Monday, March 31, 2008


“The ending was sad. I cried.” Three third graders said this during our discussion about Elijah of Buxton. Trust. As teachers we do not get quality work or involvement until our students trust us. On a superficial level this is an easy task. However, to get students to share their true feelings they need to feel they won’t be mocked or discounted. It is challenging to create this type of environment. With 12 3rd grade boys it is even harder, but when they shared I knew they felt safe. I look at these faces and see our future. We are lucky!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Elijah of Buxton

The boys picked to read Elijah of Buxton for this month’s discussion. The librarian asked me how I tricked them into reading an historical novel. I told her it was my wit and good looks. I think it has more to do with the cover. Anyhow, some have loved it, and some have struggled. Third graders are so used to being told to make sure words are spelled correctly that when they read a novel with dialect that is different it takes them out of their comfort zone.

On Friday during Independent Reading I look up because I hear Chris say “oh my god, oh my god, WOW!” He was almost to the end of the book. He gets up goes to his friends and rereads them the part. They begin to discuss the book. So much for the discussion this Wednesday, and Independent Reading. I think the guys have discussed the book more then any adult book club. There are times when we see and hear things that tell us this is why I put up with No Child Left Untested and the CSAP.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Our school’s librarian is wonderful. She is constantly getting in new books and letting us know what we, or our class might enjoy. This morning I got a new stack. As I read them I will let you know what stands out. The first two picture books were loved by the class. They were fun to read after CSAP Writing Session I.

The first one is Who is Melvin Bubble by Nick Bruel. It is a wonderful story of 6 ½ year old friends. It was fun to watch and listen to third graders making silly predictions of what was going to happen next.

The second book is Steal Back the Mona Lisa by Meghan McCarthy. The story is about a boy named Jack that is called into service to rescue the stolen Mona Lisa. At the end of the book there is interesting information about the real theft of the Mona Lisa. It is always fun to find books in which the characters have the same name as a student in class.