It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

For my four hours of reading this week I decided to read two juvenile fiction books. One of them was “The Meaning of Maggie” written by Megan Jean Sovern.meaning-of-maggie_9781452110219_norm

This was a fantastic book! It is about a girl named Maggie who is extremely smart. She is only eleven but she acts like a mature adult. She lives with her mom, dad and two older sisters whom she refers to as her “hot” sisters. They dont pay much attention to her because they are older and too cool. Their mom stays home with them and does all of the normal housewife duties until one day when their dad quits his job. He has a disease called Multiple Sclerosis which is an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. His disease has gotten so serious to the point where he is not able to do his normal tasks at work. So the mom takes over and the dad stays home. He isn’t capable of doing some of the tasks at home so the girls have to step up and help. Maggie doesn’t really know what is wrong with her dad. She knows of the disease but doesn’t know how it progresses. Throughout the book, Maggie learns more about her dad and his disease. I had no idea this book was about MS but was very surprised when I started reading about it! I can relate because my mom has had Multiple Sclerosis for about 22 years now so I know some of the things that Maggie was going through. Even though this book was somewhat more serious than other books, the author tied in some humor as well. I was laughing throughout the book! I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone and I think it would be great for middle school kids!:)

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The next book I read was “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. I read this book because I recently watched the movie and loved it! It was basically like the movie but different things happened to the book Alex than the movie Alex. I thought this book would have had a happier ending like the movie did but it didn’t. It was still a good book and the illustrations were fun to follow along with as well.  I won’t spoil it because I’m assuming most of you have or will see the movie!

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Mock Newberry and Caldecott

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I loved reading about Mr. Shu’s Mock Caldecott! I thought his steps for Stage 1 were great and I really loved the rubric they made. I also liked the fact that he designed this with his students instead of him just doing all of the work. In Stage 2, Mr. Shu has the students design and name their own mock award. I thought this was such a clever idea because it’s something fun for the kids to do and it gets them involved! In Stage 3, they announce the winner of the Mock award design and name. I loved this idea of doing a Mock Caldecott award in the classroom. The students learn more about the actual Caldecott award but making the project so student centered helps the students learn how it really is to select a winner for that book award. I thought the book nominees and interviews were great! All of the books look like they would be awesome to read.

In Mr. Shu’s Mock Caldecott blog posts, I learned that getting a child to read is hard but doable if you can make it fun and interesting. I think doing a mock award would be great for the students. It would help them learn about what goes into choosing an award and learn to appreciate the books that they read a little more by learning about them and their authors. Some challenges might be that some students wouldn’t want to participate in the activity because they don’t like reading.

The 3 books I would choose:

  • Ivan by Katherine Applegate
  • Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo
  • My Teacher Is a Monster! No, I Am Not! By Peter Brown

Mock Newberry and Caldecott

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I loved reading about Mr. Shu’s Mock Caldecott! I thought his steps for Stage 1 were great and I really loved the rubric they made. I also liked the fact that he designed this with his students instead of him just doing all of the work. In Stage 2, Mr. Shu has the students design and name their own mock award. I thought this was such a clever idea because it’s something fun for the kids to do and it gets them involved! In Stage 3, they announce the winner of the Mock award design and name. I loved this idea of doing a Mock Caldecott award in the classroom. The students learn more about the actual Caldecott award but making the project so student centered helps the students learn how it really is to select a winner for that book award. I thought the book nominees and interviews were great! All of the books look like they would be awesome to read.

In Mr. Shu’s Mock Caldecott blog posts, I learned that getting a child to read is hard but doable if you can make it fun and interesting. I think doing a mock award would be great for the students. It would help them learn about what goes into choosing an award and learn to appreciate the books that they read a little more by learning about them and their authors. Some challenges might be that some students wouldn’t want to participate in the activity because they don’t like reading.

 The 3 books I would choose:

  • Ivan by Katherine Applegate
  • Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo
  • My Teacher Is a Monster! No, I Am Not! By Peter Brown

