Monday December 8th, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

My favourite reading photo of the week is another gem from buddy reading. I captured this little guy mid-point. I love how my students interact and have such fun with the K class. It is a highlight for all of us!

Monday December 8th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

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Oh you should see my beautiful piles of books to read – they are spread out in multiple places around my house. I did dip my toe into reading some of them. But people in my house were sick and I wasn’t = lots more housework for me. Housework and soup making. People in my house needed to go to lots of dance rehearsals = less time for reading for me. It’s the way it goes! My reading plans are still all about meeting my goals for the year but the countdown to 2015 is certainly on . . .

I did manage to choose my must own/must share picture books for my Gift Books 2014 post. Check it out if you missed it and see if your favourites are there. Would love to hear which books would make your list if you would like to leave a comment. #Booklove shared is the very best kind!

Gift Books 2014

And I read some lovely books:

Haiti my country: Poems by Haitan Schoolchildren Illustrated by Rogé

This title is stunning. The portraits are incredible – full of joy, somber, movement and stories. And the poems . . . Written by Haitian teenagers – these poems celebrate nature. They touch all of your senses with the images of Haiti – pink flowers, ripe mango, dancing Haitian trees, humble little huts, a garden of gold . . . One of the New York Times Best Illustrated Books I had to purchase this title. I want to share it with my students and immerse them in the images these young poets create.

Haiti My Country Monday December 8th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade written by Justin Roberts and illustrated by Christian Robinson

I like how the power of observation and the eye for detail are honoured here. But not just of the external, extraneous details. Instead, details of our interactions and our intentions. One little girl misses nothing and reminds everyone about how we treat each other.

smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade Monday December 8th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Are you a Ladybug? A Backyard Book by Judy Allen and Tudor Humphries

I have many of these Backyard Book titles in my classroom collection and was happy to add this one. I posted about using these titles in my classroom here.

 Are you a Ladybug? Monday December 8th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I Loathe You by David Slonim

If you are a monster, you might express your deep feelings by substituting the word loathe for love. Fun to read aloud and giggle over. A perfect addition to my list of monster stories.

I loathe you Monday December 8th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Lord of the Forest written by Caroline Pitcher and illustrated by Jackie Morris

Oh, trust me, this cover is a mere peek. Each illustration is absolutely this stunning throughout the entire book! Little tiger goes in search of the Lord of the Forest. When he is grown and has cubs of his own, the secret of who is Lord is revealed.

 Lord of the Forest Monday December 8th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff

Add me to the list of Albie fans. Being kind is still absolutely underrated which is ridiculous but true. Albie reminds us all of many things. Most of all – how very challenging it is to be true to yourself.

Absolutely Almost Monday December 8th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt

This was a reread for me as I read it aloud to my children. Easily one of my favourite novels of all time. Both of my children loved it. Incredibly written. Doug Swieteck is our hero. If you have read this book, you are nodding your head. If you haven’t, go, find a copy and soon. Can’t recommend this book highly enough. Middle grade perfection.

Okay for Now Monday December 8th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate

A novel in verse. Again, I will say, that novels with sparse words often haunt us with the most powerful images. This book made me very sad. Not quite ready to articulate the many reasons why. An important read.

 home of the Brave Monday December 8th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Next up? I have started I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. I am also still reading The Turtle of Oman: A Novel by Naomi Shihab Nye. With my children, I have begun Twerp by Mark Goldblatt

Reading Goal Updates: 

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 77/100 novels complete (yes, more than 20 to go! I have faith!)

Goodreads Challenge: 560/650 books read (48 books behind)

#MustReadin2014: 21/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 128/65 complete

How to Teach a Slug to Read (and maybe improve your own skills in the process)

Do you know this book? How to Teach a Slug to Read by Susan Pearson and illustrated by David Slonim.

How to Teach a Slug to Read

Find a copy and appreciate. Ms. Sheperd-Dynes, Seymour’s Teacher-Librarian passed it on to me. I was delighted and knew it had to be shared and quick!

My reading group had been busy brainstorming a list about what good readers do. It is important to reflect on things we might not even be aware of but also, a good time to check in – are there things on the list I could be doing?

IMG_1072What do good readers do?

We certainly had some great ideas. I love that daily, enthusiastic reading made it on there.

Good readers love to read after all and the more they read, the better they get at it!!

We also knew that we needed to use a variety of strategies: sounding words out, visualizing, and paying attention to context clues. Good readers also read from a variety of levels and a variety of genres.

A balanced diet of books.

My daughter saw this list and had something to add: “Good readers feel the emotions of the characters so they can feel what the author wants them to feel.”

Yes, she’s brilliant.

I then asked them to think about how they learned to read. I gave them strips of paper and felts and 10 minutes. Go write down everything you remember!

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Some more great ideas

 I then read them the very clever and delightfully simple How To Teach a Slug to ReadYes, it is all about how Mama Slug teaches her little slug to read, but it is not much of a stretch to apply it to early readers and developing readers everywhere. When we finished the story, I gave the students 10 more minutes to write any more “How to learn to read tips,” that they might have thought of after hearing this story. Here is what happened second time around:

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Some specifics

Be careful when you read.

Make it sound fun.

Have expression.

Be really into the book.

Make it sound interesting.

 

Another great idea

Other great ideas included: repeat favourite words, point out words in the text, label words in your world, learn from your mistakes, read poems, make it interesting, choose fun books, etc.

All in all some great learning and some careful summarizing of  important reading advice. We’re going to have great a year of reading.

“Why did we do this today?” I asked my students. “Well Ms. Gelson,” said Catriona, “It’s not like we know everything. There is still room for improvement! We have to keep thinking of ways to get better.”

They also told me that I should give this book to the Kindergarten teacher so she could use these ideas with her students.