Mrs. Nix: When do you have reading?
Ms. Page: The time varies, but our daily minutes allotment surpasses the district expectation.
Mrs. Nix: But our schedule dictates that everyone reads at the same time.
Ms. Page: I figured that since we’re out here on our own, if we vary our schedule, it won’t disrupt others. And I’m making some judgment calls on when the students are more primed for reading.
Mrs. Nix: Judgment calls? Interesting.
Ms. Page: That time right after lunch, at least in September, isn’t always the best for them. It’s the warmest part of the day and I see the kids kind of sag, especially when I try to teach subskills.
Mrs. Nix: I see. So, you’re using morning for that?
Ms. Page: Very often, yes.
Mrs. Nix: Which book are you reading right now?
Ms. Page: Well, we started with the publisher’s suggested non-fiction book about scientists studying tarantulas, but, even with differentiation, the kids weren’t showing a lot of interest in it. And as I saw them struggle, I confess I was losing interest in it.
Mrs. Nix: So, you’re telling me what?
Ms. Page: I changed things up. They needed something lighter, something they would enjoy as they eased back into the school routines.
Mrs. Nix: Soooo?
Ms. Page: So, for the rest of September, they will be reading self-selected books. Most of them chose fiction, I noticed.
Mrs. Nix: Are you thinking you’re smarter than the publishers?
Ms. Page: I’m thinking I know my students better than the publishers do.
Mrs. Nix: It’s looking like we will need to continue this meeting.
Ms. Page: That seems fair. Do I need to bring anything?
Mrs. Nix: Just your attention and a willingness to be a team player. And we’ll be talking about your leaving Jeremy at school during your jaunt to the park.
Ms. Page: Just let me know the time, Mrs. Nix…