Friday, November 20, 2015

Chart Addiction

I love making charts for my kindergarten classroom. This year I am focusing a lot on executive functioning skills and growth mindset strategies. I have gained so much insight and motivation for chart making from the resource Chart Chums. I am grateful for their generous sharing of their knowledge and creative ideas. I've never found anything that offers my kindergarten students the type of ownership and deeper understanding of important vocabulary and the skills they represent, as I have with the Chart Chum books and blog resources I have integrated into my practice.
This book was perfect for leading into a conversation about empathy. In dog vs. cat, nothing seems to be detouring their mind set and personal wants and needs, until...(well you will have to get the book to find out). I have started doing charts with my students through interactive writing. The posters then become part of our anchor strategies. Thank you chart chums! XO





Thursday, August 20, 2015

Wizard Pickles


Chuck Whelon's Wizard Pickles reminds me of why "Puzzle, Maze, and Seek & Find" books (is that a specific genre?) - like Where's Waldo are never on the shelf. The illustrations are so interesting and each centimeter of each page, demands ample time and reflection. And the pickle gnomes don't hurt the hype around this book either! Pickles and Gnomes happen to be on my list of 10 favorite things. So I'm impressed with this mash up.

While searching for an answer to my genre question, I learned that Where's Waldo is on some Banned Book Lists. Who knew? Here is the link http://bannedbooks.world.edu

Funny, the two years I was a elementary school librarian the Where's Waldo Collection had a waiting list the entire time.

This brain bending puzzle adventure offers readers and explorers opportunities for a shared experience with others. I love text that is meant to be enjoyed by a crowd! No matter what schema a reader brings to this book, each page will offer them an interaction. This style book respects the importance of engagement, such a vital part of comprehension and motivation. Critical thinking and problem solving challenges, is yet another reason to come back again and again.

The illustrations are wicked cool...full of interesting details, bright colors, and double spread full bleed action! I so appreciate the high interest narrative that Chuck has seamlessly woven in. All the brain games and challenges feel like an extra bonus, as there are endless options for searching and conversing about the art and content.


Be one of the first teachers or parents to own and share a copy of this with the children in your lives. Once you do, your cool factor will rise up, and you will no longer have to encourage reading for fun! 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Morris Micklewhite


Morris loves wearing the tangerine dress from his classroom's dress-up center. It is the color of his beloved mother's hair and reminds him of the glow off a tiger's fur. Morris also has an imagination that brings him on adventures to mysterious places like space. This story is about making friends…and even if you have to do most of the work, it is worth it. Morris shares with us the joy of exploring his sense of self, and reveals how his own experience shapes his peers access to knowing what matters in friendships. As picture books are a portal for kids in understanding the world they share with an incredibly diverse population, it is crucial that our choices in books represent all that makes us a society. Here is a book that belongs woven into the book shelf amongst other picture books our students and kids will be exposed to, and encouraged to engage in discourse around.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Hey, Baby, Look!


Hey, Baby, Look!  
Written by Kate Shannon  Illustrated by Morgan Owens
www.bluedreambooks.com 

This book offers ample opportunities for both interactions and transactions, between the reader, text, and illustrations. The repetitive lead organizes and announces each page, Hey, Baby, look!...then delivers, with the fluency of rhyme, sentence structure, and with diversity of conventions. This book offers questions, prompts, conversations, and places to pause and think. Each page give you a new reason to revisit this book. Ample samples of sorting, counting, texture, dimension, patterns, color, and science. I appreciate the content vocabulary words like points, float, fins. And the integration of challenges for the reader to find differences, think about their senses, and articulate understanding by answering questions like, "How many are sweet?" or "Which keep you warm?"
So many reasons to revisit each page
Vibrant color combinations on each page
This illustrations are colorful and clear and the organization and layout of the art and color demonstrates such purpose and respect for those who will be lucky enough to have access to this book. I do not often get to review board books, and this little treasure shows me that a board book can be so much more than a chewable, stain proof, literacy prop for the toddler in your life. Hey, Baby, Look! scaffolds the reader so they can offer a highly engaging, interactive, and literacy rich read aloud.