Speed dating with books

WICHITA FALLS - A new idea in Mrs. Yeary's class she hopes will get her kids hooked on reading. 

"So I knew I had to do something to really get their attention and get a book in their hands," Reading Teacher Amy Yeary said. "Going to the library and checking out books alone doesn't work."

During the book "speed dating" Yeary's students link up with a partner for five minutes prepared to answer questions about their book all while speaking in the first person. 

"And by using their classmates to help them find books that they're going to love, I feel like that's very important," Yeary said. "Getting to talk about their book with someone in a social setting and then adding those like extra little perks."

Perks like rose petals and tea lights, turning the lights down low and adding a little music. 

Her students agree those subtle changes to the classroom helps set the mood and learning something new draws them in even more.  

"Whenever she turns the lights off its just calming to people, and I like getting to know other peoples books and if I like them then ill check them out and see if its actually that good or if it's not really," Student Jasmin Wright said. "And if it is then I got lucky!" 

"It's for like, to explore new books that you haven't read and see new genres that you haven't explored," Student Amani Mckinney said.

"I think it shows us a new way to talk about our books instead of going outside like hey guys this is my book," Student Da'kevion Johnson said.

"What I like about reading is it just allows me to enter new places," Student Awo-Ofori-Benney said. "If it's historical fiction, like enter new time periods as that person."

Some thought the actual "speed dating" was odd -- but they understand the importance of talking to each other. 

"It also helped us get out of our comfort zone too," Student Allison Carlston. "On like, actually talking to other people and it helped us with more real-world stuff versus just like phones and stuff."

"I really feel that we just have to keep focusing on actual, authentic reading experiences, whether it's newspapers, news articles or just their favorite graphic novel even," Yeary said. "That's going to be, to me, that's going to be the hook. That's the clincher."

While Mrs. Yeary's idea turned out successful her main focus is making sure her kids learn how important reading is for their future. 


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