Thursday, February 18, 2010

Notes on Novels 100-51

Wow half way done already. Since my last post 20 titles have been announced and something became clear or at least better defined. You can of course see all the titles and read all of Fuse #8's thoughts plus lots of commentary on each title at her blog here: #100 - 91, #90-86, #85-81, #80-76, #75-71, #70-66, #65-61, #60-56, #55-51.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Notes on Novels 100-71

Last year while the wonderful Elizabeth (Fuse #8) Bird counted down the results from her top 100 picture books poll, I followed along and analyzed different aspects of the results with an elaborate spreadsheet, occasionally sharing some of the interesting data points in the comment section of the Fuse #8 blog. This year I will make use of this new space to share data from the Top 100 Children's Novels poll.

Now that titles 100-71 have been announced there is enough data to see some interesting trends. Below are some of the observations (and questions) as well as some charts to visually represent said trends.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

First Post: mission and about me

Well I've been putting this off long enough. My intention is to arbitrarily post about the books I read aloud in my second grade classroom. I'll post what chapter books and picture books (both new books and old) that generate discussion or insights from my students. I'll probably also post about the books I read outside of the classroom which are almost always children's lit or young adult (I've read all the newbery medal winners and am currently working my way through all of the Newbery Honor books less than 200 to go!) . Around award season I'll also post my predictions and thoughts about the contenders.

Over the next few weeks I'll also use this space to comment, speculate and analyze the results of fuse #8's Top 100 novels poll that is currently being revealed. Time permitting I'll also post all my stats and graphs for last year's picture book poll.

Now a little background. I'm second grade teacher in Atlanta Georgia. I teach at a title 1 school where 90% of the students speak a language other than English. I read a ton in my classroom as I believe reading/listening to authentic literature is the absolute best way to build vocabulary, background knowledge and listening skills. Pedologically I'm a devote Krashenite (Krashen's Power of Reading is my bible and should be yours too) not surprisingly giving my students opportunities for self selected reading is my focus throughout the day.

A typical day includes 3 or 4 picture book read alouds and a chapter or two from our current novel. I'm in my third year of teaching and couldn't be happier with my chosen profession. Through Goodwill and library book sales I've managed to build up my classroom library to include approximately 2500 books which my students and I make use of throughout the day during, read alouds, SSR, independent reading and buddy reading.

Now the fun part: What I like to read!
My favorite authors and illustrators include: William Steig, E.L. Konigsburg, Sharon Creech, James Marshall, and M.T. Anderson.
The best novel in the world is Steig's Dominic and the best picture book in the world is Steig's Solomon the Rusty Nail.
Shamefully I have a deep love for everything funny written by Robert Munsch especially the utterly perfect in every way Purple, Green and Yellow (and a deep hatred for his sappy books).

I will go ahead and apologize upfront for the grammatical errors and verbosity which will likely be found throughout my posts. Copy editing is appreciated and not compensated apply via email.