Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best Read Alouds from 2011 #4-6 are numbers 4-6. Only took me a week… here we go.
4. Testing Miss Malarkey by Judy Finchler – a staple if you teach a grade level that requires standardized testing. In Florida our 3rd graders have to pass the FCAT, otherwise they are retained. L The kids know what’s at stake and the time from January to April adds extra stress to our daily routines. I strive to make my class as stress free as possible. I’d rather burden the anxiety behind the FCAT than have my little kiddos upset and anxious. I read this story to the kids when we come back from Christmas break. It’s about a school preparing for a standardized test. It’s light and fluffy and pokes fun at how the adults are acting during this crazy time. It always makes my students feel better. Judy Finchler has a whole series on Miss Malarkey, including “Miss Malarkey Leaves No Reader Behind.” Finchler’s books are relatable for young readers and can be used for several different classroom occasions.  I read “Miss Malarkey Leaves No Reader Behind” during Read Across America week.

5. Butterflies in My Stomach and Other School Hazards by Serge Bloch – If you are an “Idiom Freak,” like myself, this is the book for you. I read this story the first day of school. It’s about this adorable, little boy on his first day of school. He uses idioms to describe his experiences and feelings as the day progresses. My students couldn’t help but giggle throughout the story, and the illustrations are fantastic.  I was down in Fort Myers the first week of break and I found Bloch’s other idiom book, “You Are What You Eat.” Naturally, I bought it because I have no self-control when it comes to books and it’s adorable. Bloch’s books are truly noteworthy.  

6. I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll – The little boy in this book is hilarious! He’s upset because “his monster” is on vacation and he needs someone in his room to keep him in his bed. He starts interviewing all different monsters but none fit the bill. He finds something wrong with each one. After I read this, my kids and I do a writing activity on their perfect monster. Clever, cute, and perfect for the holiday!

7. The Donut Chef by Bob Staake – I found this book on eBay for 50 cents, brand new (and in hardcover J). This was my FIND OF THE YEAR. I just randomly selected this book from my library one day and boy was I surprised! MY KIDS LOVED THIS BOOK. The illustrations are charming and yummy to look at it.  Staake uses modern shapes and BRIGHT COLORS for his illustrations and they work it. The rhythmic text sounds so delightful during a read aloud. A must have for every teacher!!

I hope it doesn't take me another week to get to #10. :)

3 Bucket Fillers:

Mandy said...

These look fanatastic! I love "I Need My Monster!" I wrote an entire unit around it...I need to work on that! I have to check out the "Donut Chef," I don't know that one.

Another great testing book (I am also in 3rd, a testing grade in GA- blah) is The Biggest Test in the Universe. It is actually a Reading Rainbow book and is on United Streaming. We watch it and talk about it before we test!!

Thanks for the great books. I will have to go check out the previous list!

S. Parker said...

I love your book selections.

I must ask, what percentage of third graders are retained? At school? Statewide?

What pressure for all of you!

Latricia said...

I love Testing Miss Malarkey! I will have to check the other Miss Malarkey book out. I have not heard of it but it looks like another funny story! I just found your blog through the new blogger linky party. Very cute!

Wild About Second Grade

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