September 25, 2015
Three Read Alouds to Start the School Year
Here are three books that I would recommend as read alouds, for continuing to build your learning community and to touch on the major themes of new beginnings and honoring people's learning journeys during the school year:
The tiny boy works to nurture one flower in a garden too large for him to handle. When he's done all that he can, the boy goes into a long hibernation. During this time, a girl who lives nearby the garden (her yard) sees the flower and is inspired to expand.
Themes: Inspiration, Purpose, Community, Hope
A boy is very worried about school, especially with how he feels his teacher treats him. He perceives her as being a monster, until he runs into her at the park during one of his treasured weekends. A very humorous story with a nice message.
Themes: Perceptions, Misconceptions, Understanding, Empathy
A young boy finds an idea, in the form of an egg, and isn't sure what to do with it. "Where did it come from? Why is it here?" he asks. The boy goes through several stages of dealing with his idea - shame, frustration, wondering, nurturing - until he finally finds his idea's true purpose.
Themes: Creativity, Innovation, Imagination, Questioning
I have all three books in my office (My Teacher is a Monster is on my iPad). I would be happy to read aloud these to your class. You are also welcome to share them with your students yourself. Let me know!
We've been handing these out frequently in high need areas, such as the cafeteria, and with individual students struggling with a behavior skill. Remember that these are recognitions (Reward + Verbal Acknowledgment).
Three of Mrs. Xiong's third graders are reading/listening to books being read aloud on Stories Online. It is a free website that offers several classic books in digital format. Teachers can also request enhanced iBooks for their iPads.
We have conducted three trainings so far. Our fourth and final one for September is on Monday at 4 P.M. Click here to post any questions you might have and to let me know you are attending.
- A comment left by a parent on their son's video of him reading aloud his own writing via FreshGrade
Professional Development Day
Monday, Sep. 28th, 7:45am-3:45pm
2911 Washington Street
Wisconsin Rapids, WI
Introduction to Poetry
I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide
or press an ear against its hive.
I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,
or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.
I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.
But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.
They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.
(From The Apple That Astonished Paris. Copyright © 1988, 1996 by Billy Collins. Reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of the University of Arkansas Press, www.uapress.com)