I Didn’t Like That Book

It was the last day with students before Winter Break. I was online with a small group of fourth graders- all bilingual learners who speak Spanish and English. We rushed to complete a compare/contrast assignment, their last assignment. Luckily, it was a short one. I had a book to share with them- ‘Twas Nochebuena, a Christmas Story in English and Spanish. My plan was simple. I’d read the story, pausing after each Spanish word, allowing them time to say the words in English.

Everyone was instantly engaged. It was slightly chaotic- all teachers who have been teaching remote can understand how having multiple kids unmuting/muting at the same time to shout out answers gets chaotic. Each wanted to be first to say the words. When they had different responses, they passionately defended their choices. Familiar (and beloved) traditions and foods drew comments of “we do that” and “yum” and “my mom (tia, abuela) makes the best.”

We finished the book. Imagine how my heart dropped when one of them said, “I didn’t like that book.” But after a dramatic pause he rushed on to say…”I loved it!” Everyone chimed in. “Yeah, I didn’t just like it, I loved it.”

Merry Christmas to me!

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8 Responses to I Didn’t Like That Book

  1. Nanc says:

    Yes…Merry Christmas to you. This has been quite a year, quite a struggle and I admire you so much, and know it would make my heart break to have to teach mute and unmute. Lol, I am having trouble teaching my Bible group of 17…I tried doing reader’s theater with them…soooo hard! xo

  2. Julie says:

    What a beautiful way to end the semester! I hope your break is refreshing and wonderful–merry Christmas!

  3. Books will lead the way! I find that our read aloud time is when the kids are most engaged. Glad they loved your choice!

  4. Fran Haley says:

    Lovely to end on a high note around the reading of a book! Read alouds have infinite impact and I so wish more teachers had your passion for it – even in intervention groups I preserve time for a read aloud. The kids need that model by a veteran reader for so many reasons… the greatest of which is the sheer joy of it! Wishing you a wonderful, safe, restful holiday break.

  5. arjeha says:

    A bright note to finish off an eventful (and not in the best way) year. Merry Christmas.

  6. Terje says:

    What a wonderful way to end the year! May the new year bring more and more books to love together!

  7. So sweet. It’s always nice to end on a high note of love! Glad you had this moment right at the end.

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