Monday, February 16, 2009

A bunch of Knuckleheads

Last Wednesday we met to discuss Knucklehead by Jon Scieszka. Not a moment too soon. For some reason 3rd and 4th grade boys are not patient beings. Go figure! Jr. (other Kyle 3rd grade teacher) bailed on me. Something about tutoring kids for CSAP! Luckily Liam’s dad joined us.

The guys were SO excited to share their favorite chapters. Yes, Crossing Swords was a favorite! The guys with me started reading chapters. The funniest part of the entire evening was when Max A. read Chapter 36 “What’s so funny Mr. Scieszka?” I laughed so hard I cried and my face turned bright red. The guys made it funnier by asking “What’s so funny Mr. Kimmal?”. I had a great time that evening.

Our next book is Billy Hooten Owlboy. It is a fun book about a reluctant super hero.
Hopefully, no parents will be upset about this one!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


The common thread of all the sessions I attended at the CCIRA Conference was giving students choice in what they read. Jon Scieszka, Matt Zbaracki, Patricia Polacco, Jane Yolen, Debbie Miller, myself, and even Nancie Atwell emphasized how important it is to let kids, especially boys, feel like that have a say in what they read. Ambassador Scieszka spoke about how his wife lets him choose between two ugly shirts. He said “they are both ugly, but at least I get to pick which ugly shirt I am going to wear!”

Too often many educational experts, even ones that are still teachers, discount what the practitioner is doing in the classroom. One of my best practices is to give them choices. For example, for Guys Read I bring in a stack of about seven books and let them pick.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


I am cleaning up after the CCIRA Conference. My hands will be loaded tomorrow with books that need to be returned to kids and the classroom. I had to pry many books out of the hands of reading boys to use in my presentations on Thursday and Friday. They will be happy to get them back.

Thursday was wonderful day. I spent it with Jarrett J. Krosoczka. He is so charming and has a wicked sense of humor. He even let me read the galleys to Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians. What is it with librarians? Either they are the best or ……..

At the end of the day Jarrett introduced me to Laurie Keller. I spent Saturday morning with her. She is funny, and it is amazing how small her house is. On Saturday I had a cool conversation with Ambassador Scieszka about boys and reading.