Tammy's literature blog

Reading can be a great escape for anyone!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Teaching Strategies

Developing teaching strategies for literature circles really allowed me to see just how much there is to do with a book! I really liked this article and the amount of information that it offered. I had no idea the different activities and the varying degree of skill level that can be incorporated. Literature circles are definitely something that I would love to try, but even some of the activities in the article such as the interview and character study can be simplified to use in class everyday.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Book List

Here is my list of book titles that I think would be great to use in the classroom:

Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park: This is a great series that students can read and there are at least 30 books in the series already. These can be great for reading records because they do not need to be read in sequence.

Thursday's Child by Noel Streatfeild: This is a great book for grades 4-7 that can be used as a read aloud or novel study.

The Ousiders by S.E. Hinton: also made into a movie, this book is better for grade 7 and as a read aloud to grades 5 or 6. This novel can also be a great book for a literature circle.

Eragon and Eldest by Christopher Paolini: This is a great pair of books for grade 6 and 7 that can also serve as an alternative to the Harry Potter series. The first novel is written by Christopher when he was only 15 years old, a great way to intrigue students to write on their own.

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling: This series is just so popular that I had to include them. The popularity itself can really encourage students to read and of course there are the Harry Potter movies.

The Frog Princess? (shown): This is book suitable for k-2 that offers a change in gender roles that can be used for class discussion.

The Cay by Theodore Taylor: This book is good for grade 5-7 and is great for a read aloud or a greaet novel study and literature circle.

Frog Girl by Paul O Lewis: This book is good for k-3 students and links with aboriginal content. Hope that you enjoy these titles as much as I did!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Read Aloud

For today's read aloud I read Matthew and the Midnight Pirates. This is a super fun book for younger students. This also comes in a series of other Matthew and the Midnight... books and can be used in the classroom during units on pirates or just for fun. Reading aloud for me is a wonderful memory that I have from my own childhood. Being read to by my Dad or a teacher was just a great escape for the imagination. I loved being able to sit there and let my mind wonder. One thing that I found when reading aloud is to ensure that students understand what is being read to them and to keep their attention by asking questions during the story. Afterwards I sometimes think that with all the attention on probing for understanding, predicting, and so forth do we for get that sometimes a story is just a story? I wonder if we end up taking away from the imaginative magical experience when we constantly interrupt the story for questions.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Mina's Spring of Colours

Mina’s Spring of Colours is a wonderful book that can be used in class just as a novel to read or incorporated into a unit on festivals. It is a bright and happy story that touches upon the notion of human equality. When everyone is covered in colours everyone looks essentially the same. People’s differences and diversity seem to melt away revealing a unity amongst all. In my opinion it is essential to offer st However, during our literature circle and discussion of social justice this clearly is not the way the world works. udents books of happiness, fun, and hope and Mina’s Spring of Colours does just that in regards to cultural diversity. However, while I also feel that it is important for students to see the other side of that are there limitations to where we should begin this? I would love to show books such as the Coolies and Sky Sash so Blue and discuss this at the lower grade levels, but at the same time don’t think that I would because I’d be too afraid to…

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Too Old?

One thing that I was thinking about was the talk that we had about really really OLD resources and books such as encyclopedias. How does that hold for timeless classics and books that we read when we were young? I know that for myself I would love to read to my future students some of the books that I read when I was young. But then I wonder if they are too outdated, too old, or just totally uncool?!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Freckle Juice!

I chose Judy Blume’s Freckle Juice, 1971 because this was a favorite author of mine. I can’t even remember all the books that I’ve read of hers. When I found Freckle Juice it brought back so many memories of reading and being read to. I think that I even attempted to make Freckle Juice too! (what kid didn’t?!) When I think about my childhood, books, reading, and library visits are always a part of it. Going to the library and being read to was the one thing that my Dad did with my brother and I that my Mom did not have a part in. This was the special time that we got to do things with just our Dad. At bedtime we would get read to and I remember my favorite story being Funny Bunny. Soon bedtime re-aloud time turned into staying up as late as I could get away with to read.

I don’t remember when I started to read on my own, but books such as Freckle Juice and other Judy Blume books, the Ramona series, and of course Sweet Valley High were a staple in my reading repertoire! I have always loved reading and my parents encouraged our reading all the time. I think that reading and enjoyment of reading so important for everyone, and I also think that it’s never too late to discover a love of books!

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