Monday, March 25, 2013

Week 25

Press Here by Herve Tullet
Read to Kinder, 1st Grade, 4th Grade
Targeted Skills: Use text evidence to make Inferences
 I read this at the beginning of the school year to Kinder and 1st Grade, so I wasn't expecting the same reaction of complete glee. Since it is a Mockingbird book, I needed to share it again, and it was also a good time to read it to 4th grade. 

This book just ROCKS. Even though the kids knew what was going to happen to the dots, they still screamed in delight--yes, screamed--when the dots got bigger. Maybe it's just an excuse to scream in the library (yes, I let them--enjoying books should be so joyful), but I think it was an authentic response. And the 4th graders thought it was super-cool, too. And they screamed.

As if this book wasn't awesome enough on its own, there is an iPad app! It does not have the book as a feature (which would be amazing), but it has games to play with the dots. I demonstrated a few games and turned it into a little making inferences activity; we would guess what the dots would do based on the name of the game. For example, one game is called, "Fireworks," so the kids inferred that the dots would explode like fireworks. Boom. They were right. Oh, the app is not free. It's $1.99 and worth every penny. 
Lesson Frame:

Home Screen for Press Here App

You tap the dots to uncover the games

"Fireworks" Game--Exploding dots
Is Everyone Ready for Fun? by Jan Thomas  and Oink-A-Doodle-Moo by Jef Czekaj
Read to 2nd Grade
Targeted Skills: Make Inferences and Text Connections between the 2 books

These are two short books on the Mockingbird list, so I combined them, and the kids were able to find many similarities between them (both have animals as characters, both have cows and chickens, both stories are told through speech bubbles). One that I did not think of was that they are both by authors of previous Mockingbird books, Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas and Hip and Hop, Don't Stop by Jef Czekaj. That was a happy accident. I love it when those happen!

Lesson Frame: 
I Want My Hat Back and This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen 
Read to 3rd Grade
Targeted Skills: Make Inferences and Text Connections between the 2 books

My circulation computers took 2 hours to log on the week before Spring Break (proof that even the computers were tired). I have a 3rd grade class first thing each morning, so this was problematic. (Third is the only drop-off and fixed schedule grade level because I am part of the elective rotation to lessen the PE numbers as part of a district's a long story). Anyway, no computers meant no checkout, so I had to get creative with our 45 minutes together. This was a perfect opportunity to share these two book in a compare/contrast lesson format.

First, I read I Want My Hat Back and then This is Not My Hat. Then we did a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the two books. The students LOVED it and I suggest reading these two books together for a strong lesson in the importance of using illustrations for meaning. So much of the humor in these books is inferred through the pictures. 

Lesson Frame:
Venn Diagram:

Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Read to 6th Grade
Targeted Skills: How sensory language creates imagery

As I've written in a previous post, I am on a personal mission to get as many people as possible to read Wonder. Three of my sixth grade classes have finished it or are in the process, so I still had 2 more classes to get on board. I decided that I would share the beginning of the book in this lesson, and then the kids would BEG their teacher to keep reading it. And it worked.  

As the students listened to the first chapter of Wonder, we discussed how Palacio uses sensory language to create imagery, and we made a foldable that looked like this:

 We discussed how the sensory details are the cause and the image that they produce in the reader's mind/heart is the effect. I recommend doing this with any chapter in Wonder. Truly a perfect read-aloud because it is engaging and offers so many lessons.

I also played the song "Wonder" by Natalie Merchant since this is where Palacio got the inspiration for the title. We listened to the song and then the students wrote about how it connects to August.

Lesson Frame:

In an effort of full transparency and fallibility, here are some pictures of March Madness in the library--the Friday before Spring Break. Actually, it has often been MUCH worse, but this will give you an idea:

Books are ALWAYS on carts in my library.

Do your shelves look like this or is it just mine?

I tell the kids that the good books are on the carts.

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