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review 2017-03-28 20:34
"Rules" Rules!!!
Rules - Cynthia Lord

I have read "Rules" many times because I can't get enough of it. It is the story of a girl named Catherine who's brother has autism which she has to deal with on a daily basis. She meets a boy, Jason, who is in a wheelchair and speaks using picture cards. She quickly befriends him and learns so much about him and his disability. This book is absolutely fantastic for teaching students about different types of diversities and disabilities. I would love to have a class set of "Rules" so that the whole class can read it and go more in-depth with the text. There are suggested study/discussion questions in the back of the book as well as activities that would go along great with the book, which I would probably use. But most importantly, I would have an activity to go along with this book where the students go to the special needs room at the school and interact with the students there. Either that or have some of the students come to our classroom. I could let students come up with simple games or fun activities to do or we could simply read books to them. Either way, I would love for this book to be a way to introduce students to other people with disabilities and I know it has the potential to do so. 


Guided Reading: R

Lexile: 780L

Suggested Grade: 4th

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review 2017-03-28 19:59
Hop on the "Magic School Bus" Fad
The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body - Joanna Cole,Bruce Degen

As with all "Magic School Bus" books, this one is clever, educational, and funny. Students will be engaged when reading. The school bus shrinks down and enters Arnold's body. The class explores the digestive system, circulatory system, and other systems of the body. I would use this book to introduce (or re-introduce) the human body systems and their functions. For an activity, I would have the students split into human body system groups. They would trace their body on a piece of white butcher paper and draw their specific system with a decent amount of accuracy (those with the skeletal system would draw bones inside the outline). I would hang them up in the hall for everyone to see. :)


A.R.- 4.6

Guided Reading- P

Lexile- AD 520L

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review 2017-03-28 19:43
Fantastic FOR Your Brain!
Your Fantastic Elastic Brain - JoAnn Deak,Sarah Ackerley

This clever book introduces the brain to children in a kid-friendly way. This book has many illustrations, comprehendible vocabulary, and lots of humor. The book is inspirational, teaching kids to try hard, practice, and never give up. During a study on the human body and/or brain, I would read this book aloud to the class but also have it available at a center so that students can read it again. Because the book details different parts of the brain, I would use that to my advantage and split up the class into groups- one group per part of the brain. I would have the students do quick research and present it to the class. 


A.R.- 4.5

Lexile- 870L

Guided Reading- O

Recommended Grades: 2-4

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review 2017-03-28 19:32
This Book is One in a Million!
If You Made a Million - David M. Schwartz,Steven Kellogg

I had this book when I was younger but lost it. After going to the thrift store and finding it again, I realized just how educational it was. I used to read it just because I thought it was a funny book. The book talks about money- money conversions, what you can buy with certain amounts of money, interest, loans, checks, saving v. spending, and general fun facts about money. The visuals help children learn and the pictures are well drawn and fun. If it could interest 2nd grade me, I feel like it could interest almost any kid. This is probably a book that I would keep in the math section in my classroom so that students can read it without any pressure to do so. I would also incorporate it into any lesson about money. I have been thinking about a money project idea for a long time and think that this book would go along great with it. I would have students create a store that "sells" products. Each student would have a role in the fake economy. It would be a hands on project that I believe kids would love but it would also teach them about money (which is crucial to being an adult) in a fun way that I hope would stick with them in the future. Every teacher needs this book! You can even incorporate it in younger grades by just reading the first few pages that talk about pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollars.


A.R.- 4.1

Guided Reading- O

Lexile- AD 840L

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review 2017-03-28 03:27
You Know Me Well
You Know Me Well - Nina LaCour,David Levithan

I thought this book was well-written and the plot moved along at a brisk pace, but honestly, even considering the fact that I am not a YA reading this, I found it unrealistic. There is endless talking and pining for love in this story (I found all the over-analyzing more like college students than high school, but maybe that’s just me) and yay, it’s a story of so many under-represented gay teens, but aside from that, not a whole lot happens. Well, actually, a lot happens in the span of just a few days, but I didn’t find it very believable. Having said that, I will admit that I loved the banter between the friends — I found it smart and funny and the authors established a nice rapport among them; but it was all smart and funny, barely an awkward pause despite the fact that most of them had only just met. I mean I get the whole fast friends thing, but there was a lot of that here – not just one relationship.


LaCour and Levithan had their hearts in the right place, but I thought the story that unfolded had the potential to be so much more.

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