Monday, September 04, 2006

Book Thoughts

My new students are not in love with books. This is a strange thing for me. I can't quite understand it since to me, books bring so much joy to my life. As I have been getting to know my new group, I have heard a lot about the shows they watch on tv and the video games they play. I have heard not one thing about books. How sad!

The first two weeks of school I read picture books to my class. They thought that was fun but I didn't hook them. Last week I resolved to change all of that. I am going to read a bunch of series chapter books to the kids. I want to try and hook them on to a character in one of the books. My thought is that maybe, just maybe, this will draw them in. Our book for last week was Flat Stanley.

Flat Stanley

The kids thought that Stanley was hilarious. When we visited the library this week one of the kids asked for the Flat Stanley book and then almost passed out when he saw that there were many other Stanley books in the series. He then ran around to all of his classmates to share the amazing news. (GOTCHA!) All of the Stanley series books in the series were checked out of the library that day. It is starting... Next week we will read Horrible Harry.
Other Book Thoughts:

Situation #1
Student #1 dragged his mom to school one morning. She was a bit perturbed when I greeted her. She said " ______ said that he has to bring in money for the circus. What is that about?"

Me: "Circus? ________ what are you talking about?"

Student #1: "The circus. Like in the pages!"

Me: (dumbfounded) "I don't know what you are talking about." (pause...thinking...) "You mean in the book order?"

Student #1: "Yeah!"

Mom: (Whacking the kid on the head with his homework folder) "__________You don't need anymore books! You have too many books! You don't even read!"

Me: (pulling the kid away from mom and into the room) "Well have a nice day. BYE!"

As soon as mom was out of sight, I hugged little Student #1 who was teary eyed after his book dreams were sadly crushed. I ordered the book and will keep it for him at school.

Situation #2

Me: "You guys need to read more books and watch less video games!"

Group: "We love video games!"

Student #2: (raising her hand and asking in a very serious way) "I don't have books Ms. V. How can I read them?"

Me: I will get you some!

I am sending some home every night with her now.


GuusjeM said...

Yeah for books! You are every librarians dream teacher (want to move to Houston??). I bet your kids would like Junie B. Jones too.

MsAbcMom said...

I think that they will love Junie B. I can't stand her but the kids love her. I really want to read Goonie Bird Greene to them but I think it will be wasted time, at least this early on. They don't have the language to understand it yet. I think I will introduce it in Spring. That will give me plenty of time to fill these kiddos up on a language rich vocabulary diet.

Susan said...

Yay, Ms. V! This is terrific. I linked this post at Chicken Spaghetti. It's sure to give others good ideas!

MsAbcMom said...

Thanks Susan!

Anonymous said...

After a couple weeks or so of school, when I'm ready to introduce my leveled book boxes, I start sending books home. After our SSR (we call it Avid Reading) time, kids can come up to me with their books of choice and trade their number stick for a big ziploc bag. The stick reminds me that they borrowed a book--no other record keeping. I intentionally have a couple less ziplocs than kids. That way, the kids don't assume that they'll get to borrow a book and really rush to get a bag so they can take a book home. There is some wear and tear on the books, and sometimes I lose them, but it's surely worth it. My favorite part of teaching is watching the kids turn on to reading. Toward the middle of the year, we start book clubs, where I'll put out a series on each table and let the kids choose where they want to sit according to the book series they've read. I hear things like, "Wasn't it funny/scary when..." or "Yeah that one was pretty good, but I really liked..." or "Hey did you know there's a dog on every page in the book?" Margie

Dree said...

Yay for books, indeed! My first graders think Junie B is a riot. They also enjoy Frog and Toad & Little Bear. I can't wait to start reading to my kids! It's my second favorite part of the job! (My first favorite? When the kids do the reading themselves!)

Dree said...

Oh, one more thing... Margie, what grade do you teach? I love the idea of book clubs (or literacy circles), but I think first grade is too early for that. Just curious to see what age works. Thanks!

MsAbcMom said...

Margie: How do you run your book clubs? I would love to do that. Maybe you should post about it???

MotherReader said...

I came here through Chicken Spaghetti's link. I just wrote a piece about Junie B. Jones that might help you grow to like her. Or tolerate her. Either way. Here's the address:

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know more about literacy circles. My book club days are very simple. After I figure out with series are the very favorites, I lay them out on tables and let the kids chose (with some guidance)tables to sit with books they've enjoyed reading. Then they just spend the time sharing, rereading, discussing the books. I model it first, and also tell them how much I enjoy talking about my favorite books with my friends. Fortunately I'm at the only school in my district that isn't into AR. Margie

Anonymous said...

BTW, I teach second grade, just like my wonderful niece, msabcmom! Margie

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

A year ago my wife and I spent a glorious spring morning looking at wildflowers in the Anza-Borrego Desert. At the visitors center I saw a little paper creature being photographed by some smiling adults. I sidled over and said, "That looks suspiciously like a Flat Stanley, is it?" It was, and they were delighted that I recognized him/her/it.

Maybe you can hook your kids on reading by getting them involved in the Flat Stanley Project. Here's the Web site: