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.

Motivating myself to become a reader…

kidsIt has been several months since I started the journey of getting into the habit of reading. Along the road, I have found many obstacles; but I have also manage to read interesting books which have left me to wanting to continue reading more and more. I have been to the library many times now, and I believe that by now all the staff there knows me. However, the other day when I went there, I started having a conversation with the librarian about this class and how I as a student and future teacher could encourage myself and my future

students to read. She told me of several tips which were great ideas.  The following are some tips:

-What is that you are interested in reading? What topic?

-Do you like fiction or nonfiction books? Do you like sports, animals, princesses, etc. books?

-Take a book off the shelf that looks interesting to you. Open the book to any page and read three or four pages. Do you like what you have just read? Is it interesting and appealing to read? Was the writing easy to understand? Would this book be something you might think of reading?

-If there was a book you really enjoyed reading, reading the whole series is always a good idea. However, starting with the first book is always a better idea. This way, it will be much easier to understand what is going on and getting familiar with the characters and setting.

-Ask other people or peers for suggestions on different books they have read.

-The librarian also told me about a nation wide data base which people can log into and research about different books. This is a great site as it allows you to find books by title, author, genre, etc. It also has a description about the book, grade level, and the author.

If anyone is interested in learning more about this site, click on the following link…


To begin, click on the Explore tab and choose Research

choose statewide databases

under “browse resource by tittle,” click on the letter N

Towards the bottom of the page click on Novelist k-8 Plus and this will allow you to research many books and find more information about them

The Novelist k-8 Plus is especially for young readers. It has reading recommendation for both fiction and nonfiction, for kids in grade k-8. This is a great tool to use to find just the right books for every reader.

Also, towards the bottom of the page you can click on Browse working with youth, which helps program ideas, match books to readers and other great reader’s advisory tip. I believe all this information is great to help me and other readers start reading. When many tools like this are available out there, it definitely makes things much easier.









It is Monday! What are you reading?

holesStanley has been digging holes: five feet deep and five feet wide for the last few months ever since he was wrongly sent to a boys’ detention center in Camp Green Lake for supposedly stealing a pair of shoes. Louis Sachar, author of the book, Holes, and winner of the Newberry Award introduces us to the life of Stanley and his family.

Stanley lived a good life with his family and his grandfather who loved inventing things. Stanley’s life changed that one day when he was walking under a bridge when all of a sudden a pair of shoes landed on him. Another boy, (Zero), had stolen the shoes and the police was after him, so he decided to throw the shoes over the bridge, ironically the shoes landed on Stanley and this was enough evidence for the police to arrest him. After being arrested by the police, Stanley gets sent to the detention center where he meets Zero, another boy who is also serving time at the camp. As time goes by, the boys become friends. Zero, who did not know how to read or write got interested in learning to do so. So both Stanley and Zero decided to do a deal; Stanley would teach Zero how to read and write, and Zero would help Stanley to dig his holes. One day, the boys tell each other the reason as to why they ended up at the camp. Ironically, Zero realizes that because of him, Stanley ended up at the camp. As we continue reading the book, we find out what they boys decide to do…

One day, everything changes for the boys when all of a sudden they find a hidden treasure in one of the holes they were digging. This day becomes the start of a new life for them…

Reading Reflection…

booksI have to say that getting into the habit of constantly having a book in my hands is harder than I thought it would be. At the beginning of the semester, I learned I would have to stay busy reading many childrens books. I have to say I have tried staying up to date, but with so many things going on around me it is hard to do so at times. And when I do find some time to finally sit and read my book, I find myself falling asleep- not good.

I have been at the public library many times and have found many great books I have had the pleasure to read. The very last one I read, Dear Mr. Henshaw by, Beverly Clearly won a John Newberry Medal. This was a great book and I highly recommend the books which have won the Newberry award. The next book I have in mind is Hatched by, Gary Paulsen, which also won a Newberry award. I asked the librarian if she had read this book and she said yes and that she did recommend it.

What can I do in order to read more? I have asked myself this question many times! Besides working two jobs, going to school, taking care of my son, and my house, I need to make my reading a priority as well. However, I have found myself looking through my cell phone on Facebook when I could use this time to read a book. It is the same thing with television! I need to stop watching television and read more. Next time, I am going to watch t.v for 10 minutes and read for 15. I believe that if I do this as a routine, I will eventually trained myself and automatically do it.

