My blog has been quiet lately, as there never seems to be enough hours in the day for it. However, I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching about my reading instruction and how to make it better and more efficient. I’ve immersed myself in the works of Donalyn Miller, Jen Serravallo, Mary Howard, Kylene Beers, Jan Richardson, and Lester Laminack. Their books, and daily social media posts, inspire me to be better. There comes a time in every educator’s career when they have to decide on which side of the line they stand when it comes to instruction. I’m at that point with mine. Stay tuned to hear about some of my changes.
In the meantime, one thing that I will not give up is reading to my students on a daily basis. I will fight for this opportunity.
So, here goes … 5 books I read to my students this week. Maybe you’ll find something that will work in your classroom.
A New Coat for Anna by Harriet Ziefert
This one has been around for a while, but it lends itself so well to our social studies standards about productive resources. It’s a sweet story about a little girl who needs a new coat. She and her mother barter various items over the course of a year to get the new coat made. It gives a lot of perspective for just how much work and resources are needed to make an item. Anna has such appreciation & joy for her new coat when it’s finally finished.
Encounter by Jane Yolen
My colleagues introduced me to this title for our standards about European explorers. This is a wonderful book about Christopher Columbus’s landing in San Salvador from a Taino boy’s perspective. He tries to warn his people about the newcomers who only appear to be interested in what they can take from his people. My class had a great discussion about perspective and inference after reading this text.
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena
This is a book that I borrowed from my child’s personal library to share with my students. It’s about a little boy, CJ, who travels on the city bus with his grandma to the soup kitchen where they volunteer their time. CJ questions his grandma frequently about the things they don’t have. She gives him perspective and gently helps him to see and appreciate the simple beauties around them.
Perimeter, Area, and Volume: A Monster Book of Dimensions by David A. Adler
Who says a read aloud can’t be done during math? The author uses the premise of a 3-D monster movie to help teach measurement concepts for perimeter, area, and volume. The pictures are silly and this book is a lot of fun!
My Weird School Fast Facts: Explorers, Presidents, and Toilets by Dan Gutman
My students LOVE the My Weird School series! Finding this non-fiction text with familiar characters and humor was like striking gold for my kiddos. We only read the first chapter that related to Christopher Columbus & the Native Americans, and then I made it available in my classroom library. This book is a fun and goofy way to learn about parts of American history.