This is a Top Secret. Don’t tell anyone.
Meet me back here at 2pm and bring your favorite book.
This was the message I shared with several of our students who had just become members of our Secret Society of Readers. My goal was to find those students who always have their head buried in a book, and to give them a chance to share their favorite books, to learn about new books, to talk about books, and to celebrate books. I borrowed the idea from two other Principals (Thanks to Todd Nesloney and Jay Billy for the inspiration!) who had shared their success with their own SSOR!
I asked each teacher to submit a name or two of their most enthusiastic readers, not necessarily their best readers, but someone who couldn’t put their book down. I started by calling each individual student to the office and explaining the idea. I asked if they would like to join our Top Secret Club. I told them that under no circumstances could they let anyone else know that we would be secretly enjoying books.
Our club this year consists of nineteen 2nd and 3rd grade students. About once a month, I will secretly hand them a note which details our meeting time and place… Then the magic happens. They sneak down to the meeting place and…
So far, our club members most enjoy picking a comfortable spot in my office or (connected) conference room. Students bring their favorite books. Sometimes we discuss why they chose a book, or share a book preview, but most of the time, we just read.
I pull up a chair, and model by reading along with them. On occasion, I’ll pick a professional development book, but usually, I pick some of my favorite picture or chapter books. I’ve even read aloud during our SSOR time.
When we haven’t read in a few weeks, the students approach me in the hall, and beg to read!
“When are we secretly reading again?”
My only response is:
Shhhh. Don’t Tell Anyone.