We just finished our fourth day of school, and things are starting to settle in a bit. Their reading stamina is growing, and our classroom community is starting to take shape. I have an amazing group of kids.
Yesterday in class, during independent reading, I could feel a buzz of excitement in the back of the classroom. The energy pulled me towards the group. When I got there I noticed that they all were reading books in the Abandoned Places series. They were so excited to learn about the placed documented in the books. They were each reading a different book, but it was like they were all reading all the books at the same time. They kept interrupting each other to share something cool they learned, a picture they found captivating, and to ask a question the book sparked.
It. Was. Magical.
The buzz quickly spread to other corners of the room, and within 15 minutes, a series of books that hadn’t be read by any of my students, was now rivaling Dog Man as the most popular set of books in our room.
I spent some time talking to the group of kids that first discovered the series. I just had to figure out how these books became so popular so fast. One of the kids mentioned that his mom watches Abandoned Places videos on YouTube, so when he saw the tub of books, he just had to check it out.
How about that? I sort of love that a mother’s interest in a YouTube channel led to a classroom obsessed with a book series.
You just never know what is going to happen when you surround kids with books, you let them read what they want, and you give them time to read and talk about those books.