Funny Chapter Books

During my second week of summer break, I read some funny books. I like fractured fairy tales, the funny ones and the serious ones, so I was excited to read "Frogged" by Vivian Vande Velde, which is a very funny book about a princess that gets turned into a frog. This is not a new idea, one of my favorite princess series is the "Tales of the Frog Princess" books by E.D. Baker.  I love those books which are funny, lighthearted but full of creative ideas with magic. The princesses are never waiting around to be rescued, they are take-charge girls who solve their own problems. I recommend them to 3rd grade and above for princess and magic loving girls. "Frogged" is also lighthearted, and also has a princess that is trying to solve her own problems instead of relying on others to save her. I had never read anything from Vivian Vande Velde, so I thought I would try some more of her books. I read "Wizard at Work" next, which is a humorous book, but really is a bunch of short stories and I didn't feel a lot of empathy with the wizard. Then I read "Magic Can be Murder" which is not funny and definitely not for elementary school.  This book is about a witch in the middle ages, who is sexually harassed by an employer and then witnesses a murder. She is trying to escape detection as a witch at the same time she is trying to catch the murderer. Not funny, but suspenseful and good for middle school and above. Then I moved on to Neil Gaiman, who is a master at scary and suspenseful. I was already a fan of his and have read several of his wonderful books and I have enjoyed the Dr. Who episodes he wrote. "Fortunately, the Milk" is quite a different book from his scary books. It's a short book and would probably be a great read-aloud for younger students. Dad realizes there is no milk for breakfast and he runs out to get some. The kids are waiting impatiently for his return so they can eat their cereal. When he comes back the kids attack him with "What took you so … [Read more...]

Reading Journals

I bought a bunch of E-books for my students from Capstone Press. What a great thing! My students just love them. I like to use the E-books with my Kindergarten and 1st grade students, and they work so quietly and diligently to get the privilege of getting on the computers. The E-books can be read to the students or the sound can be turned off. Students get a lot of great practice moving the mouse and clicking the arrows to go to the next page besides hearing a story and reading along. I wanted students to write about what they were reading so I came up with these journals. I take three pieces of paper and print on both sides, fold in half and staple with a long arm stapler. I have three different graphic organizers that I use. For the first one, students write about their favorite part and draw a picture. I have another one where students write three words that describe a character and a graphic organizer for non-fiction books and students write a fact they learned. On the left side, students write about the book we read together and on the right side they write about the E-book they read on the computer. It's available on Teachers Pay Teachers.   … [Read more...]