Monday, April 6, 2015

Stories Alive

 Here are some projects students can put together to make the book they've read come alive.  It helps you assess how well they understood their story.  It is important that a child start with a book they really like for best results. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Mamma Don't You Worry is an ebook available quite inexpensively through Amazon.   It is a rhymed adventure told by a little boy who decides he's too grown up to hold Momma's hand while at the mall.  He learns that independence comes at a price.

Author Louie Lawent enjoys writing stories for children as well as writing song lyrics.  His book, Gerty the Pig, is an AR book. The author's experience as a 4-year-old getting separated from his parents in a department store was probably the kernal from which Mamma grew. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Mathing Around with Story Books

Read any good math lately?  There are so many good story books out there with a strong math link.



Tangrams anyone?

Grandfather Tang's Story: A Tale Told with Tangrams by Ann Tompert

Three Pigs, One Wolf, and Seven Magic Shapes by Grace Maccarone











Counting Crocodiles                          Click, Clack, Splish, Splash

by Judy Sierra                                   by Doreen Cronin










 The 512 Ants on Sullivan Street                Twenty is Too Many

by Carol Losi                      by   Kate Duke 






 Monster Musical Chairs                    Elevator Magic 

by Stuart J. Murphy                          by Stuart J. Murphy







The Doorbell Rang                 The Wishing Club: A Story About  

by Pat Hutchins                     Fractions by Donna Jo Napoli





The Rabbit Problem                                    The Best of Times   

by Emily Gravett                                        by Greg Tang    


List your favorite story books and tell the math concepts they highlight.


Monday, February 16, 2015

Science Monday

Linking science to literature is a good way to teach.  So many books are available to help you do this.  You want to make sure your young students understand, however, just because it's in a book, it may not be a true fact.  This can lead to some time spent researching, fact checking, and verifying.


Joanna Cole's The Magic School Bus series is fact-filled fun for students to read the text, peruse the sidebars, and scan the pictures while learning science.  Because of all the sidebar information and comic-book type comments in the graphics, however, it's not the best choice for a read-aloud, in my opinion.

Seymore Simon's books are a wonderful addition to your classroom library.  He writes nonfiction books as well as fiction stories on a wide variety of science topics.  A few of his books are in Spanish.

  The Mighty Ants and Other Cases

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin wrote a children's book about his experiences as part of the Apollo.  It will appeal to students from first to fourth grades.

Reaching for the Moon   

Sparrow by Sara Pennypacker tells the true Chinese story about what happened when the food chain was disrupted.  Primary students will enjoy this book.


There are many more books that can supplement your science program.  Please list your favorites below.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


Alicia Thompson, you won the book, Mom Made Use Write This in the Summer!!  What a fun read to add to your classroom library!

Wordless Picture Books

I've been grading the wordless book card assignment for the children's literature course I am teaching this semester at Oral Roberts University.  This is such a fun corner of the picture book world.  I have numerous favorites, and there are so many ways to use the them in the classroom.  And not JUST with prek -1st grade students.

Broadly, this genre includes completely wordless and almost wordless books.  Here are a few of my favorites:  Deep in the Forest by Brinton Turkle - a fun twist on the Goldilocks story; Peter Spier's Noah's Ark - a wonderfully detailed account of the flood of Genesis;

Tuesday by David Weisner - What an imagination that guy has!  




Alexandra Day created a series of books about the very responsible Rottweiler, Carl,   including Good Dog, Carl 

Emily Arnold McCully's Picnic - the lost is found.  (Click the links to learn a little about these authors.)

 I could go on and on listing wordless books I love.  I would rather hear your picks.  Please leave a comment below listing your favs.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Patricia Polacco

Patricia Polacco holding the keep quilt about which she wrote her book.

Patricia Polacco can paint the most beautiful word pictures.  I  enjoy her many books.  I get a frequent "fix" of her writing on Facebook, where she frequently posts her musings on various topics.  Today's post is about her remembrances of childhood activities when they were snowed in. 

Go to her Facebook page and like it so you will be able to enjoy frequent samples of this wonderful author's writings.  She has a website as well:

Monday, January 26, 2015


          Twins, Maggie and Max, are not happy about Mom's summer assignment for them.  They must write about 12 different topics over the summer in a shared journal.  Not what the twins wanted to do!!
          Through the course of the summer Maggie and Max express themselves, learn at little about each other, inject lots of humor, and offer advice.  They even illustrated their entries.
          The book is a fun read your students will enjoy.  It's a good springboard into studying point of view.  Also it would fit right into a study of books written in the form of journals, diaries, and letters.
Now for the drawing directions.
Leave a comment on this post why you would like to win a copy of the book.  Check back on Sunday, February 1, to see if you are the winner.  If so, you'll need to send me your mailing address.  
 Good luck!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Powerful Predictables

If you regularly read to the younger set, toddlers through primary grades, you know how much they enjoy predictable books.  These stories use the elements of rhyme, rhythm, and repetition to help young children enjoy delightful tales while developing awareness of language patterns, recognizing of basic sight words, and building prediction skills. 

Drummer Hoff

There are several types of predictable books.  Circle stories have endings that lead right back to the beginning, like the If  You Give a Mouse series by Laura Numeroff.  Cumulative tales build action while repeating the previous actions, such as the 1968 Caldecott winner, Drummer Hoff  by Barbara Emberley. 

Books using sequences common to little ones' experiences help them learn days of the week, months of the year, or sequences of numbers.  The old favorite, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, is an example of a predictable book using familiar sequencePattern stories provide that predictable factor which allows the young audience to anticipate the second and third goats will encounter the troll in The Three Billy Goats Gruff

The repetition of some predictable stories encourages little listeners to chime in on the repeated parts.  ". . . where everyone is sleeping" is the recurring phrase in Audrey Wood's delightful book, The Napping House.  Rhyme helps children predict the next word and perhaps learn some new vocabulary.  "Sheep in a jeep on a hill that is ____." 

You will notice many stories can fit into several categories of predictable books.  This just reinforces all that children can learn from these types of books.  They are good springboards to writing activities using the patterns observed in the book.  With the strong support of the predictable text students can feel like "real" writers.  Anticipation of repeated words and phrases positions pre- and neophyte readers to feel accomplished in mastering text. 

Check out these lists of predictable books to find some good ones to share with the little literature lovers in your life. 

1    2    3    4    5


Wednesday, January 7, 2015