Posts tagged ‘school’
Topics: school, rules, behavior, bathroom, calling out
Units of Study: Personal Narrative
Tribes: mutual respect, attentive listening, personal best
Writing Skills: using memories to generate notebook entries
Thoughts: Here is a just-for-fun read aloud for the first day of school. It’s a great read for beginning a discussion about rules, agreements and norms. If you have access to Guys Read you may want to share David Shannon’s story about how he created the David books. The anthology has cool original pictures of the young version of his other book No, David!
Retell: “I don’t want to because boys don’t write poetry. Girls do.” Jack reluctantly keeps a poetry journal. With encouragement from his teacher he begins to write about his dog. By using famous poems as mentor texts, Jack learns to be a prolific poet.
Topics: poetry, school, pets, loss, writer’s block
Units of Study: Independent Writing Projects, Poetry, Social Issues, Character
Tribes: personal best
Habits of Mind: striving for accuracy, thinking interdependently, thinking flexibly
Reading Skills: inference, interpretation, making connections
Writing Skills: using mentor texts to improve writing
My Thoughts: This is one of my favorite books by Sharon Creech. She captures the voice of a young writer so well. I consider this a read aloud though I often use it as a text for doing shared reading. Since each entry is dated, one could conceivably read the pages on or close to the dates in the book–a read aloud that lasts all year long. In the back of the book are poems by: Walter Dean Meyers, William Carlos Williams, Robert Frost and Valerie Worth. You could use the poems for shared reading at the same time you read the book aloud.
Retell: Grace loves to act. When her school puts on a production of Peter Pan she is eager to audition. Her classmates tell her that she can’t be Peter Pan because she is a girl and she’s black. After an inspiring visit to the ballet Grace finds confidence to audition.
Topics: reading, stories, acting, school, gender issues, racism, role models, theater, ballet
Units of Study: Social Issues, Realistic Fiction, Character
Tribes: Personal Best
Habits of Mind: persistence, striving for accuracy, thinking interdependently
Reading Skills: inference, interpretation
My Thoughts: Amazing Grace has been a favorite read aloud of mine for introducing the Social Issues unit. However, I’m thinking of reading it earlier this year when introducing the Habit of Mind–‘persistence’. Grace is a good example of how one persists when they have a dream. Grace’s dream is to play Peter Pan. Despite the discouragement she receives from a few of her classmates, Grace practices over the weekend and ends up getting the part. However, it’s interesting to note that this persistence didn’t just come from herself–she had to be encouraged by her family. I wonder if Grace would have succeeded if her Nana hadn’t taken her to the ballet.
Topics: school, homework, field trips, libraries, food chain, history, poetry, partnerships
Units of Study: Fantasy, Authoring an Independent Reading Life
Tribes: mutual respect
Habits of Mind: responding with wonderment and awe
Writing Skills: incorporating rhythm and rhyme
My Thoughts: The poems in this collection are very, very silly–perfect for those ‘just for fun’ read alouds I mentioned yesterday. I think I’ll read, “I Made a Noise This Morning” (a poem about a student farting in class) when my students need a quick laugh. Though this collection is probably more suitable for younger grades, a few of the poems could be good hooks for mini-lessons or project launches. I’m planning on sending home more independent project ideas in Science and Writing. When I launch this project I may read Prelutsky’s “Homework” which describes a gooey experiment that didn’t go as planned. There is a cute poem entitled, “A Classmate Named Tim,” that I think I’ll use when introducing partnerships.
Topics: teachers, school
My Thoughts: Several weeks ago Colleen Cruz conducted a workshop on interactive read aloud at our school. In addition to doing interactive read aloud each day she suggests that we also tuck in moments when we read aloud books that are just plain fun. Miss Malarkey Doesn’t Live in Room 10 is one of those ‘just for fun’ books. I wonder how many of my students actually believe that I live in an apartment and not in my classroom? I plan on reading this aloud sometime during the first week of school. Perhaps I can use ‘just for fun’ read alouds as an incentive to get students to the rug faster.
Retell: Joe is always lagging behind the class. His teacher and his classmates are always telling him to hurry up. It’s not until a classmate stops to tie his shoes that he realizes why Joe keeps falling behind.
Topics: school, field trips, discovery, curiosity
Units of Study: Realistic Fiction, Talking and Writing about Texts
Tribes: appreciations/no put-downs, mutual respect
Habits of Mind: responding with wonderment and awe
Reading Skills: interpretation, inference
Writing Skills: using repetition, dialogue
My Thoughts: The main character in this book reminds me of my sweetheart. When we’re on route somewhere he always stops to smell the flowers on butterfly bushes or picks fruit from trees. If I’m in a hurry it can be frustrating at first, but most of the time it’s worth it to be a few minutes late. I appreciate how he makes me slow down and notice the world around me. What Joe Saw is a good book to read when you want your class to discuss the importance of paying attention to small details. However, you may not want to read this book to your class just before going on a field trip. It may be good to read during an interpretation unit. I can imagine having interesting discussions about the individual vs. the group.
49. Fireflies in the Dark: The Story of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis and the Children of Terezin by Susan Goldman Rubin
Retell: Learn about the amazing life of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, who taught art to children in the Terezin Camp during the Holocaust. The book includes several photos, drawings, paintings and writings from her students, many of whom did not survive.
Topics: art, holocaust, ghetto, Terezin, Nazis, school, poetry, drama, resiliency
Units of Study: Personal Narrative, Nonfiction, Content Area Reading and Writing, Social Issues
Tribes: personal best, mutual respect
Habits of Mind: persisting, thinking flexibly, creating-imagining-innovating, thinking interdependently, remaining open to continuous learning
Reading Skills: envisionment, determining importance, interpretation, inference
Writing Skills: launching writers notebook, zooming in on small moments
My Thoughts: One can learn many lessons from this book. I am impressed by Dicker-Brandeis’ devotion to learning. When she discovered that she would be sent to Terezin she chose not to bring items for herself, but art supplies for the children she knew would be in the camp. Through art her students were able to both escape and record the horrors around them. Though I don’t plan on teaching a unit about the Holocaust this year, I may choose to read a portion of this book when emphasizing how writers notebooks can be powerful places to record our memories, our thoughts and our struggles. It is important for our students to realize that their experiences, just like those recorded at Terezin, are important and should be recorded.