Best Book I Have Not Read

Writing, Reading, Teaching, Life, Attempting to Balance it All

Madam President by Lane Smith August 16, 2008

Filed under: books,school — bestbookihavenotread @ 12:56 pm
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As the school year approaches for my district and we start thinking past the first weeks of school, the upcoming presidential election will not be forgotten. Madam President by Lane Smith was the first new book that I happened to see out this summer that fell into the theme of the upcoming election. On my shopping spree (see yesterday’s post) I did find several others, all of which are guaranteed to help teachers navigate the political world. I really enjoy Lane Smith’s work and have found that my students are captivated by his illustrations. I had purchased Big Plans by Bob Shea and Lane Smith earlier this summer and have had fun figuring out when it would be the perfect time to start uttering “Big Plans!” to my colleagues.

The school-aged female main character goes about her day dealing with presidential matters in a way that will both educate and entertain readers. A nice blend of tongue-in-cheek humor (vetoing the tuna casserole) and facts (state funerals to attend) about the president’s job, a teacher could really have a lot of fun using this witty picture book in their classroom to talk about the job of the president. I love how every person (and animal) the president encounters is left with a little American flag!

A great read aloud with lots in the illustrations to entertain and educate.

Check out Lane Smith’s website for more fun where Ye Old Ben’s quote of the day is

 “There are no FOOLS as troublesome as those that have WIT.”


Shopping High

Filed under: school — bestbookihavenotread @ 3:57 am
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I am a lucky woman. As part of my new position for my district and as a volunteer for the PTO (who funded the shopping), I got to go shopping for new picture books for the elementary teachers tonight. Wow! Was that great! I’m going to try to do a review of each new title over the next couple weeks. There are some great new titles for teachers to use in their classrooms for read-alouds. Look for the first two tomorrow.


Beginning of the Year Read Alouds

Filed under: books,kidlithosphere,school — bestbookihavenotread @ 3:53 am
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I was asked by some new teachers what books I like to start the year for read-alouds so I thought that would make a good post. I tend to have some old favorites, as well as trying to add new ones to the rotation each year.

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume is a book you can’t go wrong with (unless you are in a school where the whole mom being pregnant-where do babies come from question might do you in). I love the latest version of new covers and like to use it to introduce a favorite character and as a springboard to getting children into reading the other books about Fudge.

One of my favorites the past several years is the The Field Guideby Holly Black and Tony DeTerlizzi, the first Spiderwick Chronicles book. It is a great series for fourth graders (as well as younger and older) and really has pulled some of my reluctant readers off the fence and into “readerdom”!

I also like to read Wayside School is Falling Down or Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar.  Last year I read aloud The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary by Candace Fleming first and noticed many similarities (more on that in a different post) between that new title and the Wayside Stories, that I wanted them to hear both books so that we could discuss them as a class.