Friday, January 21, 2011

But, What Happens Next?

As I type this I sit sipping my coffee as I do every morning at 5:18 AM.

Oh, it's not that I'm uber-regimented in the time that I wake up each morning. Having an alarm sound at 5:00 AM would actually be a luxury. Instead, I've become nocturnal.

Those of you who have itty-bitties at home (or have in the past) can feel free to shout out an, "Amen Sister" after my next line:

Teething is cruel and unusual punishment for all those involved.

Holy Moly! I don't recall the Boy being this miserable. They screech, they cling, they fall to the floor in misery. All. Day. Long. And then night comes. And we give them a heaping helping of liquid Tylenolish-type-product (since real Tylenol and Motrin are banned from stores) and pray that it is the miracle drug that will allow them to sleep through the night, but alas it wears off during the Witching Hour and the screeching hour begins again at 2:00 A.M.!

And when your head is spinning with to do lists and there is a lengthy syllabus sitting in a binder with an abundance of mandatory reading to do and the 3rd grade assessments aren't going to magically correct say screw it and get up.

And that is when I start watching the clock and waiting for an acceptable hour to push the start button on the coffeepot. I've officially deemed that to be 5:00 AM and so...

As I type this I sit sipping my coffee as I do every morning at 5:18 AM.

Except the chaos known as "morning rush hour" at our house will not ensue afterwards on this day because today is yet another snow day in my district (and a whole bunch of y'alls districts too).

If this were not a public blog I would probably have tossed a few bad words into that last phrase.

To recap: We've had winter break. We had 2 snow days last week. We had MLK day on Monday. We have another snow day today. Throw in your usual weekends and my schedule and routines are all discombobulated.

And if you have been reading along for awhile then you know girlfriend here is nothing without her routines. Plus this is the "magical time of year." The months of January through March are always long, but the kids are always in such a great place to learn and we make so much growth.

Curses to you Mother Nature. She will also be the one who decides that it will be 90+ degrees in June when we make up these snow days. Boo Hiss!

Do you want to know the real reason that I'm bummed about the unexpected day off?

It's the same reason that I suspect many of my kiddos will be bummed (Maybe I'm kidding myself and they are all jumping for joy in their pajamas right about now, but I do think there will be some disappointment.)

It's because I want to know what happens next in our current read aloud.

It's also because I am having so much fun reading this book to them.

It's because of The BFG.

I love me some Roald Dahl. My husband read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to our son last summer and they both really enjoyed it. My class was way into it this year too. As for Matilda? Swoon! Love the book. Love the movie. James and the Giant Peach? Classic! But The BFG is new to me. It's been in my class library for years, but I've never read it.

My team teacher insisted I give it a try. Eh? I wasn't all that interested.

We've recently started to mix and match our two classes and she has taken over science and I have taken over writing. We started by creating heart maps of things they love to inspire their writing and almost all of her kiddos included the BFG. I figured if her peeps loved it so much then mine would too.

We are about a third of the way through the book and it. is. awesome!

They all sit there with their eyes one me, hands in their laps and mouths open like little statues mesmerized by my reading. They frequently break their frozen gazes to drop their mouths open wider while quickly looking around to see their peers reactions to certain lines and for fits of laughter.

We are loving it!

I have plans next week to do a writing activity with it. I'm going to take each of their photos in the same position as that of the little girl on the cover. I am then going to create some writing paper using the image on the cover minus the little girl and then attach their pictures to the giant's hand.

I love altering book covers and adding their images and this one begs for it.

For those of you in younger grades who want to do something similar, my favorite book cover to do that with is Harold and the Purple Crayon. Just add your little ones' heads in place of Harold's and have them do an illustration in purple crayon. Super cute!

And now I need to come up with a plan to tell the Boy that we have a snow day when he wakes up. It will very much be equivalent to those Disney commercials where the parents surprise the kids with a trip to the Magic Kingdom and then immediately throw them on a plane. He will be THAT excited.



ChiTown Girl said...

Ok, let me get the 'mean girl' comment out of the way first - thank you for turning off your playlist. It drove me CRAZY every time I opened your page! It got to the point where I'd mute my computer before clicking on your blog. :( It wasn't even the song itself, it was just that it was always the SAME song. Ok, I'm finished being a jerk. Sorry...

Our favorite is the Junie B. Jones series. I have the entire collection, and I usually try to read one a week. I was a little nervous this year because since I looped to 1st with my same class, they've already heard them all. I wasn't sure if their excitement level would be the same. Boy, was I wrong!

On my personal list of favorites is also ANYTHING by Robert Munsch. LOVE him!

Amanda said...