One thing I do have to share with everyone is that I take my reading material to work and one of my coworkers said to me one day, “Wow, you really like to read, uh?” “I am pretending like I do,” I replied. Even after I said this to her, I thought all night about all the books I have read so far and how much I have enjoyed reading them. Many times we think we need to read a book because we have to, but in this case it is different. It is different because I have the freedom to choose books which are appealing to me. And this is where the big difference is and what makes it more interesting! Hopefully next time I blog about how my reading time is going, I will write about all the books I have had the opportunity to read and how I am making time out of my busy schedule to read them. Not because I have to, but because I have the desire to do so!

Meme…what is next?

Dear Mr. Henshaw,

dear. mr. henshawWell, the book I chose this week to read has won a John NewBerry Medal. The book is called, Dear Mr. Henshaw, it was recommended by Mrs. Ellington and I am glad I chose it. This is a chapter book which has a few illustrations here and there and I would recommend this book to a second or third grader.

In this story, we meet Leigh Botts, who is in fourth grade now. The first time Leigh wrote to Mr. Henshaw, an author of children’s book, he was in second grade. All these time until now he has kept in touch with Mr. Henshaw and through his writing, he tells him all about his life and things going on. Through his writing, Leigh asked for advice from Mr. Henshaw as to how he can become a better writer? However, I believe Leigh has not figure out that he is a great writer as he tells us and Mr. Henshaw all bout his life. Leigh tells us about his mother, who works for a catering business and goes to school at night, and about his father, who drives a truck. His parents got divorced, and because of this, he hardly ever gets to see his father and gets to spend his time alone at home while his mom is at school. Throughout the story, we continue reading about the conflict between Leigh and his father. The fact that he hardly ever gets to see his dad makes him sad, but deep inside his heart, he still wishes and hopes for his dads call and to one day see the big truck parked outside his mobile home.

In one of the letters Leigh wrote to Mr. Henshaw, Leigh told him he got to read his brand new book, Beggar Bear, which apparently the setting took place in Yellowstone, Wyoming! Prior to this letter, Leigh had asked him a lot of personal questions and Mr. Henshaw did answer them. However, he also asked Leigh a lot of personal questions and his mom insisted that he answered them all. Because of this, I also have questions:

-Is Mr. Henshaw a real author?

-Did Mr. Henshaw really write the book Beggar Bear?

-I have to say some tourist in Yellowstone Park are very stupid indeed…

Meme…What is next?

“No Dogs or Mexicans Allowed in Public Park”

“A fence which separates the black side of town from the white side”

“There were signs all through town telling color people where they could and could not go”

“We cater to White Trade ONLY”

“Negro Students Stand Up by Sitting Down”

“Blacks seat in the back, whites in the front”

This week for my book meme I decided to read books about the racial tension which has divided the world and continues to do so. We have heard about the Civil Right movements and what Dr. King, Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges, and many other protestants bravely did in order to end segregation and start civil rights. Regardless of living in the 21st century, discrimination because of color still exist in the world, but many of us are afraid to say or do something about it. As I read through all these books, it is clear that this racial issue continues to haunt “colored” people! Many of these books have life like watercolor illustrations and vivid pictures which brings the reader closer to the tension that the characters are going through in the book.

Separate Is Never Equal by, Duncan Tonatiuh is a book about ending segregation in public schools and how the Brown Vs. Board of Education event came to happen. It all started when Sylvia Mendez was about to start school and was turned away along with her brothers and told they had to attend the Mexican school. Being young, she could not understand why she was not able to attend this beautiful school, even after she fluently spoke English and was an American citizen! It was not fair or right for them not to be able to attend school just because several white people thought colored people had many faults such as: “For their social behavior. They need to learn cleanliness of mind, manner, and dress. they are not learning at home. They have problems with lice, impetigo, and tuberculosis. They have generally dirty hands, face, neck, and ears.” Being rejected many times, Sylvia’s father decided to organize a lawsuit against the school and eventually won the case.

