Sunday, January 27, 2013

Class Favorites

Last year I did a top books of 2011 post at the end of the year. I didn’t do that this year – not because I didn’t have any books to write about, but maybe because I had too many. There were so many books I loved this year, it is hard to even wrap my mind around it. I have shared more books than ever with my students and seeing a book through their eyes makes me look at a book anew. So while this is not a comprehensive list, here are four books written in 2012 that I have read aloud and that fifth graders have fallen in love with too.

Picture books:

Man, there were TONS of picture books my students loved this year. Our Mock Caldecott unit had 23 books in it! I would have to say, if I picked two picture books my students have heard read aloud, and then revisited the most often, it would be these two:

Interestingly, one was not on our Mock Caldecott list and one didn’t win, but the kids LOVE these books. During independent reading when I conference with other kids and look over at the library area, I often see these books in the hands of kids as they curl up together and laugh as they read. Class favorites.

Class Read Alouds

Beautiful books this year in abundance, but these two I read last January and I don’t know that I will ever forget them. They are two books that I hold close to my heart. When my school started off this year we held a one book/ one school with Wonder. To be able to get it read by the end of September to all three of my reading classes, I had 71 kids come to my room for thirty minutes a day and I read to them. 71 kids. A normal sized classroom. Fifth graders. You know what? You could have heard a pin drop. Purely magical.

The One and Only Ivan was a read aloud after Wonder, but to my homeroom group only. I wasn’t sure if they would embrace the next read aloud, I knew it would be hard to follow Wonder, but Ivan succeeded. The kids gasped when Bob revealed what happened to his siblings, discussed Julia and her connection to Ivan. Shed tears for Stella. Fell in love with Ruby. I have to say, when I have read a book as many times as I have read Ivan, I sometimes find myself not as enchanted with it as I was on the first read. That has not happened with this beautiful book.

Tomorrow when the award is announced I will be excited for whichever book happens to win. Of course I would love these titles to earn a shiny sticker, but they are already winners in the eyes of my students and in mine. That being said, I am bringing my son’s stuffed animal he calls IVAN with me for luck. J