Friday, June 4, 2010

Spaceheadz by Jon Scieszka

Book, TP, Breakfast cereal
and Tide courtesy of
Simon and Schuster.
Summer is here. I have spent the last few days (ok few weeks) reflecting on my challenging year. I spent most of the year feeling like a first year teacher. Luckily, I had one of the kindest classes I have ever taught. As a matter of fact it was the first time in all my years of teaching that I cried saying good bye to a couple of VERY special kids.

May was a whirlwind of a month. One of the many unique programs at my school is the multiple field trips we go on. However, as a teacher of two grades I went on double the number of trip. This included two wonderful overnight trips. The fourth graders spent two days and a night on the plains. It was a VERY COLD night in a teepee. The boys were excited because in the morning a little bunny had spent the night sleeping by my head. The other option would have been a rattlesnake. The third grade trip was an overnight in the basement of an historical mansion. The girls slept in the ballroom and we slept on the floor of the bowling alley. Two 8 year old boys had fun ALL NIGHT long. During the two weeks of the trips there was all the rest of the end of year teacher work and preparing my student teacher for next year. It was the best two weeks of the year.

When I returned home from the third grade trip there was a box from Simon & Schuster on the front stoop. Hurrah, a box of books. Well, I opened the box and the fun began. I laughed, laughed and laughed. I took the box into class on Monday morning and during Morning Meeting I shared the contents with my class. Throughout the year I have shared ARC’s with my students. Thank you publishers for bringing so much excitement to a group of third and fourth graders. This box, however, is different. The comments I heard came down to this “WOW a box of books. We can’t wait to read the new books.” I laughed because in the box were four items: a roll of TP, a box of Raisin Bran, and a packet of Tide all with a sticker that read SPHDZ, and one book by Jon Scieszka titled Spaceheadz Book#1! They laughed as hard as I did.

With any new book I try to make it fair to the readers. Which student gets to be the first? Sometimes I pull sticks, sometimes a lottery, etc. This time I decided to let S be the first to read it. S came to me a tall, gawky, no self confidence third grader. He started the year just barely at grade level and finished the year at an Independent DRAII 50. The expression on his face as I explained which student would be first made my month. He even wrote about how it was one of the best memories of the year.

S loved the book. I loved the book. It is a funny new series about aliens needing the help of a fifth grader named Michael K. They tell him that if they can sign up 3,140,001 Earthlings Earth will be turned off. It is great for reluctant readers. (Yes lots of humor!)


CoffeeShopBloggers said...

Child First put together a great list of Tips for Stuggling Readers that I wanted to share with you at

Pragmatic Mom
Type A Parenting for the Modern World

I blog on children's lit, parenting and education

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I've heard little bits here and there about this book. I'm going to have to add it to the TBR and see what my boys think of it.

Thanks!! :)