post says it all.  Here is what he said in his final reading journal from our blog:

June 25 2008
The frist part last

this book had and surprising sad ending that almost made me cry. Bobby talks about heaven and he wishes that he could go back to all the places his friend thought was whack and at the very end he wished to hold his baby in his arms again. his grandmother witch its his mom only smiles at Feather when Bobbys not looking.

i loved this book so much it has been a wonderful book that enspired me in my life and if it hadn’t been for the peach book project i wouldnt have enjoyed the experince of getting into a book i liked. toward the end i was hoping it wouldn’t end. everytime i fliped a page i would get exictied because there would be more and more .THANKS MRS. HAMILTON! =)

I would consider this to be one of our greatest accomplishments in summer school!  Bryan D., thank YOU!