Right after I'd given a book introduction to one of my first grade reading groups, and sent them my daily "happy reading" wish, Jenny came into our room and knelt down to chat about everything going on. We laughed with happiness and chatted while the readers worked there way through the instructional level text.
Now, in guided reading, it's considered GUIDED because after the teacher gives the book introduction she gives each child a book and listens to them read it quietly to themselves. The book is suppose to be INSTRUCTIONAL. Both the words guided and instructional imply that the teacher is taking a very active roll in this reading adventure- listening to each reader, helping them with tough words, reminding them how to use strategies to decode words they are stuck on. I was doing none of these things, as I was deep into conversation with Jenny.
As we chatted my diligent readers (which included the story teller) read their little books twice- as they've been instructed to do- and then started in on a 3rd reading. The group after them noticed they were on their 3rd reading and left their centers to stand behind the current group- ready to sit down at the table to get their own guided reading book. I kept talking with Jenny.
Finally I looked up and realized I had 6 children staring at me with disgruntled expressions on their faces. A few had their arms crossed. I laughed, wishing I had a picture of these 6 readers who desperately wanted their new books. You've got to love it when kids want to read.
Jenny left and the story teller gave me a firm look.
"Mrs. Lipstick," he began. "You owe us an apology. You wasted our time."
I was taken aback, but he was right. When he wastes my time he has to give me an apology. SO, it only makes sense that I give one back to him.
"You're right, story teller" I said, "I do owe you an apology. I wasted your reading time. I am very sorry about that. I will try to not let it happen again."
"No, Mrs. Lipstick" the story teller countered, "You don't just owe me an apology, you owe L. and A., and D., and J. and K. and apology too. You wasted all of our time. Because you were just joking with Ms. Jenny."
I was stunned. He was right- I owed everyone an apology. They knew I wasn't having a serious teacher talk- they knew Jenny and I were just "joking" for fun.
And so I apologized to my readers for wasting their reading time. It's not often you have a first grader sincerely reminding you that you didn't make the best teacher choices that day...