Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Choosing 5...

If you could choose five books to have in your classroom library that you could use for both writer's and reader's workshop what would they be? These books encompass what you teach throughout the year, you can pull them from the shelf and your know exactly what you will teach. What would your five books be?
Here are my five:

1. Chrysanthemum, by Kevin Henkes: I know I have said it before, "I love this book!" It's perfect for teaching small moments, dialogue, repetition, point of view, I could go on and on and on... In reading, this book is excellent for making connections, character development, protagonists, antagonists, heroes, repetition, making inferences, again, on and on and on... This book really is phenomenal when creating community. When we had a bully this year we simply reflected about how Chrysanthemum felt, and how Victoria and the gang only treated her this way because they didn't love themselves. We connected with Chrysanthemum!

2. Apples by Gail Gibbons: If you want to teach All About books, this is the book for you. Gail has such a wonderful way of turning nonfiction books into very interesting materials. You always learn something new when you pick up one of her books.

3. All the Places to Love by Patricia Maclachlan: Connections, imagery, writing a story using poetic words. Inferencing, repetition, using illustrations to make your reader fall in love with your story. Besides all that... it is a beautiful book!

4. Skippyjonjones: Okay, so it is a far cry from making connections, and sometimes it is hard to read and follow as a reader... by golly, this is a fun read! There is nothing like opening a new Skippyjonjones books and reading it aloud to your students. They make me giggle for goodness sake! My students love the language that Mrs. Jones uses with her kittens. They love the songs the chimichangos sing. We absolutely love using our "best Mexican accent." These books teach us that reading is fun! You can open a book, get lost, and have a blast!!!1

5. Charlotte's Web: I loved it in the third grade and I love it now as a teacher. I don't teach a lot in writing from this classic. I teach a lot of things from it in reading. We really connect as a class when we read this classic. We cry at the end, even the boys. We discuss their friendship, how even though they were very different they learned to get over their differences and enjoy each other for their strengths. Plus, E.B. White is phenomenal! His language usage is so beautiful when it rolls off the tongue. The kids can't believe that Charlotte dies, they just can't believe she's gone.

My five mainstays in my classroom. This week I have been putting books back on shelves, and organizing my books. Debbie Miller set up a nook in her basement when she retired from teaching so that she could be among her books. I was so glad to be back with my friends (my books) when I pulled them from the boxes. I held each one, put it in its basket, now we wait for our human friends to come and read.


TeacherMom said...

Ok, now yu have me thinking (as I watch the olympics).

I think I would have to agree that Chrysanthemum and Apples would have to be on my list also.

I would add The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant, Yertle The Turtle by Dr. Seuss (my kids would refer to the "Big Idea" of greed from this book all year long.) and...are you sure I get just one more?...The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.

Of course, if you ask me tomorrow my list may be different!

Unknown said...

Here is a link to my five books. Thank you for starting my thinking.

Stacey Shubitz said...

That's a tough one Sarah! Are you thinking for just the narrative genre or all genres?

Sarah Amick said...

five books you can't live without in your classroom. they fit your style perfectly, and you tend to rely on them more than any others.

Kathy Douglas said...

What good thinking. Wish we would have used that in our workshop last week. We did give them books to use as they started their community. A new one to me was: Mr. Peabody's Apples by Madonna. I am going to have to buy it!