I took the 4th grade class to check out books from the school library. Everyone except one boy seemed to making progress in selecting books for the week.
Me: Have you found a book yet?
Bored Boy: No, I don’t know what to get.
Me: What kind of books do you like to read?
Bored Boy: I don’t know.
Me: Mysteries, adventure, animals…?
Bored Boy: Nah, no, ummm nuh-uh. I don’t think I want a book.
He then went to sit out for the rest of library time.
Since I had twenty-eight other kids to monitor, I turned over the assignment of “book finding” to two 6th grade girls working as librarian assistants, with the instructions to locate a book a boy his age might like to read and bring it to me. I didn’t really care if they were successful. I had nothing to lose.
The girls returned just as I was rounding up the kids to return to class. They couldn’t have chosen better. I congratulated them on their excellent find and handed “bored boy” his book choice.
Bored Boy: I don’t think I like this book.
Me: Trust me. YOU will.
Back in class, the lesson plan called for 20mins of silent reading (SSR). This is one of my favorite times in that I get to lead by example, relaxing and reading whatever book I’m currently into.
Bored boy was the only one who hadn’t started when I caught his attention and pantomimed, with my hands, opening and closing a book while giving him “THE LOOK”. He started reading.
Every couple of minutes, I’d check on the class and in particular “Bored Boy”. Amazingly, Bored Boy was still reading. After a while, I heard him giggle a couple of times, saw him share a page with the kid next to him.
After a while, I glanced up and saw that Bored Boy and two boys on each side of him were reading 101-ways, pointing at different pages and trying not to draw my attention.
I pretended to not notice and at the end of SSR. Bored Boy couldn’t help himself and came up to show me several “things” they found that were funny and “he was going to try it at home”.
With a wink, my final comment at the end of the day was, “Remember now, you didn’t get that book from me, RIGHT?”