Reading Challenge…

Froggy, by Jonathan London

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Reading is definitely a challenge for me, as it is something that does not come natural. However, I have to say this semester I have read more books than I have in the past years. Most important of all, I have really enjoyed these books, especially, since I have had the freedom to choose the books I want, whatever looks interesting to me. So for my reading challenge, I decided to read the Froggy series by Jonathan London.

My son who is in second grade gets to bring different books home every week. One day he brought two books about Froggy, Froggy learns to swim and Froggy’s first kiss,  and he read them to me. They were super cute and a book any child in the lower grades would definitely love to read. This is one of the reasons as to why I decided to read these books for my challenge. Although I know there are not too long, if I finish with most of them, I will challenge myself and start a new challenge. The other one I have in mind is Skippy John Jones, I definitely do love these books!

 

 

Sunset…meme

sunsetGiven the choice to blog about some meme, I decided to blog about a beautiful sunset picture I took while at work at the foot of the Big Horn Mountains during the summer.

Having the opportunity to work at the foot of the Big Horn Mountains does not happen every day. For the last three years I have had the privilege to work at the Brinton Bradford Museum. My job was as a server at the Bistro. This year they decided to serve dinner from 5pm to 9pm. I have to say almost every night was incredibly beautiful with such a beautiful sunset. There were many times I would stop and go outside just to take a picture and admire the view. It is incredible what nature can do, and many times we just take it for granted. Sceneries like this don’t happen everyday. I am lucky to live in Wyoming and to be able to experience this beautiful view. I have lived in the city and it is not the same, the fresh air, plants, trees, animals are nowhere to be found.

I remember having many animal visitors as well ; everyday it was a different animal. Deers, turkeys, squirrels, pronghorns, and of course, one of our last visitors, momma bear and her cubs.

This is why I encourage everyone to take a moment off their busy life to look up and admire all the beautiful nature we have around us. sunset 1

Meme idea taken from the following link:

http://www.shanamama.com/

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

readingBridge to Terabithia has finally come to an end! I have to say this book took me longer than I expected, but it was worth it. I had previously given a summary of what the book was all about; but this was only when I had just read the first two chapters.

Jess Aarons, a fifth grade boy could not wait for school to start. He had been running the whole summer hoping to be the number one runner at recess. His summer was long and boring, as he spent most of it taking care of Miss Bessie, the cow. One day, he noticed a moving van in the old Perkins house. Who knew this was going to change his life. That is exactly what happened, everything changed for him the one day he saw Leslie, his new neighbor. She was also in fifth grade and ended up in his classroom. As time went by, they became friends, especially, after that one day when Leslie and Wayne Pettis, Jess’ rival, ran against each other and she won. It did take a few days before Jess gave himself an opportunity to become Leslie’s friend. However, once they started talking to each other and hanging out together, they became inseparable.

Life was kind of boring for the two friends, and since Leslie had such a great imagination, she came up with the great idea of “creating Terabithia, a magical kingdom in the woods where the two of them reign as kind and queen, and their imagination set the only limits.” These helped Jess see life from a different perspective, he did not care what other people would say, as long as he was with his dear friend.

One day, unexpectedly everything changed! As Jess came back from his trip from Washington, he learned that his best friend, Leslie, had fallen off the rope they used to swing from one side of the river to get to their “kingdom.” This tragic event changed his life, but in the long run, he knew Leslie had changed his life for good.

This was such a great book and highly do recommend it, especially, since it is a John Newbery Medal award book. I believe this book is appropriate for an advanced fourth grader and/or a fifth grader. The book does have a few black and white illustrations through out the book to help the students better comprehend their reading. I love the fact that this book has several questions at the end of the book. These are great because teacher and students can conduct literature circle questions.

It is Monday…What are you reading?

AntsDo you like bugs? How about ants? How would you feel if you were an ant and you had to be careful of where you walk so people don’t step on you? For my Monday reading, I actually did not get to read, but my son read to me and asked questions as he read about ants. In the book, Thinking About Ants, by Barbara Brenner, we as readers get to learn many  facts about ants since this book is a nonfiction informational book. As children read this book, the author allows them to be part of the book and engage in it by asking questions about ants. For example, how many legs do aunts have? What colors are ants? Where do they live? Etc.

The illustrations in the book by Carol Schwartz are great. She enlarged the ants in order for the readers to imagine what the author is talking about. The fact that the illustrations are detailed, also allows the readers to “see” something realistic. The descriptive language the author uses allows the readers to enter the world of ants. The fact that there are not too many words on the pages to read, but rather a lot of pictures to look at, helps children to better understand the book and also allows them to use their imagination at all times.

I would recommend this book for either a second or third grader.

