Saturday, April 13, 2013

Guest Blogger- Reading and Writing Redhead!

Hi everyone, I have a guest blogger today! 
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Hi Everyone! It's Bex here from Reading and Writing Redhead! Thanks to Jenna for having me guest blog for her. I am delighted!

I am always working on social skills with my class. Just this past week my second graders have been working on the difference between tattling versus telling something important and working on being honest. Any given year I address things like messiness, effort, carelessness, gossip and more. I know with younger age children some issues are a little different, and same with older students but regardless, as teachers I think we are always looking for ideas on how to handle social skills. Books are so powerful, whether a child discovers them on their own and reads them or a teacher uses them as a read aloud and/or a springboard to discussions and more.  I recently found a new book that I used with my second graders and it got me thinking about what other resources I have found to be helpful. I know  there is a lot out there so here are my favorites and a few ideas. Follow the links for more resources and information and clicking on the pictures will give you details at amazon.


My new discovery is the Potato Chip Champ by Maria Dismody, I first saw it on Charity Preston's Organized Classroom Blog and it looked great so I entered her giveaway for it and I won! In the book an athletic boy who is really well-liked  meets a quiet boy who didn't seem too interesting at first. After a series of events, the main character finds out that a kid doesn't need to be athletic and outgoing to  be worth getting to know and they start a new friendship The story really makes me think of a lot of connections with tolerance, kindness, and being open-minded to meeting different types of people. Maria has written several other books and she is an advocate for bullying education and awareness.

An activity I did once that helped one of my classes show more acceptance of each others' differences involved giant pictures of animals I had cut out of old calendars. I chose four, displayed them, had the students pick their favorite and write it on a sticky note (so they couldn't change their mind later). Then I hung the pictures in four corners of the room and the kids had to stand by the picture of their favorite animal. We all found it interesting because best friends were standing by different animals and kids who were really different from each other found themselves by the same picture. We had a great discussion of how it doesn't really matter if people like different things than us; we can still be friends; and we can also make connections with new people that might share some of our interests.



An old standby (or old standbys) are Joy Berry's books. When I started teaching at my current school 11 years ago, a teacher shared her books with me and when another lady retired about 6 years ago I asked for dibs on her collection. Since then new editions have been released and Joy Berry has even released versions with cds. I did snag two of those for my classroom listening center. The original series is called the Help Me be Good series with  titles like "The Children's Book about Tattling" and "Children's Book about Teasing". Other topics include bullying, being nosy, being careless, tattling and many more.








The newer editions of the book have titles like "Lets Talk about being Angry" and "Lets Talk about Being Jealous". The books have a good reputation and I noticed are rated well at places across the internet. I was even at a family event recently and during a conversation, I started thinking, "Hmm, this reminds me of the gossiping book. Should I ease my way out of this discussion?"

I have loved writing class books with second graders. Often we do something like choose a topic, say teasing, and each student illustrates a pictures and writes a sentence or two about the topic, then we put it together into a book. We also have created books where each student picks a different topic and we combine it into a book about "How to be a Good Friend" (or something similar).
I have loved writing class books with second graders. Often we do something like choose a topic, say teasing, and each student illustrates a pictures and writes a sentence or two about the topic, then we put it together into a book. We also have created books where each student picks a different topic and we combine it into a book about "How to be a Good Friend" (or something similar) .
I have loved writing class books with second graders. Often we do something like choose a topic, say teasing, and each student illustrates a pictures and writes a sentence or two about the topic, then we put it together into a book. We also have created books where each student picks a different topic and we combine it into a book about "How to be a Good Friend" (or something similar).

Queen-a-Bella Finds a Best Friend by Lisl Fair is an awesome book to
read to younger children. It may be too young for my second grade, but then again you never know! The book has a simple storyline about friendship. The main character is really endearing and the book has lovely illustrations. I can imagine reading this to a younger child and having their older sibling listen along and get something out of it, too. I think this book would be fun for a little reader's theater or skit with young children.





Freckleface Strawberry by Julianne Moore is one more book that I LOVE! Of course being a redhead myself kind of makes me biased, but hey. Just like Julianne, who got teased mercilessly for her red hair, freckles, and pale skin growing up, I now actually love it! She does a great job of telling the story with a perspective that helps other kids understand what it might be like to be different and how it may feel to be teased


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Thanks Bex for blogging for me today! Everyone be sure to stop by her blog and check it out! 


2 comments:

  1. Yay! Thank you SO much for posting my post (if that makes sense-must be a better way to say it)! I am delighted! I also saw you over on the pinning party at tpt and pinned all your links. Great work!

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