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.


Chandra said...

Found you via Fuse 8 - great charts by the way! Always great to stumble on another book blogger! Looking forward to more!

I'm reading the Newbery Medal and Honor books from 1922 to the present - I've been doing it for about a year now and I'm just now to 1929! Ha! This will be a loooong project! I do read a lot of other things in between though!

Hannahlily said...

This is wonderful! Your statistics-filled comments added so much fascinating information to Fuse #8's picture book poll last year. I look forward to reading what you post about the chapter book poll and about children's lit in general.

I, too, am trying to read all the Newbery Honor books, although I have quite a few left to read - I've only finished about 50 so far. It's quite an undertaking, but so much fun!

Z said...

I used to work with a title one reading program (first grade), and I will never ever forget the child who, before turning the page of FOX IN LOVE, looked up at me and said, "This is the best book I've ever read."

Louise said...

Hi Eric, I'm very excited to find your new blog, it's rare for me to get in on the ground floor. (I found you from Fuse #8 too). I'll be really interested to follow your readings in the classroom. I've been reading childrens books for a while now but it's not my profession and I still have quite a way to go to be widely read, but I'm trying. I'm ashamed to admit that I've never read any William Steig, but your unreserved enthusiasm makes me keen to try his books. I look forward to them.

Louise said...

I've now read a William Steig book. I found Zeke Pippin at my library the other day. I love synchronicity like that, there it was sitting out on the shelf, maybe it had always been there, but this time it had some meaning for me and I saw it. I realised that I was in the hands of an unusual author on the second page when Zeke was cleaning the magic harmonica that he had found (it fell off the garbage truck) with his father's schnapps. It was a fun book, and now I'm waiting to read more of his books. I'm going to the library again today, and plan to pick up The Real Thief.