I Love Reading…Mrs. Danalyn Miller

Daniel 2
According to my son, Daniel, “reading tells you cool facts about books. Some are fiction and others are nonfiction.”

Imagine being a six grader and reading up to 40 books for the whole school year! I have to say these are a lot of books! This is precisely what happens in Mrs. Danalyn Miller’s classroom every year. The children are super excited to be in her class as she provides the tools necessary for these students to enjoy and love reading. Mrs. Miller shares her love and passion for books with her students all the time and encourages them to do the same.

Most important of all, she allows the children to choose their own book of interest. I believe this is a very strong power of choice as they will be more excited about their reading material and will not feel “forced” to read a certain book, but something they were freely able to choose. Another great thing Mrs. Miller does is giving the students time to read in the classroom as well. Unfortunately, some children are not as lucky as others and do not get time to read at home or have the resources to do so. Sometimes, some children have parents who do not speak the language and this prevents the students from advancing their reading level as the parents are not able to help them out because of the language barrier. I have personally experienced this, and it was super hard for me as a student and person. I can imagine my parents feeling powerless as well, wanting to help, but unable to do so!

By now we have learned that every child is different and learns under different circumstances. In other words, one shoe does not fit every child. This is why it is very important to encourage all children equally, including those who are falling behind. Finding ways to help them out or maybe partnering them with the advanced students will help. This is why, I believe that having an extrinsic reward in place is also a great idea. I am not sure if I totally agree with her idea of “the reward being reading.” I believe that when students are encouraged to continued their great work ethic, other people such as peers, parents, teachers, etc. know about it, it makes the student feel more “powerful” and are encouraged to continue doing what they are doing.

In conclusion, this article was a reminder of the many things we as future teachers can do in our classrooms in order to help our students to enjoy and love reading. We must follow Mrs. Millers footsteps as they are creating a positive atmosphere in her classroom with her students!

Daniel reading
This is my son, Daniel, reading lots of books! 

 

Meme…what is next?

bridge to terabithiaBridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson is my next book adventure. This John Newbery Medal winner has been recommended to me by several people. I love when people see me with the book and everyone exclaims what a great book it is and how they remember when they read it back in fifth grade! I have to say these words give me the encouragement I need in order to continue my “reading marathon!”

I have just read two chapters in the book so far. But I will let you know what I have been introduced to so far…

We are introduced to Jess, a boy who is about to enter fifth grade in Lark Creek Elementary school, and has a big old family which includes four sisters. It is obvious that he does not get along with his sisters, well, except May Belle, who apparently looks up to him. Every morning he gets up early to run, as he wants to be the fastest runner in the class and impress everyone when the school year starts.

One day, Jess saw a moving van parked across his house at the old Perkins place, apparently someone was moving in and he was wondering who it was. Days later, when he was running, all of a sudden a person with “jaded brown hair cut close to its face and wore one of those blue undershirtlike top with faded jeans cut off above the knees” started talking to him. According to this book description, it will be the girl who is going to come and change his life and imagination!

To be continued…

And the reading continues…

froggyWell, I have to say this week I did not get to read as much as I had to, or wanted to. However, I learned about a new author, Jonathan London. Apparently he has a series of books about Froggy and the many things he gets to do or learns to do. I got to read two of his books. The first one was, Froggy’s First Kiss and the second one was Froggy Learns to Swim.

In the book, Froggy’s First Kiss, we are introduced to Froggy, who is a frog of course, and how everything changed for him the day he met Froginlina, the pretties frog he has ever met. Because of this, he wanted to make a valentine’s card for the love of his life. Throughout class, we find out how mesmerized he is by her and it makes us think that the card he is making will end up in her hands. To the readers surprise, Froggy gives the valentine card to his mother, who in return gave him a big old KISS on the cheek!

Froggy 2“Bubble bubble, toot toot, chicken, airplane, soldier,” were just some of the words Froggy’s mom would use to encourage Froggy, the frog, to swim. Wait, aren’t frogs natural swimmers? Yes, but not this one. Learning to swim was the obstacle for Froggy, but his mom never gave up on him. The mother continued to encourage him to swim, and to the readers surprise, once Froggy actually tried to swim, he told his mom,”No! no! I don’t want to get out! I want to swim!”

I loved the illustrations on both books. Frank Remakewicz does a great job on them. The fact that children are able to see pictures all over the pages I believe encourages them to continue reading and fall in love with the book. I also like the fact that some of the pages are just white and black, which adds a different touch and view to the book. The language that is used in these types of books will be stuck in kid’s mind motivating them to continue reading more and more of the series. Jonathan has over 40 books about Froggy and his adventures. These two books I read are for a second grade reader.