“Duck for President” is only one recommendation… more please!

This topic came up in my class this evening after I had typed this entry. My professor asked the class what advice we have received from family or friends who are teachers. One of my classmates answered that his sister advised him to start making his own classroom library now.

Hmm…

Questions for teachers (grades 1-6):

1. What books have you found work really well in classrooms? For example, the teacher I observed last semester (2nd grade) read the book, Duck for President by Doreen Cronin during her social studies lesson on voting. The children loved it (and so did I for that matter) and used examples from the text to explain the voting process. I would really like to start compiling a list of good books to use  for various subjects.

2. Are there specific websites or video clips that you incorporate into lessons? I love the idea of incorporating literature into lessons, but in this technological age, it seems that teachers need to build a video library just as fast as a paper library.

3. A teacher commented on my last entry (shoutout to Nina) that to be a good teacher one must “look beyond teaching and focus on learning.” Since then, I have been toying with the idea of incorporating a daily “story time” into my future classroom. I mentioned in my previous post that the teacher I observed last semester asked the parent(s) of the birthday boy/girl to read a story to the kids after all the birthday cupcakes were gobbled up at the end of the day. The children loved this. On the one hand, the children learned vocabularly by listening to the spoken words and participated (albeit unknowingly) in a sort of “book talk,” that is the book selected was recommended and promoted by someone their own age. But HOW did they learn this? Yes, it was a designated time for reading, but the kids absorbed the academics because they were relaxed. They enjoyed the moment. They LEARNED that reading can and is enjoyable. As teachers, do you think a) it would be a good idea to incorporate 5-10 minutes of story time at the end of each day to allow the kids to relax, unwind and savor a story, and b) is this a plausible concept?

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