Sunday, October 31, 2010

Week 5: The Hungry Coat

The Hungry Coat by Demi is one of my favorite books for teaching anyone (children/young adults) about how to treat others. In this story, a beloved townsman, Nasrettin is invited to a party with many other influential people. However, along the way his clothes get dirty as he helps out others. When he finally arrives at the party, the other guests (and host!) don't welcome Nasrettin as they usually do. This is a great opportunity to discuss why we choose people to be our friends, is it really what is on the inside that's important, and how others in the group can influence us.
Demi's books are always superb. The Empty Pot is another of my favorites.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Week 4: rhyming dust bunnies

Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas is very funny. The dust bunnies all love to rhyme, except for Bob who can't seem to get it all together. While this story is great just to read for fun, it of course launches a great discussion of rhyming words. The book helps to start the process of building and discussing rhyming words while also predicting what is going to happen to Bob. This story is funny for many ages, not just kindergarten. Students at older grades will have fun looking at the clues Bob gives, while also reading the other dust bunnies' responses to Bob.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Week 3.1: Art&Max

David Wiesner's new book Art & Max definitely left me scratching my head. But since it was a David Wiesner book, it had to be purchased. His book, Tuesday, was the first book I ever purchased for my own classroom and to this day, it is still my favorite book. 
Art&Max had quite a few text features going on that forced me to read the book several times. The layout is similar to Wiesner's earlier work (he was doing graphic novel layouts before they were cool) but I found the dialogue to be difficult to follow. Until....on my third read...I realized they are in different colors and fonts to help those who can't figure out which character is talking. (Like me!)
While this book has limited text, I wouldn't recommend it for little ones. There are many details that could be missed if you aren't looking carefully.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Week 3: Ping Pong Pig

There's not a lot to say about Ping Pong Pig by Caroline Jayne Church except that it is adorable. The illustrations really make the story charming. Ping Pong is a pig who wants to fly. The only problem is that he is disturbing the other animals on the farm. His friends decide to help him so that he will stay out of their way. However, he uses his new present to make life on the farm easier for everyone. A great story for talking about the idea that even if you can't do something fully (like flying for a pig), you can do it in your own way.
And again, the illustrations are just adorable.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Week 2.1: Swim! Swim!

I wasn't too sure what I was getting into when I picked up Swim! Swim! to read to a group of first graders. I wasn't sure if they would get it, since it is written similar to a graphic novel layout. However, they were rolling on the floor laughing by the time we finished this book.
Lerch is lonely and wants someone to be friends with, so he asks all the things around him to be his friend. This book has a great surprise ending and is definitely entertaining.

Classroom Ideas:
1. This is a great book to use to discuss speech bubbles and why/how they are used. There are great pages where more than one character is talking so the speech bubble actually represents two voices.
2. To adults it may be obvious where Lerch is at, but this is a great time to point out how we infer from a book. Is he in a fishbowl or in a lake? How do you know? This is a good way to explicitly point out inferring.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Week 2: It's a Book

It's a Book by Lane Smith reminds us what is great about books. There is so much technology available to students these days, this book reminds us what can happen when students forget about the wonder of a book. Adults need to make sure they read this book thoroughly before using it, as the word 'jackass' appears. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Week 1.1: The Dot

The Dot by Peter Reynolds is great to use with all ages. This wonderful story can be used to help children explore their inner talents. Each one of us has a special talent that we may not see in ourselves. When others take the time to help us notice it, it can be the catalyst to make that person feel especially wonderful. 

Classroom Ideas:
  1. Students write (or draw) about their own personal talents. These talents can be shared on a bulletin board (all framed in swirly gold) or orally.
  2. Have students make their own dot. Everyone can share how their dots are different and the same.
  3. This book is a great launching point for a discussion about how to get better at goals you have. 

Week 1: Kicking Off

This is the start of the first adventure. 52 weeks. 1 book a week. I fully think books should just be read and enjoyed, but there are always great learning opportunities within books.
Each week I'll share a new book and some ideas of how you could use the book. I'm not anticipating a lot of people reading this, but at least it will be somewhere to store some ideas. And a place to think about the 1725 books currently in my Delicious Library.
So....what will be the first book?