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review 2018-03-09 04:14
Pink and Say
Pink and Say - Patricia Polacco

You better bring some tissues when you sit down to read this text, because you are going to need them! Patricia Polacco is the author and illustrator of this profound piece of children's literature. Polacco introduces us to the true story of two young soldiers. Many of Polacco's works are based on true stories, and this one packs a punch. This text is perfect for lessons about the civil war. I recently used this text to write my own lesson plan; I required students to read the text and research their state's role in the civil war. The students were then asked to write a persuasive piece detailing why they would or why they would not live in their state during the civil war.

 

 

Guided Reading - V

Lexile - 600L

DRA - 50

AR - 3.8

 

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text 2017-03-28 23:16
An A From Miss Keller - Patricia Polacco,Patricia Polacco

The book, An A From Miss Keller, is written by Patricia Polacco and is based off of true events that happened when Polacco was growing up. The main character of the work, Patricia, is nervous about starting in Miss Keller’s writing class because she has heard terrible rumors about this woman. The question remains throughout the book: is Miss Keller really a bad teacher or is she a good teacher who is just tough on her students? A book like this would be great to use towards the end of the school year to talk about next year’s teacher with your students. Sometimes students like to listen to the rumors circulating through the school; but until the students actually meet the teacher, they should never judge someone based on someone else’s words. I read this book to the kindergarten class I am currently observing, and it made them so appreciative of the teacher they currently have. I also pointed out to them that throughout their time in school, they may have teachers who are hard on them because they expect them to work up to their full potential. This does not make them a bad teacher, but rather one who truly cares about their future. By the end of the story, the students believed that Miss Keller was actually a great teacher, but maybe she could have been a little nicer to her class. This book’s Lexile reading level is 700L. If you read this book at the beginning of the school year, I think a great activity for this book would be to read it aloud to the class, and then students could do a journal write on the expectations of their teacher. I think teachers should be open to considering how students want them to act throughout the school year. Obviously, you should never be too easy on students to where it seems like you do not care, but we should never be as strict as Miss Keller to where our students are fearful of being in our class!

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text 2017-03-28 17:29
Patrica Polacco's "Thunder Cake" and learning about weather
By Patricia Polacco: Thunder Cake - -Philomel-

Thunder Cake is a heart warming story about Patrica Polacco's Babushka, who helps her overcome her fear of thunderstorms. She achieves this by having Patricia go to different places across the farm to collect ingredients for her famous Thunder Cake, which can only be made during a thunderstorm. Babushka must have tomatoes, strawberries, milk, and eggs which all call for Patricia to be brave and gather these things, all while working against the clock before the storm arrives. Just as all grandmothers, Babushka instills confidence in her granddaughter by proving she is quite brave after all. In the classroom, you could use this book to introduce your class to weather maps. By bringing in different maps from different parts of the world, you can teach students what different symbols mean and encourage them to inquire about the weather in your area, in our country, and around the world. This book is leveled in the AR system at a 3.5.

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text 2017-03-28 17:17
Making a wish with "My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother"
My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother - Patricia Polacco

Do you have rotten older brother? If you do, or if you are the rotten older sibling, you will definitely be able to relate to this book. Puzzled by her grandmothers love for him, Patrica Polacco tells about her relationship with her brother as they grow older. Richard, who is four years older than Patricia, is quite the prankster and can always do things better or faster than her. Of all things, Richard loves rhubarb and tricks Patricia into eating so much it gives her a stomach ache. The siblings attend a fair and that is when Patricia sees his true love for her. To find out what this rotten redheaded older brother does to win over her appreciation, you'll have to read and find out how heroic he can be. With this story, you can have each student write about a time they wished for something, and it came true in a completely different way than expected. Or you could even have them write their own narrative about their rotten sibling. This book is a great resource for showing students how to write a narrative and can stir up some creative juices. This story is leveled on the AR system at a 3.3.

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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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