It’s Monday! What Are You Reading??

I thouroghly enjoy reading children’s books.

  1. The Polar Express- written by Chris Van Allsburg

The Polar Express is a classic story about boy that doesn’t believe in Santa Claus.  As the story unfolds, the boy slowly begins to believe in Santa and his magic.  At the end of the story, the boy believed and also made new friends.

This is such a wonderful book.  I remember reading it when I was younger. I’m not sure what it is that I like better, the adventurous story or the illustrations.  What a phenomenal set of illustrations.  They are beautiful and unique.  My only criticism is that these beautiful illustrations are likely more enjoyable for adults than they are for children.

Overall, I loved this book and would (and probably will) read again.

2. Journey- written by Aaron Becker

Absolutely phenomenal.  It takes talent to make a true picture book SO enjoyable, and so “addicting”  It is a wordless book, but it tells a bigger story than many books that have words.  The young girl is seemingly bored, so she creates her own world.  The pictures tell a story of her adventures.  The wonderful details in the illustrations tell a story in their own.

3. Extra Yarn- by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen

The book Extra Yarn is about a young girl named Annabelle that finds a box full of yarn.  She knits sweaters for everyone and everything.  A royal man showed up and wanted to pay her for her “endless” yarn supply.  When he took it, the box of yarn was empty.  As Annabelle got her yarn back, it was full.

One thing that I loved about this book was the illustrations.  Yet again, the illustrations made the story liven up.    I also liked that even though there was a negative scene (with the royal man stealing her yarn), Annabelle was positive and happy when she received her yarn back.

4.  Green- by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

This book is a picture book with very few words.  It has cut outs that creatively peek into the next page, but fits in with the page you are on.  I loved the creativity of this book.  I caught myself going through it a second time making sure I caught all of the creative cut outs. This book had ten stars in my eyes.  I loved it.

5. Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity

This book was fun.  I feel that it would appeal to a wide age of children.  It is like a series, with several different Knuffle Bunny stories.  They are about a young girl and her stuffed animal bunny.  In this particular boo, Knuffle bunny gets mixed up with another child’s bunny that was very similar.  In the middle of the night, the two girls made their dads meet to straighten out the bunny situation.  From that day forward, they were good friends.

6.  Knuffle Bunny Too: A Cautionary Tale

This brings me to the next book, another Knuffle Bunny book.  This one was about the little girl and her father going to the laundromat and loosing Knuffle Bunny.  At the end, they found him and all was well.  This book was actually taken place before the mistaken identity, because the young girl was a toddler.    As I said about the book before, these are cute books.  The illustrations are not my favorite that I’d read, but I like the story.

7.  Ella Sarah Gets Dressed- by Margaret Chodos-Irvine

This book was about Ella Sarah who was a toddler, or a young girl, who dresses unlike anyone in her family (no matter how hard they tried to convince her).  They bicker about her outfits throughout the book, and in the end, all of her friends are dressed goofy like her.  This story was cute, not much depth to it, and the illustrations were not overly detailed, but I did like it.  They were cute pictures and the story was fun.

8.  The Lion and the Mouse- by Jerry Pinkney

Loved this one.  I absolutely loved the illustrations.  The story about a lion and a mouse, they couldn’t be much more opposite of each other.  I love the similarities and differences between the two animals. Pinkney’s illustrations made the book irresistible.

9.  The Graphic Alphabet- by David Pelletier

I enjoyed this book because it was another picture book.  It has a detailed picture of each letter of the alphabet.  It was a simple book that would be appealing to young children.  It teaches the alphabet.  Although this was simple and not super detailed, I loved the illustrations,

10.  One Cool Friend- by Toni Buzzeo, illustrated by David Small.

This book was about a young man who was polite, well put together, and mature.  His father takes him to the aquarium and asks if he can have a penguin.  His father thinks he means a stuffed penguin, so he says yes.  The young boy then sneaks a live penguin home and they play in his room all day.  In the end, his father learns about the live penguin and shows the boy that he has a giant live turtle as well.

This book was cute, but what sold it was the illustrations.  There were only highlight pieces that had color and that is what made the illustrations so great.  It made the bits of color stand out and seemed special.  I enjoyed this book and I think that it would appeal to many different ages of kids.

11.  Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type-  by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin

This book was comical.  It was about a group of cows that kept leaving typed out messages to their farmer.  They request funny things like electric blankets.  It is a good laugh, and I feel like little kids would love it.  I noticed at the library that there are several of these cow books. The cows are doing different things in each book I imagine. I enjoyed it because it was light hearted.

12.  My Friend Rabbit- by Eric Rohmann

Speaking of comical, this book was funny too.  It is about a rabbit and mouse combo.  The mouse is mature and smart and the rabbit is immature and goofy.  He is always getting the two of them into tight situations.  This book was not my favorite, it didn’t have a lot of depth.  But it was fun and I am sure that children would enjoy it.

13.  First the Egg- by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

This book was similar to the Green book.  It is written and illustrated by the same person. Another cut out book, and another brilliant one at that.  It talks about the egg coming before the chicken but at the end it says the chicken before the egg.

Laura Vaccaro Seeger is creative.  I would recommend both of the books I have read by her and will likely be finding more by her!

14.  Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes

This book was darling.  It was about a kitten that was trying to find a way to reach the moon because it thought it was a bowl of milk.  So sweet and cute and enjoyable.  I loved the illustrations and the story was simple and cute as well.

