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text 2017-03-27 22:06
Thank You, Mr. Falker - Patricia Polacco

Patricia Polacco's book, Thank you, Mr. Falker, holds a very special place in my heart as a future teacher. The book is based off of true events that took place in the life of Polacco, herself, growing up. It addresses criticial issues seen in schools across the world, such as bullying or reading difficulties. Trisha, the central character of the story, craves the sweet knowledge of how to read, but she is different than most students. She suffers major difficulties in reading and begins to fall behind all of the other students. About midways through the book, she loses both of her grandparents, who were her biggest supporters in the work. The other students also begin to pick on her, calling her dumb for not knowing how to read. When her grandparents pass away, her family decides to move. For Trisha, she hopes this will give her a new opportunity to not be bullied; however, things are much worse at her new school. A boy in her class, Eric, is relentless about degrading her in class. It's not until the school gets a new teacher, Mr. Falker, that Trisha is able to see hope in the future of her reading. This book covers a diverse amount of topics that should be addressed within the classroom. Its lexile reading level is AD650L, and it can be read by most students who are ages six through nine. Honestly, I feel as though this book should also be read in the middle and high school setting. This presents a way for teachers to talk about bullying within the school and in the classrooms. Aside from bullying, this book allows the teacher to talk openly about how all students are different when it comes to reading. Some students can be considered advanced readers, and others are considered struggling readers. The teacher can highlight this very aspect by simply reading about the classrooms that Trisha was in throughout the story. The teacher could also use this book to talk about how some students can suffer loss within their families. Students could have a death in their family, or maybe they are having to move schools and make changes. This book is full of endless opportunities to talk about these issues within the classroom. In my classroom, I would definitely want to use this book to address bullying. I would read the book with my class, and then students could organize either group skits or maybe even a class skit to show the implications of bullying in school.

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text 2017-03-17 22:02
Thank You Mr. Falker
Thank You, Mr. Falker - Patricia Polacco

This text is not so much instructional as the others I have posted, but it sure is empowering and inspiring. I do not know anyone who is dyslexic but I am sure I will have a student who is in years to come. This story could be used to prevent bullying and also encourage a child who may have dyslexia. Not only is this text inspiring to a child who faces these challenges, but it is inspiring to us educators who at times can forget the reason we love teaching. Our calling is to empower and help our students be the best they can become. This text is quite lengthy but the message behind it is very powerful. Along with the text, the pictures are exquisite and help the reader understand the text on an emotional level. Tricia struggles to overcome her dyslexia and is passed on by all her previous teachers until being placed in Mr. Falker's class. He truly teaches her to read and feeds her hunger for knowledge unlike any teacher she has had before. This book must be read to receive the full extent of the message. This book is leveled at 4.1 on the AR leveling system. 

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text 2017-02-04 04:27
Thank You, Mr. Falker
Thank You, Mr. Falker - Patricia Polacco

Talk about a great book for discussing students with learning disabilities! I loved how Mr. Falker truly cared for Trisha. He noticed a problem in her writing and did not let it set her back. He worked with her to overcome dyslexia and not let it control her life. This book truly highlights that teachers can make a huge difference in their students lives. For students, this highlights that even if your own weaknesses there are ways to overcome! The teacher could have an activity in class where the students write one weakness they feel they have and one strength on a notecard and the teacher could keep this for her own record and work throughout the year to improve students weaknesses and shine a light on each student's strengths! There are endless possibilities with this book but I feel shining a light on learning disabilities and strengths and weaknesses would be perfect! I recommend this book for all teachers and students! This book is geared for grades 3rd-5th specifically and has a lexile level of AD650L. 

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review 2016-11-12 02:37
Thank You, Mr. Falker - Patricia Polacco

All students need someone in their corner when it seems as though no one cares. That's just what Mr. Falker did. He helped one of his students work through her dyslexia and saw her potential, showing her just how intelligent she was when others overlooked her. This would be a great story to read at the beginning of the year to help students become more comfortable with their teacher because after all, everyone needs a teacher like Mr. Falker in their lives.

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review 2014-05-13 22:22
Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
Thank You, Mr. Falker - Patricia Polacco
Genre: Disabilities / Bullying / Teaching / Inspiration

Year Published: 1998

Year Read:  2010

Publisher:
Philomel
 
Falker
 
 


Boy, am I on the roll with reading various by none other than Patricia Polacco herself!  This time, Patricia Polacco writes an autobiographical book called “Thank you, Mr. Falker” where it details the life of a young girl named Trisha who struggles with learning how to read and how an inspirational teacher named Mr. Falker tries to help her read.  “Thank you, Mr. Falker” is certainly one of the most memorable children’s books to be created for children who also have trouble learning how to read.

Oh my goodness! Imagine my surprise when I realized that this book is actually based on Patricia Polacco’s real life problems with learning how to read!  It was this aspect of this story that really drew me into this book!  I loved the way that Patricia Polacco (Trisha in this book) relates her own experiences to the audience since I felt like this would greatly help children who also have problems with reading and who were teased by this problem, which bullying is a big issue for many schools.  What I really loved about this book was the teacher Mr. Falker himself as he was a truly inspirational teacher who tried to do his best to help out Trisha and I believe that with teachers like Mr. Falker who try to help out students with their problems and try to give them confidence in themselves are the best kind to have in any school!  Patricia Polacco’s illustrations are just as gorgeous in this book as they were in her other books as the characters look extremely realistic, especially the characters’ facial expressions that convey their emotions.  The image that truly stood out the most for me was the image of Trisha crying after the kids started teasing her and Patricia Polacco had effectively illustrated Trisha’s face being slightly red and the way she covers her mouth to hide her sadness made this a truly emotional image.

Overall, “Thank you, Mr. Falker” is truly one of the most inspirational children’s books about children who have problems learning how to read that children will easily relate to.  I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the bullying scenes might too upsetting for smaller children.

 

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

 

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