Assignments

Reading Challenge

For the rest of the semester, I wanted to choose a challenge that would help me the most in my teaching career. Since I am planning to teach elementary and the middle grades, I thought I should read a little bit of both!

For my reading challenge, I want to read at least 5 picture books and 2 middle level books per week. When choosing the books, I have found multiple lists that have the “Most Popular” ones and these lists will be what I plan on basing my challenge on!

This challenge is very important to me because I think it is so cool to have already read the books that your students could be reading. This could help the students in discussions or if the students have any questions about the story, they can come talk to you!

This week I have already finished my picture books and my middle level picks are “Wonder” and “Double Fudge”. Of course these all will be featured in more detail in my “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?!” post this coming Monday.

If anyone has suggestions for me, I would love to hear them in the comments!

Until next time,

-Rachel

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Weekly Reading Summary

Its Monday!¬†What Are You Reading?!: Week 5

The Girl Who Drank The MoonThis week I read the Newbery Award winning book The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill. This is the 2017 Newbery Award Winner so I thought it would be appropriate to read in the year 2017 ūüėČ.

This book is about a girl named Luna. Luna lives in a town that sacrafice babies in order to remain safe from the witch in the woods. When I found out there were baby sacrificing going on, I was a little confused on why this is just a popular middle grades book. Anyways, you find you the witch in the woods is not evil. Xan, the witch, takes the babies to families that are across the woods. An important thing to take note is that Xan feeds the babies starlight when taking them across the woods, this is when Luna becomes special. Instead of feeding Luna starlight, Xan accidentally feeds Luna moonlight and she gains magical powers. When Luna is older, she hears of a guy that wants to go kill the witch. At this point, Luna needs to protect Xan.

This book was very interesting to read. Like I said, I was not expecting any baby sacrificing to happen but I am glad it did not! Overall, I thought this book was awesome. It is unquie and fun to follow Luna and her powers! However, I think this book would be better as an individual read rather than using it as a class book for discussion.

Until next time,

-Rachel

Assignments

Reading this Semester

Reading this semester has been an interesting ride so far. I say it has been interesting because I did not think I would enjoy the books as much as I have so far. I have discovered so many different books and authors that I have a huge variety that I can use when I get my own classroom.

I’ve also learned a lot about myself as a reader. I did not think I would be super interested in the books that I have read so far but I am! I say this because in high school and even in my free time, I like horror books. My favorite author is Stephen King and I don’t think he could write a very appealing children’s book! It is surprising to me that I have enjoyed the books as much as I did. I guess it shows that a person does not have to be set on a certain genre but they can explore multiple genres and enjoy all of them at least a little bit.

Throughout the semester, I’ve found that I like the older elementary books more. I think they are better overall because they can go into much more detail than a picture book can. Of course picture books can be just as good as some chapter books but with the grades I want to teach, chapter books would be the best. This could also be a reason why I like the Newbery winning books the most. I loved, absolutely loved, The One and Only Ivan. As I said before, I am surprised at how much I liked these books but the One and Only Ivan was so well written that even the elementary level book was able to make a 19 year old (me) emotional at certain points!

In the end, I am excited to see what the rest of the semester holds.

Until next time,

-Rachel

Weekly Reading Summary

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?!: Week 4

Hello everyone! Happy Monday! This past week was focused on The One and Only Ivan. This book was so awesome, it completely exceeded my expectations. I can see why this is a Newbery Award winner. After reading the criteria that the committee considers, The One and Only Ivan fits all of these. The One and Only Ivan had a perfectly detailed setting and well developed characters. It is very easy to picture these characters even without the illustrations. This was my favorite thing about The One and Only Ivan. The plot was very well written as well. There is some flashbacks from Ivan but nothing that makes the reader confused. Since this book is for younger readers, this is a very risky¬†move because not a lot of writes can accomplished flashbacks correctly. They are either confusing or out of place of the story. With Ivan, the flashbacks help the plot. They show a lot of the reasoning for Ivan’s actions. While the plot was very well written, the characters were most effective for me. They were so well described in terms of their personality so you can really connect to them, even if they are a gorilla, elephant, or dog. This book was so emotional for me which I was not expecting. SPOILERS AHEAD… When Stella died I had to put down the book and take a break because I loved Stella because she was my favorite character and because she was so sweet to Ruby. I also had to power though the emotional end because it was so happy yet sad. When Bob got left behind is when it really got to me. Overall, this book is a 10/10 in my opinion. I would recommend this book over and over again because it was so great. I can definitely see myself using this book in my classroom.

Until next time,

-Rachel

*All images are from Amazon.com*

Weekly Reading Summary

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?! Week 3

Hello everyone, hope you had a good weekend! This week, we focused on some award winning books. Without further ado, let’s get into the readings!!

Coretta Scott King Award

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka SteptoeRadiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat

At first glance, this book is beautiful. I love the oil pastel type of art used in it! This books was a nice quick read, one thing I loved is when reading the book, some words have different font than others (beautiful, art, artist, mi amor). This important to note because these words are the more important thing to take away from the pages. This book is short but has a great storyline that goes up and down like a chapter book rather than a picture book.

Pura Belpre Award

Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina

Juana and Lucas

I am a sucker for dogs so of course I love this book. I think it is a sweet story and the different language involved when reading can expand to multiple different students with English as a second language. Overall, this book is cute and has great illustrations. There is a video online about the author and she explains why she picked the final illustrations and it is very interesting to see her picks and why. This video takes you a little deeper than the actual story.

