BLOGS  >  MAY 2, 2019

Three Updates on the #ClassroomBookADay Challenge

BY CARLY ACCOMANDO


Today I tested a student using our Benchmark Assessment System to see if there has been reading growth. We got to a question that he really struggled with in the fall. What is the genre of this story? Without missing a beat, he was able to answer that the story was realistic fiction. Not just fiction, but realistic fiction.

Now this may not seem like a big deal to some teachers, but knowing this student and his skills, this was huge! I wish I could have taken a snapshot of his face when he answered me. I have honestly never seen him so confident. He said he is able to remember the different genres because of all of the picture books we read.

Last year, when using our literacy curriculum, we discussed the genre of each story, but for some reason, hearing this before each picture book really stuck with this student and it truly made my heart so happy! 

I also wanted to share about another publishing activity we did in our classroom. As you may have read before, my students made their parents homemade picture books for Christmas. This month, we took our publishing a little bit further, by creating our own I Survived books.

Students picked a disaster from history, and not only researched the event, but also put themselves into the story. We were then able to publish a classroom picture book through a company called Studentreasures Publishing. We did this last year as well (see picture below), but this year, the kids were so much more into it. They really tried to mirror different aspects of the picture books we have been reading. I am so excited to see the final product! I will share a picture of this year’s book in my next post. 

Finally, I wanted to share about one specific picture book that recently caught my eye – Lacey Walker, Nonstop Talker by Christianne Jones.

We have really been struggling in my classroom with taking ownership, as well as listening to everyone’s point of view. Last week, when I was just about at my wits’ end, I came across this book, and it is amazing! It is a very short picture book, but the main point spoke so loudly to my class.

Lacey Walker is an extremely chatty owl. All she does is talk and talk and talk, and no one around her can seem to get a word in. One day, Lacey wakes up and realizes that she lost her voice. Throughout her day, without a voice, she comes to realize all of the great thoughts and ideas her friends, classmates and family members have. Lacey has an aha moment when she wonders why she never noticed this before, but then she realizes that she never gives those around her the chance to voice their thoughts, feelings or opinions. By the end of the story, Lacey does change for the better, and both her and those around her are much happier.

My students really loved this book! Even though it was more of a primary age book, my fifth graders got the message, and have been able to apply it. As a matter of fact, yesterday while they were working in their math groups, one student kept talking over her group, and one of the other members looked at her and said, “Stop being like Lacey Walker,” and that’s all it took. 
 

 

Carly Accomando

Carly Accomando is a fourth/fifth grade teacher at Duker School in McHenry, IL. It's her fourth year teaching, and this is her second year at Duker School. Previously, she taught first and second grade at a charter school. Says Carly, "Teaching is my greatest passion in life! I feel very fortunate to say that I truly love what I do. Each day is a new adventure."  In her free time, Carly enjoys reading, baking and shopping. She also loves spending time with her family, boyfriend and their three dogs.

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