On Friday, our classroom was transformed into a sort of literary cafe as students were invited to their very first BOOK TASTING event. Book tasting gives students the opportunity to sample some juicy reads in a short period of time and come away with a wish list of titles. It’s a great way to let young readers sample different authors, genres, and series. After all, books are a lot like food—you won’t know if you like something until you try it!
We ‘sampled’ several different genres of books including:
this photograph taken by Tess
At each table sat a pile of 10-15 books of a particular genre.
After checking out the front and back covers and inside flaps, students spent a few minutes browsing through the book to develop their first impressions. When time (about 5 minutes) was up, students wrote down observations and made note of whether or not they want to add the book to their wish list.
They rated the book out of 10 and jotted some notes about various things including what they thought of the book, what did the author do to hook them, and so on. It’s a perfect way for kids to nibble on a book and decide if they want to devour the whole thing!
Students rotated through 5 different stations in total. Afterwards, we enjoyed some yummy refreshments!
It was so much fun and we all went away with perhaps a few books we would like to read, maybe even from a genre we have never explored before.
Our next Book Tasting will be sometime after Christmas.
As Remembrance Day, November 11, approaches, we remember those fallen heroes, those who lost their lives in service.
Today, we read a beautiful book called A Bear in War. It serves as a gentle introduction to war, to Remembrance Day, and to the honour of those who have served their countries. It is narrated by “Teddy” the bear himself. It is a true Canadian story about a young girl named Aileen who sent her teddy bear to the front lines of the war in Belgium to keep her dad company.
The book not only has beautiful illustrations but also real photographs of the actual people whom the story is about.
If you haven’t read the book, we highly recommend it. Our class learned some interesting facts about World War I, learned about trenches, the kinds of conditions the soldiers fought in, and the importance of keeping their feet dry. We learned how important letter-writing was and how different the times were back in those days.
If you want to meet Teddy for yourself, visit him at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa! Class trip, perhaps?? 🙂
Today our class was treated to another Mystery Reader and that guest was…Mrs. Woods!
She read us two different books. The first one was called Let There be Peace on Earth by Jill Jackson & Sy Miller. This book also comes with a CD so we played the first song “Let There Be Peace on Earth”.
The second one was called What Does Peace Feel Like? by Vladimir Radunsky. We all shared what we thought peace smelled like, felt like, looked like, and so on. We had some great ideas!
A big SHOUT OUT to Mrs. Woods for coming in and sharing her time with us. How special!
As you know in our class, we are reading the Global Read Aloud book called A Boy Called Bat. Here is the second video from Elana K. Arnold, the author. Perhaps she has now answered some of the question you may have been thinking about.
I’ve also included a super cute baby skunk video I found on Youtube. What questions do you have about skunks?
A Boy Called Bat is the Global Read Aloud selection for primary students this year. Every division has a different selection.
Around the world, classrooms read the book and share in the experience with others. My students are definitely enjoying the read aloud and are exploring things such as character traits, what motivates the characters, making connections to the text, predicting, and so much more. Reading aloud to children is one of my favourite things to do!
If you’ve never heard of A Boy Called Bat, it’s written by Elana K. Arnold and tells the story of a boy whose nickname is Bat (which stands for Bixby Alexander Tam). Bat is a boy with autism whose experiences and challenges at school and at home are shared. His mom is a vet. One day, she brings home a baby skunk who she needs to take care of for a short while until she hands it over to the animal shelter. Bat falls in love with the skunk and he’s got one month to show his mom that a baby skunk might just make a pretty terrific pet.
When building my classroom library and choosing books to read aloud, it is important that I have books that show diversity and that my library reaches a wide range of students. I’m delighted to add A Boy Called Bat to our classroom library!
What is a favourite book a teacher has read out loud to you?
A special package arrived today addressed to our class. Students gathered around the package and made some inferences as to what could be inside. The box was kind of heavy and said “Book Outlet” on the outside.
It was revealed that BOOKS were inside and there seemed to be a theme with this package…soccer!
Just right. That’s where we want to be when we have chosen a book to read. Our classroom library is full of amazing books, but how do you know when you’ve chosen a book that is just right for you? That was the focus of a recent lesson in our class.
One of the ways to know if a book may be too hard is if you can count on your fingers 5 or more words you don’t know how to read or don’t understand. We call it the “5 Finger Rule”. We should also be able to make a movie of what we’re reading in our minds. If we can read smoothly (like peanut butter) and with expression, that could mean that we’re reading a book that’s just right.
We also compared reading a lot to practicing for a soccer game. If you only show up to the game and miss all the practices, you’re going to be at a disadvantage and you won’t do as well as you could have. Reading works the same way–the more you read, the better reader you become.
Reading is a verb. It’s an action. Find that cozy spot in your home, wherever that may be, and curl up with a good book. Read with your parents once in a while! Read to your dog or cat! Recommend books to your friends….and me!
Have you ever used a whisper phone? Well, they have made their way into our Gr.3 classroom and into the hands of eager readers.
What is a whisper phone you ask? It’s a tool that can be used to help hear your voice very clearly just by whispering into it. It amplifies your voice. You use it like a telephone. Whisper phones allow students to hear themselves while speaking quietly into their phones. This allows them to focus on what they are saying and how they are saying it.