Each month our principal chooses a special book for the month. She uses it to teach the faculty a specific strategy and then each teacher is expected to read the book and use the strategy in her own teaching. Each classroom is gifted a copy of the book! As a result we have a wonderful collection of books to share with students each year. During March, as a new March Madness tradition, Mrs. Phillips came to each classroom and read one of the previous books-of-the-month to the children. She read our class the delightful Apple Batter. The kids loved it! They loved having Mrs. Phillips in their class. They loved hearing her read the book. They loved hearing about the book-of-the-month tradition at chets Creek. As a result of that visit, the students and teachers prepared this special little message for Mrs. Phillips.
There is a back story to this video, of course. During her visit and discussion with the children, Mrs. Phillips asked them about other books of the month. One of the books that she mentioned and questioned them about was the January, 2011 Book-of-the-month Butterflies in my Stomach and other School Hazards. This is a book of idioms. I have to admit that when she read the book with the faculty, I thought it was cute, but as we worked with the idioms, I thought the concept was a little high for first graders. I didn't think they would really get idioms and probably weren't sophisticated enough to use them in their writing. So... (listen for the BIG mistake!) I just never got around to reading that book to the children! Out of the mouth of babes and much to my embarrassment - when she asked the children about that book, they very honestly told her that we hadn't read it! OUCH! Of all the teachers in this school, you would think, after all these years I would know better! And, of course, I have since found out from my colleagues who did what they were suppose to do, that it was one of the books that their students have enjoyed the most! Always being one to just "fess up" to my shortcomings (of which there are many!), I just admitted that I hadn't particularly liked the book and hadn't read it to the class! However, I did decide that it would NEVER happen again. In our class (raising my right hand) we WILL read the book-of-the-month EVERY SINGLE month. And I have to admit that I LOVED this month's book, Sophie's Masterpiece. I think the kids liked it too! Lesson learned!