The Skyping Renaissance

Before reading “The Skyping Renaissance” I never really put much thought into using Skype in the classroom. I always though it was used for family video calls and sometimes even conference calls. I loved reading this article and it opened my eyes to new possibilities as a teacher! I loved the idea of using Skype for meeting different authors. Even though the author may be 1,000 miles away, the students still have the opportunity to meet and talk with an author via Skype. I really like the other uses of Skype this article mentioned. A classroom could be doing a unit on wildlife animals and at the touch of a button, they could instantly be talking to rangers or wildlife specialists without the trouble of them actually coming to their classroom to talk. I also thought it was really neat that the skyping is helping students step out of their comfort zone. I loved this article overall and plan on using Skype in my future classroom!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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This week I decided to read Because Of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. I loved this book! Before reading this book I had no idea it was a movie too! This is a story about a girl and her dog. Opal, the main character of this story, just moved to a little town in Florida with her father who is the pastor of a church there. One day she goes to the supermarket and the owner starts making a fuss. A dog was running throughout the aisles and knocking everything over. Opal says the dog is hers, even though it isn’t, and takes him out of the store. His hair is matted and he is very skinny. She goes home and asks her dad if they could keep the dog because the dog had no home or family. The pastor was hesitant at first but eventually says yes. She names the dog Winn Dixie and he goes everywhere with her and the pastor! He goes with them to the store, to church and everywhere in between. Opal wasn’t so sure about moving from her hometown because she had to leave all of her friends behind and she thought it was going to be hard making new ones. Throughout the book, she makes many different friends from many different places. Most of them are not her age but she loves them just as much. There are many series of events that take place in this book but I won’t spoil it for you! This was such a great book filled with so many different emotions! I think this would be a great book for older elementary kids. I think it would be fun to do a friendship unit on this with the whole class and then watch the movie at the end!

Reading Aloud!

Before reading this article, I never really thought much about how reading aloud to students can affect their learning ability and reading skills. I agreed with a lot of the points that came from the first article. I really like how when reading aloud to students, you often stop and talk about what you just read about. I think this is important for younger children so they can process what is going on in the story and remember it better. I wasn’t so sure about the audiobooks at first because I didn’t think younger children would be able to pay attention and listen to an audiobook as well as actually having something to look at and read. But I really like the fact that the teacher makes the students keep a reading journal while listening to the audiobooks. This is awesome to me because they have to listen to the story and they can also write down what the story was about and their different opinions on the book. One thing I took away in the second article was reading the books BEFORE you read them to the class. I think this is a great idea because you never know what you are getting yourself into. Knowing myself, I would have to emotionally prepare myself before reading a book to my class!

One thing I would like to share is something I learned while doing observation hours earlier this semester. I was shadowing a kindergarten class and right after the bell rang, the teacher had all of her students sit down on the rug in front of the white board. On the whiteboard she had a paragraph of a situation that happened the day before to either herself (the teacher) or someone she knew. For instance, ” Yesterday, my car ran out of gas and I was far away from a gas station. I have no way of getting to the gas station so what should I do? Love, (the teacher).” After reading this she would go through with the students and ask them what words they knew in the paragraph and have them circle it. Everyday they learned a new word and their vocabulary grew. After they circled all the words, she would ask them to think about what they would do if they were in that situation and have them share with the class. I thought this was such a neat way to get the kids involved and active early in the morning! Not sure if that counts as a “read aloud” but I thought it was really awesome.

Ten Read Alouds:

1. Clementine by Sara Pennypacker

2. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty McDonald

3. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

4. Matilda by Roald Dahl

5. What the Moon Saw by Laura Resau

6. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

7. Stuart Little by E.B White

8. Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater

9. How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

10. The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner

It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

This week I decided to choose a couple of children’s books that caught my attention. I have been reading young adult books for the past couple of weeks and thought it would be a good change to switch it up.

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“Animals Asleep” by Sneed B. Collard is such a cute book! When I picked out this book I didn’t expect it to be an educational book. This book tells about different animals and how they sleep. I even learned some things while reading this book! This would be such a neat book to read to an elementary class while doing some sort of animal unit with the class. I think little kids would really enjoy this book. The illustrations were great as well!

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“I Wonder Why Whales Sing” by Caroline Harris is another great educational book to read during an animal unit. It not only has questions about whales but has countless questions about sea life. There are so many different facts in this book that little kids would love and absorb right up!

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“Sammy in the Sky” by Barbara Walsh was a great book! It was about a boy and his dog named Sam. He did everything with Sam and Sam could tell when he was sad. Sammy started getting older and his health started to get worse. The boy’s dad told him that Sammy wouldn’t have much time left with them so they had to make the best of it. They went to Sammy’s favorite beach and let him run around. Sammy eventually passed away but the family knew that their favorite dog’s spirit would be with them all the time. This book touches my heart because I had a dog I grew up with that just passed away a few years ago and loved her very much! This was such a great book and the illustrations were awesome. I would suggest this book to elementary children.