15.  A Sick Day for Amos McGee- by Philip Stead

This book was about a zookeeper that is connected with the zoo animals.  One day he does not show up to work because he is sick.  Shortly after the morning unfolds, the animals show up at his house.  It was a book that I would have loved as a child because it was about how the different animals had their own personalities..

Blogging: Kidslitosphere

I’ve been spending some time reading different blogs. Especially blogs about this new concept to me called “kidslitosphere”. Phenomenal, really.  It is an amazing little “community” that teachers post about their experiences of using picture books in the classroom.  I enjoyed reading about the different people’s perspectives.

I really enjoyed reading the blog “There’s a Book for That” and being able to pick through her brain and see her different methods of organizing books.  I also really like that that blog has posts about specific books that she reads to her students. Some books, she just reads pieces at a time.  What a wonderful way to instill reading in students.

Another blog that I really enjoyed was the “Nerdy Book Club.” This blog was a bit different from “There’s a Book for That.”  The articles that I read by them were reviews.  I enjoyed that, especially the one about C. Alexander London’s “Wild Ones.”  Reading the review truly made me want to read the book.  The way the author of the blog talks about the illustrations made the book sound wonderful.

One thing that I am excited about learning how to incorporate in my blogs, is the ability to review and critique books.  I am excited to learn how to successfully convince someone one way or another about a book.

I am quickly learning that blogging can be fun!  (I never thought those words would come out of my mouth…) If a person finds the right subjects to blog about, it can not only be interesting to read about but it can be fun to write.

I am starting to learn that blogging is good for me.  I enjoying being able to view other blogs just as much if not more than I enjoy the writing part of blogging.  It allows me to broaden my imagination and receive ideas from other blogs.  So from here on out, I’m going to be positive about blogging, and enjoy learning the tricks to blogging.

5- Image Story

Am I a reader? Yes.

My first memory of books, was as a young child, some of my very first memories include my sister (who couldn’t actually read) reading stories every night to me before bed.  She wasn’t old enough to read so she made them up as children often do.  I remember thinking it was SO cool to be able to read and tell stories.

Photo CC- By Robynlou Kavanagh
Photo CC- By Robynlou Kavanagh

My second memory of reading and books was also when I was very young.  I was four years old and I went to our public library with my mother.  I remember thinking it was better than any toy store or candy store.  It was phenomenal and I was stuck with my mouth wide open. What an amazing place for a kid to be.

Photo CC- By Miguel M. Almeida
Photo CC- By Miguel M. Almeida

When I was in first grade, my mom took me down to the library to get my very own library card.

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Needless to say, I was beyond excited.  I think it may have taken a couple of hours for me to be able to write my own name so “neatly”. This was a monumental moment for me because I finally had my own card. I could read all of the books I wanted. For free!!!

Skip forward to my high school years. I had a sophomore English teacher that would send me home with reading lists frequently.  She knew my taste and also suggested books that made me stretch my imagination. I appreciated that teacher and her dedication to me, and even though I knew from the first time I opened a book that I loved books and loved to read, she made me learn a deeper appreciation for reading and the authors themselves.  Reading became my refuge.

It's interesting to note that we often complain about our looks or our physical attributes and we would spend a fortune improving our looks but it's rare to hear ourselves complain about our mind/brain and even rarer to see ourselves spending a fortune to improve our mind.  Let's develop the habit of reading. :)
                     Photo CC- By Daniel Go

Recently, my grandfather passed away.  My family all spent hours cleaning out the house and dispersing things where they needed to go.  I found a box under the eves that contained old books.  Many of them were not legible but some of them were books that I had heard of.  I found a book titled “Harvey’s Elementary Grammar for the English Language.  The book was published in 1869, and it was my great great grandmother’s.  I keep those books that I found in the attic as keepsakes, as each one of them belonged to an older generation family member of mine.

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The Final

This class has taught me how to use many wonderful tools that will become helpful in my classroom.  This semester, I became an innovative thinker when I began working on our daily create projects.  I have always been artistic in the musical ability, but this class made me find artistic abilities that I never knew I had.  (Not saying that they were wonderfully done, but I could complete the projects.)

This semester I unlearned the idea that the internet is the enemy.  Many people feel that way, and even though I’ve never been completely on board with that ship, it is hard to ignore the damage that social media has caused.  This class made learn new ways to teach “the internet” in a healthier and more educational way.  After completing this class, I will be able to teach the correct ways to use the internet. And confidently!

I cannot pick just one thing that I surprised myself with this semester. There were so many aspects of this class that brought me out of my comfort zone and I handled it well.  The mere idea of being out of my comfort zone and producing my work well is one giant surprise.   I am also thoroughly surprised with myself on my work with my independent project.  I stuck with it and did the required hours to learn (and to be honest, I found myself spending extra time and… enjoying it!) I chose to learn the guitar.  Now, I am no talented guitar player, but I can pluck out some chords. Slowly.  And slightly roughly.  But I stuck with it.

While reading the article “The Mindset of an Innovator,”  there was one point that the author mentioned that touched home to me.  It went like this: “I am an innovative educator and I will continue to ask “what is best for learners”.  With this empathetic approach, I will create and design learning experiences with that question as a starting point.”  It is so important to remember that we are teaching to help better each and every student.  Not the ones that we get along with, not the ones that are intelligent, but every single student.

Now this class is finished and I know how important it is to keep all of the skills I learned here, close by.  It is crucial that I hold on to all of these tools until I become a teacher. I still have some classes to go, so I fear that I will forget.  In so many ways, this class benefited me and I can truthfully say that it has been the class that I can see myself look back on my work for ideas.  What a wonderful experience. Thank you.