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Monday, February 4, 2013

Crew News February 4, 2013

One of the greatest challenges of teaching first grade is the "chapter book" issue. Every child in every first grade class wants to be able to read chapter books. They can be rather obsessed with this goal. They feel like they aren't really readers until they can read chapter books. As a result, there are often some rather sad children when they realize that it can take a while to develop all of the skills necessary to read chapter books.

 As some students in the crew begin to be able to read chapter books this whole issue becomes magnified. We have lots of talks about how babies don't all learn to walk on the same day or kids don't all learn to ride a two-wheel bike the same day and this helps some. But if you are the child still waiting to read chapter books and it seems likes everyone else is already there it can be a bit discouraging.

Because we now have more a little bit more than half of our crew reading chapter books, I have to work this "we all learn at different times" angle really hard. We talk about showing empathy to others if we can read chapter books and they aren't ready yet. We find books that we can all read and love so everyone can join in. This stretch of time can be difficult for those who aren't yet reading chapter books.

You can help by offering to read some of those chapter books aloud to your child if this is an issue at your house. You can reinforce that everyone will be reading chapter books soon and that it will be worth the wait and that the best way to "get there" is to practice and practice. Some books that are "just right" for everyone in the crew and are great fun to read are the Elephant and Piggie series and the Fly Guy series. Great book series to choose for read aloud at bedtime are Gooney Bird Greene, Ready Freddy, Clementine, Roscoe Riley and Marty Maguire.

I plan on using my "secret weapon" next week. I have put lots of graphic novel type books on hold at the library. These are always very popular and have a wide range of reading levels. Best of all, most of them don't have chapters. We will all reach that special "chapter book moment" but we may need to practice empathy (as givers and receivers) as we all work to get there.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 6.6 Measuring in Centimeters

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