Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jake Drake and Franny K. Stein!

My shopping is done! I actually got everything sent off finally yesterday...whew.

Now, as for our daily reading, we have been doing pretty good so far. I had to make up some read alouds with them, but they have been doing their independent reading every day. The TV thing is going well too - they actually played games for a few hours yesterday, made some great cards for their grandmother, and we went to the park...so they appreciated the downtime, and there was no fighting!

I have been asking the boys to "try out" a few books for me...some newer (or not so new but I haven't read them) series for readers who are getting into chapter books.

Their favorites so far have been Franny K. Stein and Jake Drake...I like them too.

I like Franny K. Stein for the humor and the ease of reading. The chapters were nice and short, and there weren't too many words to a page. I liked the message in the book too, to be yourself, not what others want you to be. They kind of snuck it in through the plot - my kids got it.

Jake Drake was good too. Andrew Clements is a fabulous writer, so I liked the way he worked the piece. I like this especially for older readers who may be struggling readers, because the story is actually a fourth grader telling his experiences from when he was younger. So older kids don't feel like they are reading "baby" books or books that have a dumbed down plot. They can actually get into it, and have some meat to chew on. Jake Drake also deals with issues common to the classroom -- "Know it alls" and bullies. It shows how Jake solves his problem rather than tattling. I like that as a teacher and a mom. Matt and I had a good talk about both things -- and he was open about it.

Another thing I liked was that they are parts of a series...if your child likes them, can have new adventures with the next book. That again, builds confidence, fluency, and comprehension.

Have them pay attention to the characters' choices: Why do they do what they do? Is it a part of their personalities, or do other outside factors influence how they act?

I will be getting more of these books.

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