How Will You Live Your Life Differently? Part 2...

Feb 15, 2013 by

Have you ever read a book and known that you will never be the same person you were before you started it?  That the words on the pages will stick with you long after the back cover is closed for the final time?  When you read aloud a book like this with your students, do you stop to reflect with them?  As I mentioned in the previous post, a great question to ask our students is “How will you look at the world differently or live your life differently as a result of reading this book?” I just finished reading two books that have this effect—one is a novel appropriate for middle schoolers 5th grade and up and the other is a picture book that is appropriate for young children through adult. Wonder by...

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How Will You Live Your Life Differently? Part 1...

Feb 13, 2013 by

When your students finish reading a book, what is the next thing they are expected to do?  Take an AR quiz? Write a book report? Begin a new book?  Or do they stop to reflect on what they have just read? When I finish reading a book, whether it is memoir, historical fiction, or contemporary fiction, I like to think about this question:  “How will I live my life differently or think about the world differently as a result of reading this book?” This is a great thought-provoking question to ask at the end of a whole class read-aloud or during a conference with a reader who has recently finished a book. With the arrival of the Common Core State Standards during the past several years, there is a lot of discussion these days...

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Building Community Through Empathy...

Oct 3, 2012 by

A couple of months ago I wrote about an anchor experience I had at the post office during the summer Olympics. Yesterday I had another interesting post office encounter. I was waiting in line to mail a letter, along with seven other people. A young man approached the counter and explained that, just minutes before, he had purchased a money order for $625 to pay his rent. He had walked next door to Rite Aid, and somewhere along the way he lost the money order. He had come back to see what he could do about it. This is a small post office, so all seven customers overheard the conversation. The group of strangers was transformed into an instant, albeit temporary, community. An older woman behind me said, “Oh, no.” Almost everyone gave some...

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Importance of Read Aloud

Sep 16, 2009 by

A good writing program includes the use of good literature.  Before a child is ever able to independently use specific writing skills and strategies, s/he is able to listen to and identify these qualities in good literature through read- aloud experiences.  Read aloud serves more than just to entertain our students.  It is used to build a strong sense of community which is important in a classroom where children will be asked to take risks in their writing.  It also serves as a model for what good writing looks and sounds like.  By closely examining what good writers do, we and our students can begin to internalize these techniques and employ them in our own writing.   It is important to remember, however, that first and foremost, a book should be read aloud to be...

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