Chapter books | Class #3, 2015

julian_joey_omakayas

This week we are reading three chapter books — The Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos, and The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich. Each is the first book in a series and each has a strong central character, an element that I think is essential in early […]

The Stories Julian Tells | Class #3, 2015

The Stories Julian Tells

The Stories Julian Tells is the first book in an ongoing series about brothers Julian and Hughie, and their neighbor Gloria. This is an early chapter book for readers who have acquired some fluency but aren’t ready to tackle longer books yet. The chapters are fairly short, there’s lots of conversation, the plot is easy […]

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key | Class #3, 2015

joey pigza

The Joey Pigza books are hugely popular with upper elementary kids. Joey Pigza is the first of the series and while it’s not spelled out, I think it’s pretty obvious that Joey has ADHD. I like sharing this book with teachers because they tend to look at the situations described in the book completely differently […]

The Birchbark House | Class #3, 2015

The Birchbark House

Louise Erdrich’s historical novel The Birchbark House is the first in a series, each book following a child from a different generation in an Ojibwa community. Often, books for children contain a central character who is about the same age as the book’s readers. The Birchbark House would be a tough read for most children […]

Two articles about chapter books | Class #3, 2015

jackgantos

This week in addition to our three chapter books, we are reading two articles. The first is Robin Smith’s piece about her road to becoming a second grade teacher who loves LOVES books, and how she shares them with her classes: “Teaching New Readers to Love Books” from the September/October 2003 Horn Book Magazine. The […]

Picture books and early readers | class #2 2015

LC_books_week2_2015

Now that our first class is done, we can move on to some in-depth reading and discussing. Last week we got our feet wet with two picture books, one a classic and the other a wordless exploration of culture. For our second class on March 5, we will read two more picture books, two easy […]

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild | Class #2 2015

Mr Tiger

Mr. Tiger’s relationship with good manners — and his clothes — reflects a reality for lots of young children. They can try to be good for a while, but afterwards they just have to take a break and be themselves. The urge to let it all hang out is an old literary tradition. Straight-laced Edwardian […]

That New Animal | Class #2 2015

that new animal

Here’s another picture book for our second class. There are lots of books out there that tackle an emotional issue in a heavy handed way. I’m not a fan of those books, but I love this one. What do you think? Does it accomplish its goal? Would it appeal to a child in a similar […]

There Is a Bird On Your Head | Class #2 2015

thereisabird

Mo Willems has become THE master of easy readers. With pre-book work including Sesame Street and animation, he had the perfect training to create child- and teacher-friendly easy readers. I think he deserves every one of his many awards. What do you notice in this deceptively simple book? What does he do with simple shapes […]

Ling and Ting | Class #2 2015

lin_ling & ting twice as silly

This is one of two early readers (a.k.a. easy readers) for our second class. At the end of class, we talked about the difference between picture books and easy readers. How well do you think this book works in the early reader genre? Clearly it’s for somewhat more fluent readers than the Elephant and Piggy […]