Tag Archives: Books every child should read

Read Aloud is My Superpower

21 Oct

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Read aloud is one of my favorite times of the school day. I’d forgotten that, not having had my own classroom for six years.  This year’s class is a handful. but they love read aloud too!  It is the one time there are no side conversations and my class LOVES to  have side conversations.

The first book I read to the this year was The Worm Whisperer  by Betty Hicks. I knew this class was special because they referred back to events and characters in it when we were talking about other things. One day, just before we left for a long weekend, I was talking to them about being sure not to forget their homework, which led to a discussion of having a regular homework time.We talked about how plans sometimes change on long weekends, so they should have their regular plan in place, but have a back up plan just in case. One student piped up and said “You shouldn’t be so rigid that you can;t break your own rules.”, or something to that effect. I asked where they learned that and they said, “From Ellis’ teacher in The Worm Whisperer.”  I was impressed.

We read Dear Mr. Henshaw next, which they loved, though they were a little hesitant to leave The Worm Whisperer  behind. A couple of kids have borrowed both of those books to reread them on their own.

Friday we started The Doll People by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin. I wanted a book with a strong female lead and was reminded of this one by the recent publication of the 4th book in the series. The boys were not impressed by the cover. Too girly. By the time I reached the family sing-along I had hooked them. The Doll Family was son gong from Greatest Hits of the Sixties. I think it was my own singing of  R-E-S-P-E-C-T, and particularly the “sock-it-to-me ” chorus that really grabbed their attention. Apparently they didn’t know the song, so I played it for them, doing some silly movements with my head and hands. Just as the song finished, the principal was doing a walk-through with the custodian and the fire marshall. We all had a good laugh at that.

I enjoy watching their faces move from skeptical as I begin a new book, to entranced when I’ve hooked them.  I think read aloud might be my superpower.

Three books

21 Aug

At my meeting yesterday, one of the icebreaker things we had to do was write down 3 books we thought every elementary student should read by the time they leave for middle school. You could feel the buzz in the room. People had lots of ideas, but no one started to write. The hard part was limiting it to three.

My first one was my first book love,  The Story of Ferdinand  by Munro Leaf.

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It’s an old book, but when I read it lo, those many years ago, my eyes were opened. I was just like Ferdinand and I had never realized that I could identify so closely with the character in a book. Disney turned it into cartoon in 1938.

Next on my list was Frindle by Andrew Clements.

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This was Clements’ first book and it is a wonderful tale about creative thought and the power of words.Brian Selznick’s black-and-white illustrations enhance the humor in this unforgettable story.

Finally, I chose a newer book, one that resonated with me very powerfully the first time I read it, The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.

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Just thinking about the book makes me get all soft & mushy inside.

As the day wore on, I added a few titles to my list, as did other people, but I wonder, what three books of you think  every elementary student should read by the time they leave for middle school

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