Sunday, February 13, 2011

Julie, Literacy Resource

This website is great for finding books about diversity.  Each year the website is updated with 25 of the best books.  It offers support for both parents and teachers about cultural diversity.  You can search by year, author, title, genre - fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or folklore.   There are also books available in bilingual.  It is a great web-site, worth checking out.  You can never access to too many books for your classroom!

Anansi and the Talking Melon, retold by Eric A. Kimmel, illustrated by Janet Stevens

This book is sure to be a hit with younger elementary students.  It is a trickster tale about a spider who gets into a melon and eats so much that he cannot get back out of the hole that he dug.  The spider tricks all of the animals into thinking that the melon can talk.  They take the melon to the king, who is a monkey.  The king gets frustrated because the melon will not talk and then throws the melon, upon which the spider is free.  The story does not end there...the spider gets into the bananas and the elephant then thinks that the bananas can talk.  It is a very funny story.  The students that I have read this to ask me to read it again and again.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Looking for a computer based resource to promote fluency? Look no further. Sign up today for a free trial and bring quality children's literature into your classroom or computer lab. Familiar classroom read alouds are paired with non-fiction selections that students can choose to have
"read-aloud" as they listen with headphones. Look for the, "request a free trial" icon on the websites homepage. Students can choose from popular selections related to people and places, animals, ABC's, and more. If you have an active Parent Teacher Organization, funds may be available for an annual subcription. It is expensive, however every student in your school can access the website from any school computer and as an added bonus, students can access the website at home. Sign up today and a multitude of books will be available for your students to enjoy with a click of the mouse!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Reading Rockets

This is a website that has numerous teaching tools and more importantly 5 book lists. They are the 2011 Newberry Medal, the 2011 Caldecott Medal, other notable awards, best of lists, and other book list. The other book list has an extensive list of fabulous books. They are sorted by themes, best of, and hot off the press. This is a valuable website that should be checked out.

Town Mouse Country Mouse By: Jan Bret

The first thing that caught my attention about this book was the phenomenal illustrations. My kindergartner pores over this book looking at the rich pictures. It is the classics tale of the country mouse and city mouse that switch places. They think that the grass will be greener elsewhere and quickly regret their decision. The children love the ending of this book. The country mouse has no idea what a cat is and the city mouse has no idea what an owl is. This stemmed a great conversation as to why the city mouse called the owl a cat with wings and why the county mouse called the cat an owl without wings. It ends with the mice scurrying back to where they came from and the cat deciding to switch places with the owl.

Who Put the Pepper in the Pot? By: Joanna Cole

This book is about a family that is preparing for their Aunt Tootie to visit them. They are going to prepare a stew, but they forget to put pepper in the pot. Mama Sue asked everyone to put pepper in the pot, but they were all too busy. They all inadvertently put pepper in the pot. They discuss the different amounts of pinches the children put in the pot so you could easily incorporate math using this book. The back of the book has different jokes about food, kitchen safety tips, and a cookbook. The book has interesting illustrations and uses a variety of colors. I think it would be perfect for around the third grade.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner

This is a group of books that if you are not already familiar with, you're missing out. I had not heard of these books until a student brought it in for their "All About Me" week. I was fortunate enough to read the book aloud to students and it was an instant hit. Fortunately, Schachner has written a few more books, some including cds that have her reading aloud. I especially like the cd aspect because she does a nice job of providing a model of fluent reading by changing her voice for "Skippito Friskito...the great sword fighter." The group of books centers around a Siamese cat that dreams of being a Chihuahua. He has adventures when he "turns" into a Chihuahua. I like the word choice of the books. The books have some Spanish words, some songs, and parts for the readers and audience to clap along. I think students of all ages would enjoy this book (even graduate students like me)!