Showing posts from March, 2011
The second book I read last week was Hooway For Wodney Wat by Helen Lester. This is a story about a rat who can't pronounce his Rrs. His peers make fun of him and repeatedly ask him to pronounce words that have Rrs in them. When Camilla Capybara moves to their school the unlikely Wodney has a chance to become the hero.

I used this story during Friendship Week to talk about how we are all different. We talked about how we are all good at some things and not so good at others. I then strategically placed the kids so that they were sitting by someone they wouldn't have chosen on their own. Each kid had to write something nice about the person next to them. I was surprised by some of the creativity. Some of my favorite responses were "I like the way _____ talks" about a girl with a very distinct voice, "I like the way _____ writes", "I like that ____ is helpful", I could keep going. The kids were very kind and creative.

Friend week

The dynamics in my classroom have changed dramatically over the past couple of weeks. With those changes I realized that the culture in my classroom was more of an "all for one" than a community of learners. I think this is 50% my fault and 50% due to uncontrollable circumstances. I decided this week to right this wrong in my classroom by introducing "Friend Week". Almost everything we did this week required teamwork and communication. My read alouds were about friendship and self-esteem. This week I'm going to share the books I used to recreate the community of learners we had at the beginning of the year.

On Monday, I explained to the kids that it was friend week and we were going to get to know each other again and relearn how to be friends. I also explained that in order to be a good friend to others we have to like ourselves. We did all of this at the beginning of the year so most was review. The first book I read was I'm Gonna Like Me: Letting Off a …

Cat Secrets

I think I heard about the book Cat Secrets by Jef Czekaj this weekend at the Dublin Literacy Conference.  I borrowed it from the library this week and I love it.  The pictures are simple and all dialog is in speech bubbles.  Three cats have found a book called Cat Secrets and they want to share but first they have to make sure that everyone reading is a cat.  The story has the audience practicing all sorts of cat activities like purring and stretching to make sure only cats are listening.  The cats are humorous and the story ends with a cute twist.  I'm going to use this story as a mentor text for interactive writing and make a class book of a new "secrets".  We'll see what the kids brain storm.