I’m so excited to announce that I’ll be moderating my first Twitter chat on Wednesday, March 29th.
As a ClassDojo Ambassador, I’ll be hosting this chat from the comfort of my very own “embassy!”
I’d love to have you join me!
You know this kid. He’s the one that showed up in your classroom, absolutely HATING reading. We all know this kid…we’ve all had these kids in our classes. They are our biggest challenges and the source of our greatest joy…that is, if we are successful.
Meet Tyler. He’s a kiddo who’s comfortable in his own skin, and has no problem telling you what he’s thinking about. If he’s hungry, he’ll let you know. If your lesson is sub-par, he’s got no problem telling you about that too.
We started our year with him jotting a note on my “Hello Board” that said, and I quote, “I hate reading.”
Yep. “I hate reading.” Just. Like. That.
But here’s the thing: I LOVE THIS KID! Even better: I love being Tyler’s teacher. He keeps it real. He challenges me. And he makes my days a heckuva lot more interesting. He’s really fun.
Just the other day, Tyler was saying, “I’m hungry. A cheeseburger would be nice. What do you say Mrs. Lutzke? How about you and me go and get us some cheeseburgers? Knute’s has a $5.00 special today!” Have I told you how much I love this kid? Who wouldn’t, right?
But, I digress.
Tyler didn’t like to read. That is true. So I needed to figure out why he wasn’t enjoying reading. So I conferred with him. We talked. He shared. He debated. And, ultimately he shared a truth that needed to be explored. He didn’t know what he liked in terms of books. He hadn’t yet found out what kind of reader he was.
We had to find a common ground…and that was in humor. He’s a funny guy. I’m a quirky adult. So I needed to dig into my stash o’humor in order to find a starting point. Thank goodness for Jeff Kinney and his Diary of a Wimpy Kid series! I encouraged Tyler to give one a try, and…SHAZAM! He liked the books. A lot. Tyler was plowing through this series the way the Tazmanian Devil decimates landscapes. So cool. So exciting as a teacher to watch this…and even more stunning…Tyler decided to join the school Book Club!
I ask my students to create “Reading Selfies.” This was Tyler’s from November:
Today is one of those days when I’m going through my blog stats…and I actually found a blog post that I started about 3 years ago. What to do? Do I throw this one away, or do I resurrect this post and put it out there.
If it was anyone but Jon Scieszka, I might consider tossing it. But I have a soft spot for an author that makes me laugh so hard that milk comes out of my nose…well…who am I to withhold such a treasure?
Ok folks…if you haven’t yet shared Knucklehead with your upper grade kiddos, then what the heck are you waiting for?
Knucklehead gives the reader the opportunity to see what makes the genius behind The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales tick. PLUS…it’s an awesome mentor text for student narrative writing! Seriously. Awesome. Scieszka’s “Car Trip” is worth the cost of the book.
Who doesn’t love a station wagon full of 6 boys and a cat, traveling cross-country?
There are so many great books that can serve as mentor texts for writing. What books are YOU using as writing mentor texts?
Happy Wednesday all! Today’s topic is ENGAGEMENT…and it’s an important one at that! Join Tina over at Crofts’ Classroom for today’s post. This is one of those posts that’s just full of ideas…not only from Tina herself. Check out that Comment Section! Great ideas abound!
My favorite from Goal 2 is Buzz Books. How do you create a “buzz” in your classroom surrounding books with your kids? In my class, we have a “Buzz Books” bin that students can add to. We check it out from time to time!
Another strategy I’m using in my classroom helps to keep some of my wanderers in one place so that they can stay focused and build reading stamina. I call it “Reading Spots.” When my students find a place to read, the put a “Reading Spot” on the floor and sit down/lay down to read. My “Reading Spots” are actually brightly colored round placemats from IKEA. (The best $6.00 I’ve spent in a long time!)
Tina’s post not only shares her faves from Goal 2, but she also asks great questions to stimulate the conversation.
So what are you waiting for? Stop on by to join i the conversation!
It was through her blog that I was turned on to these two gems that I plan on sharing with my students today:
Gus Gordon’s little gem of a book captures city life and has such a great musical vibe…couple that with a sweet story of friendship and you’ve got a winner! (Added bonus: The cover looks like a jacket for a classic vinyl album!)
Oh man! Where has this book been for the last nine years…and how come I’ve never heard of it? Pete and Pickles has the most whimsical illustrations PLUS the story. Have I told you about this story? It’s been a long time since I cried while reading a children’s book…yet here I am, admitting that this book had me sobbing.
Berkeley Breathed has created a magnificent story of friendship that is so clearly captivating…so beautiful…sigh.
This is one of those books that should be in every teacher’s collection.