Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Now What Will Be My Excuse?!?

Write, Share, Give

Part of being a literacy teacher is the ability to match students with ‘just right’ books. I spend many hours every week reading books in order to know what is available and what might make a great match for my students. I try to read a variety of levels, genres, and interests.

I have to admit, while I have been teaching 5th and 6th grades for the last many years I read my fair share of YA novels. I enjoy them. I don’t necessarily have to think too hard. The pace tends to be fast. I can get sucked into a book at the end of a long day and enjoy the journey it takes me on.

Next year I am teaching third grade.

Uh-oh. What will be my excuse for reading YA? I figure I either need a new excuse or need to stop reading so much YA. The good news is that I have several lists from book clubs in the States, but those books can be quite an investment in time and tend to get moved to the bottom of my list. I envision more time for reading ‘grown up’ books in my near future.

Third grade books aren’t the same commitment as 5th & 6th grades. I expect to plow through loads this summer. The ‘classics’ I know; Roald Dahl, Beverly Cleary, The Borrowers, etc. But what about books that have been written in the last decade, or two, (or three?) This is my task for summer. (If you have any suggestions, please pass them on!)

My summer reading will also keep me on the lookout for new read alouds. While some titles I read now transcend grade levels (The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and The Toys Go Out), most do not. I am excited to discover new journeys to take with my students through books, I just have to figure out what they might be!

Living overseas takes some planning as new titles aren’t readily available and you never know what you might be able to find in a school’s library. (Thankfully ebooks have increased availability and thus my options.) So I’ve started a list. Do you have anything to add to it?

Enough with this writing, I only have a few more weeks of justifiable YA reading!

10 comments:

  1. While I love YA books, there are so many fabulous picture books for the younger grades. You will fall in love with them too as you find the just right ones for your new charges. Enjoy the readings.

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    1. I love picture books, too. I use them with all ages. Thanks!

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  2. What an exciting summer ahead!

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  3. Mrs. Pigglewiggle was my favorite in third grade. Every day after lunch, Miss Jackson would read to us and we loved every story.

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  4. Kristin, it's been more than a dozen years since I taught 3rd grade. You'll love it! Two of my favorite bloggers who share books all the time are Colby Sharp and Carrie Gelson. Sorry if you already know about the two of them. They keep me up-to-date on wonderful books for the younger crowd. And I have a question for you. My mostly 6th grade after school book club is in search of a book for our final book club of the school year. We read 2015 Newberry possibilities earlier in the year and have been focusing on poetry recently. Any ideas for us?

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    1. Ramona, I know Colby and will go check out Carrie. Thanks! End of the year 6th grade - Ready Player One (especially boys). Other options, but you have probably thought of these or done them - Breadcrumbs or Wonder.

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  5. Mrs. Pigglewiggle!!! Yes!!! I still think about Mrs. Pigglewiggle and the slow-eater-tiny-bite-taker. I LOVED those books.
    Kristi, you don't need an excuse for YA. They are such great books to just get lost in. You can usually read them in 1-3 days, you are SO right about them being a wonderful escape/journey, and they're so fun!! Everyone needs a break from deeply intellectual, mind-bending, academic reading. If you really want an excuse, you're diversifying your reading background, you're being knowledgeable for kids who are ahead of their grade level/reading level, finding books for kids in the future, or, having fun reading a book!! I still read (and reread) lots of YA and I'm definitely not a YA anymore... haha

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  6. Also, I really liked the American Girl books, and these Coming to America? Or Diary books? I'm not sure. If I find the exact title I'll let you know. They are historical fiction written like diary entries. Coraline by Neil Gaiman? Might be too scary, though. And I still have a book of short stories I loved by Avi called What Do Fish Have to Do With Anything. It might be too advanced but I remember reading it in 3rd or 4th grade.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your ideas with me.

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