Slice of Life 13: English Teacher on a Friday Night

It’s Friday night, and with the weekend here and without a firm bedtime, the boys are still up as I write this (about 9:30 p.m.). Despite his protests, I think my seven-year-old’s on the losing side of his battle with fatigue. I can always tell when he’s getting tired by how much quieter he gets, slowly at first, and then soon, not a word as his eyelids succumb to gravity. I don’t blame him; it’s been a long week, especially with daylight saving’s lost hour.

Meanwhile, my four-year-old is partying like it’s 1999. He’ll crash in a bit (I hope).

As for me, I spent some time creating a few exemplars for a project I think I’ll have my students do at the end of our Read-A-Thon next week. I can’t seem to turn off my teacher mode, even on a Friday night. Plus, once I get an idea into my head, if I don’t act on it right away, it’s usually gone within half-an-hour. That initial burst of inspiration I get has a brief shelf life.

I want to find a way to share what my students have been reading beyond our classroom walls. I also want to increase students’ exposure to good books. So I came up with a very simple visual that we could hang up in the hallways to 1) share what we’ve read, and 2) pique the interest of anyone walking by. The more I think about it, the more I realize how much potential our walls hold. What’s that saying again? If walls could talk, right?

So why not let them?

Tell the Wolves


Peace like a river

An interesting, thought-provoking, or attention-grabbing line lifted from the book with nothing more than a QR code. If the viewer wants to know more, he just scans the QR code, which then opens up the Goodreads page for that book. And if the student already has a Goodreads account (which all my students do), then they can quickly add it to their “To-Read” shelf.

Eager to see how this works out… and only slightly embarrassed that making these were the highlight of my Friday night. 🙂

(I made the visuals above using, but I’m sure there are many other programs available.)

slice of lifeThis post is part of the “Slice of Life” series, organized by the teachers at Two Writing Teachers, whose goal is to give teachers a place to write and reflect. This March, more than 250 teachers have committed to daily writing. If you’d like to read more “slices” (from other teachers and even some students), visit


  1. What a cool idea! I love it! I am embarrassed to admit that I had never heard of Canva, but I’ve seen it twice today. Want to check it out!


  2. I love that idea! We have been using QR codes a lot in our classes (first grade) lately and this seems like a great way to draw others in. Thanks for sharing.


  3. mbuckelew

    Thank you for sharing your Friday night lesson ideas! Your post has inspired me to revise my upcoming “Reading Like a Writer” presentations. Whether first grade or college — your use of Canva and QR codes — very applicable. I also love the images of your children/little guys woven throughout your piece and their approach to Friday night sleep 🙂


  4. Wow, these are great. I’m going to consider doing this with my students. I love the multiple uses of technology to point kids to good books.


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