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Showing posts from June, 2011

Reflections on myself as a reader

Only during the summer do I take the time to read an adult novel. During the school year I'm constantly on the hunt for the best children's books to use in my classroom.  This summer I chose Water for Elephants. It was supposed to be a great love story and I wanted something pretty mindless to get lost in for a few days. The book itself was good, the ending was disappointing but that's another story.  As I was reading, I started to think about myself as a reader; the things I do, where I read, how I read. 

Let's just say that's it's a miracle I'm a even reader as an adult.  In school, I was always in the high reading group and given the hard books to read but I was a slow reader, really slow; or so I thought. I would take me two days to finish a chapter. I was always behind in my reading and never really remembered what happened. I remember in 4th grade we had to read Little House In the Big Woods by Laura Ingles Wilder, I HATED it. I didn't care about …

A Very Full Morning

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I picked up "A Very Full Morning" by Eva Montanari the other day mostly because I liked the illustrations and it was about the first day of school.  Wow, was I pleasantly surprised when I read the book all the way through. The story starts with Little Tooth going to bed early, "tomorrow morning she has to go to a very special place".  The only clue the reader get as to where Little Tooth is going is on the front cover.  The story winds along until she finally gets to school and a little surprise is revealed. 

The illustrations are what make this story amazing.  The illustrations are dramatic with the use of extremely over sized and under-sized objects and characters.  Montanari uses minimal words and lets her illustrations tell most of the story.

After learning with Matt Glover at Lakota I've read this book a couple of times trying to "read like a writer".  I think this book could be used over and over again to talk about word choice, many different …

Books for students and my learning

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We have a discount store around here called Ollie's.  They have a hodge podge of things including brand new books.  The first time I went here I had no expectation of finding quality literature but was soon surprised by what I saw.  I've never paid more than $3.99 for a book and often leave without buying everything I really want.  This picture is from the trip I made today.  The authors include Thomas, Cronin, Carle, Gravett, Clements and many more.  In the past I've also bought books by Kevin Henkes and Peter H. Reynolds here.  It takes some work to search through the stacks but when you come out with gems like this, it's well worth it.  Look for my thoughts on these books to come.

I also have a stack of the professional books that I plan on reading this summer.  This is the only time I feel like I have a chance to read and appropriately absorb what I need to from these brilliant people.  First on my list is Jan Anderson's The Next Steps in Guided Reading.  I'…

Lakota Literacy View-New Learning

For me, teaching writing to kindergartners is the most unsure time of my day.  I have pretty high expectations of my kids for everything else but during that time I didn't really know what to expect.  The most consistent advice I've gotten is "if they get words and pictures on a page you are doing great" or "pictures and words matching is a huge deal".  I always felt like my kids could do more but didn't really know where to begin. 

Then last year I attended the Lakota Literacy View and met Ann Marie Corgill.  She talked about using mentor texts and letting the kids have full creative power.  I set up a writing area a lot like the one Ann Marie had in her classroom.  I think that my kids writing this year was better. They wrote different kinds of things but it still where I wanted it.

This past week at Lakota I took sessions with Matt Glover.  I hadn't heard of him but after a little research I found out he believe that kids can write a book on the…