OMG. The BFG is one of my favorite read alouds ever. I have a BFG voice! Haha! If an adult ever wandered into my classroom during this read aloud, they may begin to wonder if I've totally gone off the deep end. The kids LOVE it though! They beg me to quote from the book long after it's finished. Ohhhh the joys of childhood. You get to read fun books about whizzpopping and dream-catching! Honestly, does it get any better than that?!

Katie King said...

I have first graders...but I refuse to do too much Junie B. we LOVE Charlotte's Web!

Ms.M said...

I read the Witches last year and my students LOVED it! I got 6 RD book for Christmas this year. I am looking forward to Fantastic Mr. Fox. :)

Ms. M

Sunny said...

I love the BFG! Today during library several of my kiddos asked me to help them pick books (which I love doing!) and one of my ESL kids wanted to read a more challenging book and I suggested the BFG. Partly because it's just awesome but also because of some of the funny words, I told him it would be a great way for him to play with his English skills! :)

Mrs. Robinson said...

I read The BFG to, I think, the very first class I taught. That along with Harry Potter. : ) Of course, that was 10 years ago, before the movies came out!

All three read alouds I've done this year have been awesome and very well received by the kids: Mogo, The Third Warthog, Escaping the Giant Wave, and Obi, Gerbil on the Loose. We are also in the middle of reading a novel during shared reading - The Year of the Dog. It, too, is fabulous.

Angelia said...

I LOVE Skippy Jon Jones books. I know it's not a chapter book and my Spanish leaves little to be desired........but those are my favorite read aloud books.

Tracy Harris said...

I have always loved the BFG. I do the voices and everything! Other great ones? Bridge to Terabithia; The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Bud, Not Buddy; Number the Stars; and SO many more!

Tracy Harris said...

I have always loved The BFG. Other good ones? Bridge to Terabithia; The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Number the Stars; Bud, Not Buddy; and so many others!

Anonymous said...

I love the BFG! I am reading George's Marvoulous Medicine now to my 2nd grade class they LOVE IT! We do a writing project about the medicine the kids would make and why ! My favorite !Enjoy let us know how it goes!

Anonymous said...

You should try Georges' Marvolous Medicine ! My class LOVES IT ! Great follow up activities for writing!!Roald Rules

Anonymous said...

Read alouds I've used with my 3rd graders over the years:

Measle and the Wrathmunk
Ramona Age 8
Danger in the Desert- The kids were on edge with this one!
Tales of a Fourth grade Nothing.
The Indian and the Cupboard
Shadow Children-Among the Hidden

Ambs said...

I've never read the BFG but a friend of mine read it to her 3rd graders last year and they LOVED it. I've gotten my class REEEEEALLY into the Harry Potter series... they love it! I've also read Ramona the Pest as a novel study that went over really well... I think kids just LOVE being read to, even as older children!

But, my number one recommendation as a read aloud/novel study is Frindle by Andrew Clements. It's quick, funny, and there are a TON of activities available online!

Rachel said...

Love Roald Dahl! I'm reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to my fourth graders right now, and they love it! I've read James and the Giant Peach in the past (my personal favorite!), but never The BFG. It's in my classroom library, I will have to check it out! We read The Chocolate Touch earlier this year and Sunset of the Sabertooth because it went with our unit on the Ice Age. I'm not really a fan of Magic Tree House for fourth grade, though.

Erin said...

I have never read The BFG. I must look into this book!

My First Grade Class loves Junie B!

We are currently reading my favorite read-aloud of the year - Charlotte's Web. The kids really enjoy it, and it hold special meaning to me.

The Mouse and the Motorcycle is another book I simply must read to my class. Again, probably because of the special meaning the book has with me.

Tiffany said...

Well, I have been inspired. I totally plan on reading the BFG. I have had it my classroom library for YEARS, my partner teacher LOVES it, last year I bought 10 of them on a dollar deal through Scholastic, and I STILL haven't read it. Now, I will. If not for the whimsy and the love of great literature, for the sake of doing the cover project you suggested! FABULOUS! Currently, I am reading The Thing About Georgie. Before we started reading it, we talked about the words obstacles, perception, differences, and friendship. Then, each student picked one of those words. As I am reading it, they are connecting their focus word to the story. Then, the respond in their reader's response journals about that word. Great way to infuse theme!

Jen said...

I have never read BFG, I have it in my pile of teaching materials...I must go and dig it out and read it :) I love reading the Flat Stanley books to my students, also The tale of Despereaux, my 2nd graders *loved* it. Now I am back to substitute teaching (NOT by choice), so all my lovely, wonderful teaching supplies sit in a box down in my "teaching room" so I am forced to bring picture books to read aloud to the kids I teach (since they are shorter) and I usually always grab me some great Robert Munsch!

LindaC said...

My third graders love the Clementine series by Sara Pennypacker. Clementine is so funny and the kids are just spellbound. There are groans when I put down the book at the end of the chapter.