If you have not read any of the I Survived books in our library, you may be new or living under a rock. The I Survived series is the most circulated series on our school and for good reason. The stories are emotionally compelling and the researched historical events are extremely detailed with added adventure and suspense. Lauren Tarshis's writing transcends the reading levels we have at our school where our lower readers and advanced readers savor them alike.
So you know I had to beg her to speak to our students! It took me two years of e-mailing, but I was finally able to connect with her and set up a Skype date for our uber fans.
Yesterday, dreams were made for the uber fans! Mrs. Tarshis was so wonderful with our kiddies. She answered every question and was so personable. A few of our students were so nervous they were excited and nervous. One student took at least twenty minutes to gather the courage to talk with Mrs. Tarshis, then we couldn't tear him away from the screen. I'm so proud of our students and their critical thinking about the text, the characters, the plot development, and her writing style. Most of students did not know Mrs. Tarshis hated reading and writing until high school.
At the end of our Skype, she read the first chapter of her book about the Hindenburg disaster! All I saw were mouths open, enthralled by every word she read...You could have heard a pin drop. We will also be lucky enough for her to send us an advanced copy of her new book so we can finish it! Mrs. Tarshis, this was an amazing experience for us. You made many students feel valued, excited about reading, and read in a different genre than their usual. Thank you.
I have to give a shoot out to Mrs. Hughes as well. Her gifted students have been reading the I Survived series with Mrs. Grooms class in order to promote reading and build literacy skills. All of Mrs. Grooms' students finished their books and passed their AR tests! Woo hoo! In addition to that, these students formed bonds over reading and their projects over the books.
Some thoughts from our students on the reading buddy program:
"I think I learned as much as she did. It was a wonderful experience."--Gunnar Henderson about his experience with his reading buddy.
"My reading buddy normally doesn't talk, but he really blossomed while we were reading together. It was fun making a new friend and to encourage reading like that."--Stephanie Tirado about her experience with her reading buddy.
"I used to hate reading, but now it's not so bad. I think I want to read another one of those books."-Ramon on his reading buddy experience.
Reading enthusiast and technology innovator