First: STICK officially debuts on Tuesday. You want to read this book. Trust me. Comment on any post and you may win a copy. I'm having Mrs. Nelson's Toy and Bookshop send out three copies to lucky followers or commenters.
So yesterday I pause in my unrelenting quest to broaden educational horizons. We watch a tribute about Steve Jobs. And I show the kids my copy of Variant, by Robison Wells, which just arrived that morning. And I read the bookflap and we negotiate who gets to read it first and then we wrangle about whose turn it is to check out other books (Ashes, Ghost Medicine, Crank, Gone, and Hunger, among others.)And we watch more book trailers, because book trailers are part of my Big Secret Project. Kids have started asking, "So...are you going to give us a list of all these books?" Because I have just thrown trailers on the screen and waited for just this question.
So one of the kids says, "I don't get Twitter." Many students express similar sentiments. I talk about how I tweet about books, right? So I go right over to my computer and put in my override code, which tells the Powers That Be that I am exiting approved sites to go to Places That They Can't Control.* Like Twitter. Because if a kid doesn't get something we take action.
So I figure we'll do a Twitter Field Trip.
And what happened was one of the best days in the history of education.
I transcribe what follows:
Kristen Tweets: With gleeful disregard for protocols, I am doing a demo on Twitter for my Angel Potatoes of Glory of Third Period.
I continue: We have watched book trailers for books by @jamesdashner @thefayz and we have discussed, with joy, yet again, the rat king.**
So #rotters,@ilsablick's Ashes @robisonwells Variant are going to fly off shelves today because of my Angel Potatoes of Glory.
And I am, literally, holding Variant in my hand when...
a response comes up on the screen
and the kids see it
for a second there is stunned silence
It is a Retweet from Robison Wells: No idea what this means.
My eyes are bugging out and I say, "How should we explain Angel Potatoes?"
And I swear the kids are standing up and kneeling on chairs and shouting definitions of "Angel Potatoes" like Mr. Wells can hear them. They are asking each other, "Is that the real guy? The book guy?" like Mr. Wells can hear them. And my head exploded. Because what kind of timing is that?
And here's what I tweeted: Angel Potatoes are my students. They are a shine and glory. Each one. One just said, "Yeah. We are your heart and your life."
And the class just erupted with cheers and exclamations about Mr. Wells and how cool he is and what was the name of his book again?
Mr. Robison Wells, you may never know the enormous impact you made on these kids.
I hope that your launch party was merry.
* I may hear from the Powers That Be. Oh well.
**The rat king has become an object of discussion, fascination, and speculation. It's from Daniel Kraus's Rotters.