Wyandot Second-Graders Read by Campfire

Wyandot Second-Graders Read by Campfire to Celebrate Growth
Posted on 09/30/2019
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Student with head flashlight reads to an adult outside of a tent in school gymnasium. With the lights dimmed and a dozen or so tents pitched around a “crackling” campfire on Monday morning, second-graders at Wyandot Early Childhood School quickly forgot that they were, in fact, reading in their school’s gymnasium. 

Second grade teachers Cassidy Traylor and Sheila Grammer coined the hour-long experience “Camp Read-A-Lot.” As a way of celebrating the completion of their first reading unit and keeping their students excited about reading, the teaching duo borrowed tents and camp chairs from Wyandot staff and families to complete their class campsite. 

“We dream big and then just go with it,” Traylor said of herself and her teaching partner of 16 years. This year, the pair moved the celebration from their classrooms to the gym, hoping that they’d not only find enough tents, but enough guest readers to visit with their campers. They got more than enough of both.

“It all works out in the end,” said Grammer, smiling on at two students she would have never expected to be reading together by flashlight so quietly and intently. “That alone is a huge measure of success,” she said. 

Encouraged to bring their own books from home, many students came in with books they’d specifically bought for their special campout. Others brought along flashlights and other accessories - all of it signals that the day accomplished what it was supposed to. “We wanted to celebrate how much they’d grown as readers in second grade so far and get them excited about what’s to come.” 

Given the option to read quietly in groups whenever a guest reader wasn’t present, students like Joyce Dossou and Elin Kutson paired up on their own with the goal of “tent hopping” to hear as many stories as possible. 

Students gather inside tent listening to a story being read aloud by a guest reader.“I still like it when adults read to me,” Dossou said, noting that the whole experience reminded her of her family’s camping trips. “I read like a robot and (adults) read with more expression. This was a lot of fun.” 

Many others could be found around the campsite switching roles and sharing their own stories after their guest reader had finished. 

But perhaps the best measure of success of all came as students were packing up and heading back to their classrooms. “This was the best hour of reading ever,” exclaimed William Traylor.