It’s Monday What Are You Reading?
Since I’m already blogging every day about the books I’m reading, I’ve decided to become part of the It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? book blogger group, hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers.
Here is my first IMWAYR post, or Summer Reading – Day 18! Wordles and Wumbers!
Amy Krouse Rosenthal is high up on my list of favorite children’s authors. Her ideas are simple, yet so clever and unique and often make me think “Now, why didn’t I think of that?”. I have also used so many of her books as anchor books for lessons. This week, I read her latest book about wordles and my head is already spinning with lesson ideas! Here are some of my favorite Amy Krouse Rosenthal books:
I Scream, Ice Scream! – a Book of Wordles is filled with clever, witty plays on words that had me puzzled and amused all at same time! She puts her own clever spin on selected homophones (words that sound alike but have very different meanings). The illustrations by Serge Bloch add to the humor. She sets up the pages for interacting and guessing, encouraging the reader to figure out the wordle before turning the page. (some are very challenging!) Among my favorites were “Reindeer” – “Rain, dear” and “Princess cape” – “Prince escape”. Too funny!
In a similar word play style, her book Wumbers, she combines words and numbers to create – Wumbers! For example, when you say the word “kindergarten” – you hear the number 10 at the end – so the wumber becomes: “kindergar10”; “fortunately” becomes “fortun8ly”; “wonderful” becomes “1derful”. Again, the book is very interactive and children (and adults) love trying to figure out what the wumber is. The illustrations by Tom Lichtenheld give lots of clues if you get stuck! Try making up some of your own wumbers! It’s gr8!
The OK Book is the book that first turned me into an “Amy” fan!
The simplicity of turning the letters “O” and “K” on their side to create a little character was ingenious ( I have introduced this book at dozens of workshops and I still hear the collective “Awwwwwww!” when teachers realize how the character is made out of the two letters)
The message that you don’t need to be great at any one thing – as long as you try and are “OK” at lots of things is such an important one for kids to hear. I use this book to practice making connections with primary students and follow up with each student making their own personal “OK” page, using the letters as the character depicting something they are “OK” at. These are collated to create a class OK Book, which, in turn, are amongstthe most frequently read books in the class!
This Plus That – Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Saving the best for last – This Plus That – Life’s Little Equations is my VERY favorite Amy Krouse Rosenthal book of ALL TIME. It is charming, delightful, poignant, whimsical and beautiful – all mixed up into one “must have in your collection” book! I think I have used this more as an anchor book for lessons than any other picture book. In this book, Rosenthal creates simple mathematical equations for everyday things. For example: smile + wave = hello; hot soup + pink cheeks = winter. Alone, it is an engaging read-aloud. But in a classroom, it stimulates SO much excitement when the students start to create their own equations. I have used this book with kindergarten all the way through to grade 7. Teachers have used it at the beginning of the school year, inviting the students to create an equation that represents themselves: __________ + __________ + _________ = ME. Kindergarten teachers have used equations for learning about different emotions: _________ + _________ = happy. I have even had middle school teachers share how they used the idea of equations for end of a unit activity in Social Studies (see samples below).
Just in case you hadn’t inferred yet – I LOVE this book!