Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving on Thursday

Many of our young readers are ready for their first chapter books - more words, fewer pictures - so we thought we would begin by reading aloud some of the first books in some of the series that they can choose such as the Magic Tree House series. By reading the first book in a series, the students can meet the characters and get a feel for the books to see if they might be interested in others in the series. We started by introducing the class to eight year old Jack and his seven year old sister Annie as they are transported to another time when they open a book in their magic tree house. We first read book #1, Dinosaurs Before Dark, which the children loved. We just couldn't resist adding book #27, Thanksgiving on Thursday right before the holiday. Of course, we realized that we might need to add a little additional background knowledge to this historical fiction when we asked them to guess who the characters might meet on this adventure and they guessed George Washington and Abe Lincoln! We did fill in with some traditional Thanksgiving books of the first celebration between chapters!

Not all of our little sprouts are quite ready for chapter books. We also have children that are beginning readers (and we are quite proud of them!) but they, of course, want to read the same books that some of their peers are reading. One of our little beginning readers chose a Magic Tree House chapter book to put in his daily reading book bin. I asked him if he was sure he could read all the words and he assured me that he had taken it home the night before and stayed up all night reading it and that it was really a GREAT book. When I asked him if he had trouble with any of the words, he replied rather sheepishly, "Well I did have trouble with this word." He opened the book to the first word on the very first page, "Jack"! I mean, really, you have to give him credit for desire!

We won't stop reading, of course, because he can understand stories well above what he is able to read independently, but we will encourage mom and dad to continue to feed his desire by reading to him at this higher level at the same time that he is reading to them from books that he really can read fluently and independently. I can't wait to hear him respond as he moves through adventures with mummies and knights and even travels with the astronauts to the moon!

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