 

Sibert Medal

Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan TonatiuhFunny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras

This book was interesting because of the different languages used, like in Juana and Lucas. The book begins with “And this is his story”, this is interesting to use in a picture book because this is usually only seen in chapter books. I think using this in picture books can make it easier for student to make that transition from picture books to chapter books. The illustrations were very well incorporated into the story. However, my favorite is the cover, I mean come on!

 

Schneider Family Award

Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille by Jennifer Bryant

Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille

I wish I would have read this books when I was little. It is SO informative! This book is about Louis Braille who created the six dot alphabet for people who are blind. I am 19 and I did not know what each dot pattern specifically met until reading this book. If this is learned at a younger age, the better off! It is different because it teaches a life lesson rather than science or math. I will definitely use this book in my classroom!

 
Golden Sower

Job Wanted by Teresa Bateman

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Back to the dogs, I am a sucker! This book is so sweet because the dog is trying so hard for a job with this farmer. It is a fun story watching the dog play different characters for the farmer all for a job! The illustrations are simple but make the story that much better. The simple illustrations allow readers to focus more on the words than the pictures. I will definitely use this book in my classroom as well! This is my favorite book that I read this week.

Overall, all these books were great but I would recommend the Job Wanted the most!

Until next time,

-Rachel

 

Uncategorized

Celebrate This Week: Week 2

For this week, I am celebrating horror movies! I love horror movies so much and this weekend I got to see the remake of IT. Something funny is this movie scared me so bad when I was a kid I would wake up and cry so it’s crazy that I would go back to see the remake that is suppose to be twice as scary as the first one. However, I grew out of my fear of an evil clown and went and saw it with my family. It was so great and I can’t wait to go back and see chapter two. All I’m gonna say is wear a loose shirt so you can hide in it! 

Until next time, 

-Rachel

Assignments, Thoughts and Ideas

How to Make Time to Read

Reading is fun but what if you never have the time for it? Being a full time student and employee, it can be hard to find time to read so I wanted to talk about somethings I do to find time.

  1. Work Breaks

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    Image Credit: Yann

At my job, I have a lot of spare time…A LOT! In this spare time, I just read. I am able to sit down and work on my homework. This usually involves reading my textbooks or other things for classes. While not all people are as lucky as I am, I also read over my lunch hour and can usually crank out a couple pages before I have to get back to work.

 

2. Waiting in Line

If you have a smartphone, you can pretty much assess anything at anytime. One other thing I found helpful it reading in long lines. Of course you have to stay aware of your surrounding so you don’t hold up the line but this way you can get at least a page or two closer to the end!

3. Bedtime Stories

Reading at night can be difficult for some people because it makes them so tired they aren’t comprehending what they are reading. This can be a problem but if you can find some spare time to stay awake a little longer every night, it will pay off in the long run!

4. Getting Ready

Most people (I know) like to listen to music or watch television when they get ready in the morning but, if you listen to your book it will help to progress in your book. Some would consider this not really reading the book but if you are super busy, it is something to take into consideration!

These are just a couple ways that work for me. Hopefully you found some that you can try out for yourself!

Until next time,

-Rachel

Weekly Reading Summary

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?: Week 2

This week was similar to last week because a majority of what I read is children’s picture books. In total, I probably read around 20-25 books but I am only going to talk about my top five picks of the week. As a guide for picking my books for this week, I looked up a list of the top 100 best children’s books of all time. I went through and found some that sounded the most interesting. With that said, let’s begin.

  1. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakWhere the Wild Things Are

This book is super famous but surprisingly enough, this is the first time I’ve read it. Overall, I thought the story was cute and had great illustrations. The amount of imagination in this story is something that I think is essential for children. Being able to imagine like Max is something that never gets old.

2. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

The Giving TreeThis book has such a sweet story in it. This story talks about a bond between a boy and a tree and their time together. The boy eventually begins to grow up and leave the tree. This makes the tree sad and eventually the tree gives so much to the boy in order to make him happy, that the tree is no longer there. Eventually the boy comes back when the tree is nothing but a stump. The boy sits on the stump and the two are eventually together in the end. Being 19, this story still makes me upset! However, the emotional aspect of it makes it appealing to any ages.

 

3. Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. SeussOh, The Places You'll Go!

Like Where the Wild Things Are, I have never read Oh, the Places You’ll Go until now. Reading this made me feel awesome. It was very motivating and give the reader a sense of life. You will go through many things in your life but they are based on the decisions you make. The waiting place is a place that no one wants to be but some get stuck. They just wait for something to happen. Dr. Seuss is saying in order to get something, you have to go and do something. You cannot just wait for something to happen. This book now has a special place in my heart.

4. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

4948This book I remember reading way back in elementary school. Of course, this is for good reason. The Very Hungry Caterpillar follows a caterpillar who eats different things throughout the week. The caterpillar grew so much that it was time for him to build a cocoon and become a beautiful butterfly! This story is great for younger kids because the illustrations used make the story super appealing.

5. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe NumeroffIf You Give a Mouse a Cookie

This is a very sweet story that discusses the chain of events if you gave a mouse a cookie. Let alone being adorable, the story is an easy read and the animations make it appealing to a lot of young ages. They are realistic but also fun and different. Something cool about this book is it is in a series. There are multiple books about “If you give a…” They include¬†If Give A Dog A Donut,¬†If You Give a Cat a Cupcake and many more. These books could also be interactive by having students guess what the next chain of the event will be.¬†

Overall, these books were fun and some of my top favorites of all time picture books. I am glad I read some that I’ve never read before because I really loved them!

Until next time,

-Rachel