MrsK's K-8 Books Worth Reading

my best-reads-for-k-8 shelf:
MrsK Books's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (best-reads-for-k-8 shelf)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

International Literacy Day: Sept 8, 2008

Welcome back to a new year of educational discoveries !

If you haven't investigated IRA's website, click on the above title to learn about this wonderful day of celebrating literacy within the United States and around the globe. As educators we have a passion for literacy for all students, yet we often get bogged down in the instructional design of our lessons and we become "separated" from the "united goal" of all educators. Take a moment to be renewed, to remember you aren't alone in your classroom, and to ignite your flame for literacy for all who enter your opened doors of literacy success.

Book mark this site, Reading Across the Continents, it is a site which connects students and teachers "Around the World via Technology and Literature."


Friday, August 22, 2008

African Library Project

Don't forget to click the title above for the website connection.

With school beginning, what will your students be doing as a global connection beyond the classroom?

The African Library Project would be an excellent outreach fundraiser for your classroom, for a building service project (PTA sponsored), or for a grade level service project. As you know, providing global connections for our students will inspire interest into the world in which they are growing up. Many buildings or grade levels have global community themes every year, consider adding this project to your instructional design. Opening the window to the world through international classroom connections is one seed planted in a child's heart towards global acceptance!

Chris Bradshaw, founder of the African Library Project, says, "Studentslearn that they can have a profound impact on the lives of hundreds ofAfricans who otherwise don't have easy access to books. During the courseof a book drive they learn about Africa, gain an appreciation of our ownresources, develop leadership skills and build local community spirit asthey help start a small library in Africa. It's amazing what we can do whenwe roll up our sleeves and work together."


PBS: ABCs Shows

Just click the title above for access to the article.

"It's a bird! It's a plane! It's the Super WHY team, soaring over Storybrook Village. The animated characters jump inside books and look for answers to questions they have." Out of the Blue Enterprises LLC

While picking up her pre-schooler, this parent was given a free DVD as part of a major initiative by the Department of Education in conjucture with a multimillion dollar grant with PBS to produce shows that would help children with their reading skills.

Check your local PBS scheduling to find these shows and then sit with your little ones for a few moments of "virtual reading."

Here's a link to the Super Why website:
Enjoy your reading skill discoveries with your younger readers !

MrsK's Reading Bio

Reading is important! No questions asked, not even a blink of the eye from any student I grew up with. On the first day of the First grade, we were given our first books. Day two we all read aloud, round robin of course. Day three we were place in our first basal, now known as a lit circle group. Books were so important, publishers designed new curriculum so that every student was reading by the end of the first week. These early readers had images that looked like what we could see in the classroom, beyond the classroom, even on the big screen. Reading is important, throughout history every generation has believed that “Reading” opens up the world for endless possibilities.

I adore the 1950’s Dick and Jane books. Actually, most reading specialists and experienced (45+) educators believe that every student learned to read with Dick and Jane. Since these books are being re-issued, I have heard many parents, grandparents, and students claim that Dick and Jane stories of repetition does teach students to read.

Early influences from my mother influenced my desire to read. I would watch her read and we would go on “secret” excursions to the library. The library became my playground. I owned every book I could carry home, of course they needed to be taken back to their home after visiting with me for a week or two. My first book that I could pull off of the library shelf and read was, Father Bear Comes Home. I only saw my dad on Sundays for a few hours. I would pull this beginning reader off of the library shelf every week. Every week I would try to read the first chapter. Every week I got further in the story. My mom would let me check it out, only if I could read it myself (She didn’t like the illustrations therefore she didn’t want to take time to read it to me). One day, I pulled the book from the shelf and when mom came to get me from the children’s corner, I realized that I had read the whole story. I ran to the check out desk and the Librarian KERCHUNKED the checkout card. My mother, brother and neighbors read. My teachers read. We all read aloud all day long in school. The Priest read aloud every day at mass, even in Latin. Everybody in the Doctor’s office read. People on the bus read. Dad’s waiting in their cars as the Mom’s and children grocery shopped, read. In fact, once you could read and write, Sunset Magazine considered you a reader and sent you mail every day.

Reading is important; I’ve spent my life reading. I’ve traveled around the world and into space through books. My favorite genre is whichever book I have open at the time. Children’s Literature is my passion. Book clubbing is one of the best past times, especially if food is involved. In fact my friends of old are in a book club and we are about to embark on a beach trip to “read” and discuss our newest selection.

My “home-run” book story has helped every student find his or her own “home-run” reads. Every year, I have shared my, Father Bear Comes Home, and every year my students have brought in their “home-run” books. That’s the “diving board” into our Lit. Studies.

In “Growing Up Digital,” Tapscott’s insights into the new generations enthusiasm for the Net reminded me of my generation’s enthusiasm for reading, movies, TV, parties and our driving permits. The Net-Generation, as Tapscott describes, “are learning, playing, communicating, working, creating communities, and enforcing a social transformation.”
N-Geners are interactive “techies” who are always looking for a way to “work it” verses the TV Generation of “Baby Boomers” who started out looking for “how it works.” Reading development is tougher today, society moves too fast to invest their “non-working” free time into a book or even “home work.” Since I stepped into my own classroom, I have seen students being told to read, being forced to read, and threatened into reading. Homework is not any longer the vehicle for students to gain their future lifestyles or careers with. Yet, the Internet does create an enthusiasm for learning. Since I have been enrolled in these courses, I have used the computers in every subject. My students are using the newest technology in the classroom because I am giving them investigative sites to use as they learn from each other and books. I agree with Tapscott, in order to bridge the gap with this up and coming generation we must “live and learn with them.”

FTC Required Disclaimer: I receive these books from the publishers. I did not receive monetary compensation for these reviews. These reviews have been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at


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