This month, I have committed to writing every day through the community at Two Writing Teachers. All are welcome to the March Slice of Life Challenge! It's not too late to join in or comment or just read... Many of my posts will be at my personal blog, Just Write, Melanie, but the posts that relate explicitly to learning will be on both blogs.
Jen Vincent at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye and Ricki Ginsburg at Unleashing Readers cohost It's Monday! What are You Reading? weekly on their blogs. To see what others are reading and recommending each Monday, or to participate, be sure to head over to these blogs.
I visited my daughter in college over the weekend, and one of our favorite things to do is to go read picture books at the local Barnes and Noble. Even though she is nineteen, it is a wonderful way to spend time when we need a break from shopping and eating.
My Pen by Christopher Myers was one of our favorite books we read this morning. The black and white pictures in this book are incredible and would be wonderful in an elementary class to inspire close looking at details. The narrator's pen gives him power, since it creates so many different things. There's not a story in the classical sense, but rather lots of jumping off places for meaningful discussions about our world and the power of imagination.
How to Babysit a Grandma by Jean Reagan is just as good! Young students will enjoy the role reversal, and they will identify with the universal experiences of spending time with grandparents, but missing parents. This book could serve not only as a strong mentor text for how-to writing, but also as a way to write about special memories. Doreen Cronin also uses punctuation purposefully throughout the text, which I am also always looking for.
I Don't Want to be a Frog by Dev Petty is a great book to read for the message which is predictably along the lines of appreciating and valuing your own individual strengths. However, since many of our students are in the middle of opinion writing, I have been thinking a lot about reasons and evidence, and this book is a great mentor for talking to students about those tricky words, why and because.
Larkin had never read Knuffle Bunny, and she picked up Knuffle Bunny Too by Mo Willems on her own. It was really fun to read that book through Larkin's artistic lens, as she loved the way the comics were juxtaposed with the realistic images of the city. She also loved the subtle humor, laughing out loud in the middle of the story as she pictured Trixie's parents trying to explain the significance of 2:30 in the morning. Oh, to be able to write a book of such universal appeal!
I'm still reading and enjoying lots of great slices at Two Writing Teachers. Tomorrow is the last day of the March Slice of Life Challenge.
Happy Reading and Slicing,