Today we had the pleasure of welcoming our very first Mystery Reader into our classroom. It was Mrs. L! We enjoyed listening to the story called “After the Fall” by Dan Santat. It’s the tale of what happens to Humpty Dumpty after he falls off the wall. Now, he’s afraid of heights but will he be able to overcome his fear?
We wrote a letter to our principal, trying to persuade him to allow us to have pets in our class. Suddenly, and out of the blue, we had a delivery of some other special pets that needed a new home. We were introduced to our very own pets that we would learn we would be adopting!
Amazingly, there just happened to be 23 pets needing adopting and each had a tag on it with a message and the pet’s name.
Every student selected their new reading buddy. Adoption certificates to go home next week 🙂 Students may choose to take them home, bring to school, but the only requirement is to read to them–20 minutes a day which will make our pets happy.
We have launched into our nonfiction reading unit where we are learning the difference between fiction and nonfiction text. We brainstormed what we know about nonfiction and how it differs from the chapter books we often read in class.
We know a lot about nonfiction already! Here is what we brainstormed:
We are learning to ‘stop and jot‘ some of our thinking as we read. Afterwards, we often share it within a small group so others benefit from our reading, too! When sharing some neat things about what we read, we are learning to show the book ‘like a teacher’ and ensure our teammates can see the page we are talking about.
What is something you’re interested in learning more about?
On Thursday, students had fun with our Book Swap game, taking turns carefully selecting a book from the pile and hoping no one else “steals” their book. You may have played a game like this before. In our class, we are only allowed to steal twice and then you MUST pick from the pile.
We began by picking a number out of a hat and if you were lucky enough to pick the highest number, you got to pick last! This meant you got to pick any book you wanted out of all of them. Yahoo!
All in all, it was a fun time filled with excitement and lots of energy. We all opened our books once the game had ended and made a good mess of all the wrapping paper. Ha!
Books don’t just go with you, they take you where you’ve never been. – Anonymous
Do you have any books on your Christmas wish list this year?
What will you be reading over the Christmas break?
Something special happens when you can connect with another classroom about the same book. As you know, we are reading Stella Diaz Has Something to Say, the Global Read Aloud selection this year.
We are enjoying our book and love to Skype with our friends in California! There is a 3 hour time difference between us so when it’s 1pm for us, it’s 10am for them!
We love learning about their school, their weather, what life is like in California, and so on. We have so many questions for them such as how many recesses do you get? How many teachers do you have? Do you have a class pet?
We discuss our favourite parts of the book, making personal connections to parts of the book, sharing our understandings of the book, and more.
We can’t wait until next week when we connect with our friends again.
Last Friday, our classroom was transformed into a sort of literary cafe as students were invited to their very first BOOK TASTING event of the school year. A 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!
Chef Sully made an appearance, flying in from France. Students noted she looked a lot like her sister, Mrs. Sullivan. They even shop at the same clothing stores!
We ‘sampled’ several different genres of books including:
Books in a Series
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 10 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 4 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 before Christmas.
What does reading look like in our classroom? What should it look like?
Reading is a very special time in our day. Reading is thinking, afterall. We read to learn and we read for pleasure. We fall in love with our characters, we get to travel to distant lands, and it is fun!
In our class, we’ve talked about 3 types of reading: reading by ourselves, reading with a partner, and reading in groups. When by ourselves, we agree that we should read quietly, save talking for later, and stay in one spot. Many times, we get to pick a spot to read anywhere in the class. Other times, we read at our desk.
There are soooo many benefits to reading such as stress relief, it exercises our brain, increases vocabulary, improves our writing skills, and more! The list goes on and on.
Our first official Book Tasting event is this coming Friday and I get the sense they’re pretty excited. Stay tuned for pictures and a recap of the event.
By the way–parents, if you’re reading this, your child is never too old to have a book read to them. Reading together, no matter how old anyone gets, can be an amazing shared experience. Snuggle up with your child under the covers with a flashlight or on the couch with a bowl of popcorn. Reading is a blast!
What is your favourite place to read if you could pick
Today we officially began the Global Read Aloud for this year called Stella Diaz Has Something to Say by Angela Dominguez.
We are SO excited to be involved with this chapter book. We made plenty of predictions about what this book could be about with the following photos in our slideshow:
We brainstormed new words (some were Spanish!), characters, setting details, questions we have, and so on and jotted them in our Reader’s Notebook.
What’s so neat about Global Read Aloud is that we are reading the SAME book as so many other students around the world! We will be connecting with a class…somewhere in the world. The exact location will be revealed in the coming days! Geographical clues will be given in class and we’ll have to guess where our partner class is located. Stay tuned.
Independent Reading time is a critical part of our daily literacy learning at school. If you’ve ever been to our classroom, you may have noticed our whisper phones which have a special spot on our reading table.
A Whisper Phone is 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.