Back Of The Bus by, Aaron Reynolds this story takes place in Montgomery, Alabama. As we read the book, we learn that black people have to sit in the back of the bus and/or give their seat to a white person , if not they will be arrested. All of a sudden, the bus came to a  sudden stop and did not move for an hour or so. Many people got on the bus and apparently some commotion started to happen. It was Rosa Park, a black lady who was not willing to stand up and give her seat to a white man. Because of this, she got arrested and her act of defiance helped changed the nation.

In the book, Freedom on the Menu by, Carole Boston Weatherford we learn about Connie, an eight year old girl who does not understand segregation and what is going on around her. Many were the times she and her momma would go to town to get food and if it was hot, they would go to the snack bar in the five-and-dime store to have a coke. However, black people were not allowed to sit at the lunch counter and they had to stand. “All over town, signs told Mama and me where we could and could’t go. Signs on water fountains, swimming pools, movie theaters, even bathrooms.” Because of all of these and many other events, Dr. King gave his speech and among other students and protestors,  equal rights started to slowly appear.

Clover could not understand and always wondered why that long fence separated the black side of town from the white side. And why did that girl always sit on the fence? In the book, The Other Side, by Jackeline Woodson, we learn about Clover, a black girl, and Annie, a white girl, who are separated by a gate, and do not understand why. Yet, this obstacle does not prevent the girls to talk to each other and eventually build a friendship.

Hatred and prejudice was all around Ruby Bridges. Everything got worse when she started school at an all-white elementary school, especially, being the only black student there. Through faith and courage, Ruby leads by example and teaches us that we must not hate those who hate us. Instead of hating those people, she would pray for them; “Please God, try to forgive those people. Because even if they say those bad things, They don’t know what they’re doing.”


It is Monday! What are you reading?

I have continued to find children’s book and my son has brought many from school as well. The three books we read this week were, Storms, At the Pond, and Jordan’s Catch. Although all three books are completely different from each other, Storms and At the Pond were my favorite books as they are non fiction and my son, myself and other readers can learn valuable information from these books.


At the Pond, by David M. Schwartz is a great book about various animals, their habitat, what they eat, their bodies, etc. This is a super interesting book as it has many facts about several animals. Children would definitely enjoy this book, especially those children who enjoy animals and reading about then.

jordans catchJordan’s Catch by, Stephen Harrison is the story of a boy who plays baseball. One day his team was playing the final game and he missed when he was trying to catch the ball. Because of this, his team lost the game. He was absolutely sad because he was not able to catch the ball. Much to his surprise, his mother bought baseball tickets for him and his father to go watch a game for the towns team. Towards the end of the game, his home team needed one last catch (home run) in order to win the game. When the ball was strike, much to his surprise, the boy catched the ball and he was even on television. Of course, his hometown team won the final!

The storm, from National Geographic for kids,  (accidentally deleted the picture) is a book about the various types of weather catastrophes that can happen when less expected. This book explains what makes certain things such as rain, tornadoes, lightning, earthquake, etc. happen. Unfortunately, this book seems to go well with all the horrible catastrophes happening at the moment in different parts of the world. This is a book which could be used during a science project or lesson plan about natural disasters.

Meme…What is next?

touching spirit bearWell, since the book I read this week had to do with animals, I decided to read Touching Spirit Bear by, Ben Mikaelsen. In this book we are introduced to Cole, the main character and the kind of life he lived. One day, he  attacks another student and has to suffer the consequences. However, in order to avoid going to Juvenile jail, he agrees to attend a native American Circle Justice in a remote island in Alaska where he must learn to survive off the island and what is available. Harvey, a native American tries to help him “survive” as he himself has been through a similar experience. Cole is a teenager who has been through many drastic events in his life as he had to live with an alcoholic mother, and a father who always beat him for everything. The day that Cole gets to meet Harvey, his life starts to change dramatically as he realizes he wants to help him to overcome this obstacle. However, Cole is not willing to give in, even for his own good, without a “fight.”

After court, Harvey agrees to take Cole to the island, and once in the island, Cole has an encounter with a giant spirit bear. Through this encounter, he learns to see life differently and learns that there will always be either negative or positive consequences from his acts. As we continue reading the book, many thoughts and “pictures” come to mind and makes us wonder if what is happening is actually real, or just a dream…