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review 2018-08-10 16:36
Teaching responsibility
One Step at a Time - Aharon, Sara Y.,Bryn Pennetti

The following book was kindly sent to me by the author, Sara Y. Aharon, who requested a review. This book will be published on September 1, 2018 and you can check out the author's website or Amazon for more information on purchasing the book.

 

One Step at a Time by Sara Y. Aharon is a picture book which teaches children the value of perseverance and personal growth. Emma is a little girl who loves butterflies so it's lucky that her classroom has one for a pet. However, Emma gets so excited about playing with Belle the Butterfly that she accidentally sets her free. What should she do? Can she ever face her teacher and classmates again?  One Step at a Time demonstrates the advantages of accepting responsibility even when it's uncomfortable (especially then) and how being brave doesn't necessarily mean that you are totally confident that things will go your way. It's a gentle way to visually display the significance of doing the right thing even when you may be afraid. As this is self-published, I think there are a few things that could be done to set it apart and give it a chance against some of its mainstream contemporaries. Adding questions to test comprehension at the back of the book (nothing too daunting) would give the message that this would be a great teaching supplement. Perhaps including a link back to the author's website where additional information about metamorphosis and free downloadable butterfly coloring sheets are available would sweeten the pot even further. [A/N: I give these suggestions based on my own experience reading children's books and recommending them to the parents and teachers in my community. These are definitely hot ticket additions to any book and would make a great selling point. ;-)] It's a cute little story that has a good message. 7/10

 

What's Up Next: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Mary B: An Untold Story of Pride and Prejudice by Katherine J. Chen

 

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2017-08-01 01:23
Review of Grit by Angela Duckworth
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance - Angela Duckworth

Overall an interesting look into a topic that has become more and more popular in public education.  The idea that grit and perseverance can be one of the most important character traits to have and develop for all people, but especially young people, is fascinating and makes a great deal of sense.  This book really breaks down that idea and combines simple explanations of the research with examples and interviews with famous people from all walks of life.  I think this book was stretched from what could have been 100 pages into a book of almost 300 pages, but I enjoyed the many anecdotes.  Good to read for parents and teachers.

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review 2017-04-07 03:03
The Little Engine That Could
The Little Engine That Could - Watty Piper,Doris Hauman,George Hauman

This book is great for showing that when you put your mind to something you can do anything. That having self talks with ourselves are healthy and very encouraging at times. This book shows that doubting yourself does not get you anywhere but confidence and perseverance does. I would use this in my classroom by giving them a train that has "I think I can..." and they will have to write things that they can do and are good at. After they write this they can draw themselves in the train and we will hang them on a track going up a hill and hang in the hallway. My classroom will be filled with encouraging words and positive thoughts. I think this book could be read with anyone but is mainly for the younger grades. The Lexile Level is AD740L.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-03-31 16:08
Great STEM Activities!
Iggy Peck, Architect - Andrea Beaty

Andrea Beaty, author of "Iggy Peck, Architect", "Rosie Revere, Engineer", and "Ada Twist, Scientist" (along with others) has written these great STEM books that I believe will inspire many kids (and adults)! This particular book is about a boy named "Iggy Peck" who loves constructing things out of all sorts of weird materials like diapers. His parents are weary and his teacher HATES architects, so Iggy feels defeated. But on a class trip, the whole class gets stuck on an island and can't get to the other side because the bridge had collapsed, so Iggy, with the help of his classmates, builds a bridge to save the day. 

I would 100% use this in class for different types of math lessons! Here are some ideas:

1. Have the students go home and measure a room of their house (with the help of an adult). If they don't have a measuring tape at their house, you can let them measure the classroom instead. 

2. Let the students design their dream house on graph paper. This could work on shapes, dimensions, length/width, measuring, and working with scale.

3. Have the students use Legos to design a bridge, house, or other structure.

 

ATOS Reading Level: 4.1

Lexile: AD 850L

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review 2017-03-31 15:54
Chrysanthemum's a Daisy!
Chrysanthemum - Kevin Henkes

This lovely Kevin Henkes book has been one of my favorites since I was a kid. I really connected to Chrysanthemum- even though I wasn't bullied because of my name, I did hate my own, wanted to be called "Lily", and mac & cheese was/is my favorite food just like the main character of the book. "Chrysanthemum" is a great book to use in the classroom because it talks about feelings, bullying, and being nice to people. Because this book is very well known, there are many resources available for it.

An activity that I have done in the past is this: I printed out large versions of positive (happy face, heart eyes, etc) and negative (crying, frowny face, etc) emojis and glued one of each to a popsicle stick- enough for each person in class. While the book is being read aloud to them, the students react using their emojis. This is great for younger grades, but can be adapted to older grades by having students fill out an anchor chart of positive/negative emotions that go further than the usual "happy" and "sad". The anchor chart can then be used during writing so that the students have a mini thesaurus to look at. 

 

Guided Reading: L

Lexile: 460L

 

Scholastic Discussion Guide:

http://www.scholastic.com/browse/collateral.jsp?id=32395

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