Saturday, August 1, 2015

Back To School Read Aloud

I have a confession to make...I had never read the book Frindle. That probably makes me the worst upper grades teacher ever, but what is really bad, is that one of the reasons I didn't read it was because I judged it by the cover *gasp*. Sorry, but a kid holding a pen wasn't all that interesting to me. I knew the premise - some kids rename pens with the word frindle - and it "seemed" like more of a 4th grade book; most kids coming to 5th had already read it in 4th anyway. It was never on my to-read list.

Well, as summer wound down I wanted to squeeze in one more teacher book (see my Summer Reading posts for more great teacher books I read over the summer) and I chose reading guru Donalyn Miller's "Reading the the Wild". What a lovely book! It really invigorated me and reminded me of how important it is to foster a love of reading.

I started to think about which book I wanted to start with this year, and I REALLY wanted to have a book that my students could each hold in their hands and follow along with. Last year our district adopted the Journey's reading series. I'm not a fan of basals/anthologies/programs like this, but Journey's has one great bonus, actual books - and enough for all the kids! Well, Frindle happened to be one of the trade books for 5th grade and so I knew that I'd finally have to read it.

And you know what...I LOVED it! I'm a tough critic and rarely give a book 5 stars, this was an easy 5 stars and I knew it was the book to start the year off! I had lofty goals to start it on day one, but that day flew by, so we started on day 2.

As I introduced Reading Workshop I explained that I wasn't going to use Frindle to teach them vocabulary and there weren't going to be "assignments" on it. We were just going to read it to ENJOY it! And enjoy it we did. Yesterday we wrapped up week two of school and finished Frindle. I think I enjoyed even more the second time around!

Frindle is such a satisfying read and perfect for 5th grade. The themes make it ideal to kick off the year:
* a teacher's influence on students
* thinking "outside the box"
* being a risk taker
* how words evolve/the importance of word study
* being yourself

Now to decide on a read aloud for week 3...

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1 comment:

  1. I recently read A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord and Masterminds by Gordon Korman - both were excellent!
    Are We There Yet?


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