Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Time to Read Tuesday....

So, I haven't gone to the library today to find new books (oh the shame!) but I thought I'd share a few favorite books from this year that my students absolutely LOVED! My teaching partner and I totally immersed ourselves in Reading Workshop this year and we couldn't be happier with the results! There is still some fine tuning, of course, but we loved the idea that students get time to think, read, and reflect like all good readers do naturally. I know, on my end, I need to get better with reading conferences! I tended to pull the same students again and again for individual conferences. Next year year, I'm going to to try individual conferences and book club conferences. I also couldn't find the right checklist/rubric/guidelines for myself. I found this one (wish I could remember where to give credit where it is due....) and it worked really well for me and my workshop approach. I'm going to tweak it for next year but I liked that it had some benchmarks so that when I met with parents I could pull it out and go over each student's progress.

Okay, back to the books! One of our new units this year was a unit completely devoted to theme. Our touchstone text was Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli & students read other books with similar themes. The goal was to get students reading multiple books so that they could start to tie books together based on theme. The discussions and comparisons were far beyond my expectations! They were comparing and contrasting so many different elements in their books and they just kept reading because they truly loved the book selection. Good books do a make a difference! Usually my rules of thumb is 2-3 and you can opt out of book club selections - I had several students read nearly all of the offerings. This unit was completed near the end of fifth grade so students did have a lot of background from previous workshops prior. Here are some of their favorite novels from the unit... 

One for the Murphy's by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

See the Book Talk here.

Ungifted by Gordon Korman

Hound Dog True by Linda Urban

See the Book Talk here.

The Underdogs by Mike Lupica

Did your students have any favorite books of the year?



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