Favorite Day Ever!

Two boys reading together in an elementary school.Do you love to read? Then you’ll love our Read Your Heart Out Day [RYHOD]. Students prepare for RYHOD by gathering their stuffed animals, books, pj’s, blanket and a pillow. Then they put their gear in his or her backpack or another bag. You can pack or wear your pj’s and slippers. It’s winter, so we pack our slippers.

At school, in your classroom you claim your spot. That’s where you put all your items. You don’t stay there all day, but that is where you read your books or read with friends. Some of the other classrooms move furniture to make room for tents or canopies where students can read, play games and have fun. Some classrooms have book buddies, so they meet in another classroom and read to each other. We also have parents or other adults who come in and read to us or we read to them.

We wondered what the teachers thought about RYHOD. So we talked with Ms Wood, Guest reader sharing a book with a classroom of students.a third grade teacher, Mrs. Atkinson, a fourth grade teacher and Mr.Wadness, a fifth grade teacher. We were curious to know if they liked RYHOD and they all like this special day. Ms Wood shared, she likes that we celebrate reading as a school community, and one of her students claims “reading makes your brain grow bigger”. She also thinks it’s a day to keep our brains healthy and active. Mr. Wadness said that he likes it when parents come in and read. All like that students can hang out with friends and read and share good stories.

All the teachers explained some activities their students do on this day. Students read independently, buddies read with a younger class, and partner read. Some other activities are sharing their favorite books with classmates, creating crafts which use words and having guests/parents come in and read aloud. Their favorite activities are having people read aloud and sharing books with younger students in the school.

There are a lot of different genre and we wondered if they had a favorite. Mrs. Atkinson and Mr. Wadness both love fantasy, Mr. Wadness especially likes the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Ms Wood likes all genre.

Two second grade boys sharing a book on an iPad.We wondered what type of book format that the teachers like to read. Mrs. Atkinson, Mr. Wadness and Ms Wood all  agreed that they all like paperback because it is easy to hold and they like to feel a book in their hand. Mr. Wadness does not like hardcover because he thinks it’s too big. Ms Wood and Mrs. Atkinson also likes electronic devices because it’s easy to turn pages and it saves their spot. Ms Wood also likes digital devices because she can download a book on the App Store and just lie in bed and start reading.

We were interested to know what some fourth and fifth grade students liked about RYHOD. They all agreed, they love it. Several talked about how they have a time to read books they like. A couple said it feels like a day off from school, because you get to relax and hang with your friends.

Stuffed animals, blankets, pillows and lots of books are what students shared they bring with them. Wearing pajamas and slippers is a cool thing to be allowed to do at school. These fourth and fifth grade students have enjoyed RYHOD since kindergarten.

Reading was the favorite activity for all of the fourth and fifth graders we talkedTwo fourth grade girls sitting on a counter in their classroom read by themselves. too. One fourth grader really liked reading with their kindergarten buddies. Some other activities they liked to do are reading by yourself, with friends, and with younger reading buddies. Others shared they make games based on books read, and when it happens to fall on Valentine’s Day, they enjoy creating valentines for their classmates.

Adventure seems to be a favorite genre of the kids. They like mystery because of the suspense and fantasy for the magic and wizards. Books come in all different formats: paperback, hardcover, audio, digital, so we wondered if they had a favorite. Most like digital but pretty much all of them like print.

On Read Your Heart Out Day, you can hear kids and teachers laughing and talking excitedly as they arrived at school. The energized students quickly claim their spots in their classroom. Then, you can hear a pin drop … everybody’s reading! It’s definitely one of the best days of the school year for both the students and teachers.

Reported by Rachel and Tommy

A Favorite Day of the School Year!

Would you like to go to school in your pajamas and read all day? Well, the students at Chickering School get  to do that on a very special day called Read Your Heart Out Day (RYHOD). But you don’t really read your heart out of your body. RYHOD is when the students get to read all day and if they want to wear their pajamas. they can. They can also bring their stuffed animals, pillows, and/or blankets. RYHOD is a celebration of the end of Fit & Lit, a program to exercise our brains and bodies.

During RYHOD students of all classes come to school in pajamas and slippers. Some students bring blankets, pillows and stuffed animals. In some classrooms teachers put up canopies or tents for students to read under or in. Some activities students do are listen to parent guest readers, read with classroom buddies, perform Readers Theater, and sometimes room parents would bring in special snacks. But mostly we read, read, read!

This year with digital readers, we needed to get special permission from our principal, Dr. Nugent. Currently our student handbook doesn’t allow us to bring in any digital devices from home. Dr. Nugent granted permission to bring in Kindles, Nooks, iPads, and other eBook devices. The students were very grateful to Dr. Nugent for allowing them to bring in reading devices for RYHOD.

Everybody at Chickering School loves RYHOD! We talked to our teacher, Mrs. Haggett, and teaching assistant, Mr Crowley, about their feelings regarding Read Your Heart Out Day. Mrs. Haggett said, ” I love read your heart out day because students read what ever they want and we can have fun talking about different books and sometimes parents come in and read to us.” ” Yes, I do,  because it gives everyone a chance to relax, wear comfortable clothes, sit anywhere they want, and also focus on reading all day long,” remarked Mr. Crowley. Some of the students shared with us: “…read all day and not do any subject[s]….” “…it is fun and you do not have to do any work at all.” and “…read all day.  It is nice to relax and not do any work all day.” One student that we interviewed had mixed feelings about RYHOD, ” I like it because I really like reading. But I don’t like it because you’re not allowed to talk so its just quiet time all the time.”

We asked the teachers if they think Read Your Heart Out Day is a good idea? Both Mrs. Haggett and Mr Crowley think that this special day is a “wonderful idea”.  Mr. Crowley said, “…it gives everyone a chance to relax and get a break from all the other subjects and focus on reading various kinds of literature.” “…we do get to choose what we want to read.  We get to do reading plays if we want to , we can read poetry and we can have parents come in and read to the children,” replied Mrs Haggett.

For our outstanding work during Fit & Lit 2012, the principal rewarded the entire school with a second RYHOD! Coming from the gym was a thunderous, earsplitting, booming cheer following Dr. Nugent’s announcement. We certainly love Read Your Heart Out Day!

Reported By: Amy, Martin, and Sophia