Saturday, September 10, 2016

Responsive Classroom CARES - Books About Cooperation

Responsive Classroom Social Skills (CARES)

:: Cooperation (working smoothly with others)
:: Assertiveness (confidently putting forth your ideas and opinions)
:: Responsibility (taking charge of yourself and working hard at your learning)
:: Self-control (thinking before acting)
:: Empathy (listening to others and understanding how they might respond to your words or actions)

Focus On:  Cooperation

My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann

This 2003 winner of the Caldecott Medal tells the tale of Mouse, who lets his best friend Rabbit play with his new airplane.  It's only due to cooperation that they manage to get themselves out of a sticky situation, temporarily at least.

Upstairs Mouse, Downstairs Mole by Wong Herbert Yee

In this early reader chapter book, Mouse and Mole have a slight problem when it comes to keeping house. But by cooperating they remain good friends. Lovers of Frog and Toad will be enamoured by this book.

But don't take my word for it! Here's a review written on a sticky note and left in the book by an anonymous reader: "This book is vare good. I wode giv it a 10. In joye the book!"


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

How One Elementary School Read the Day Away

I'm not sure who originally came up with the idea, but I do know that three years ago our K-5 elementary school came up with a kind of radical idea for the Winter Doldrums.

We decided that on our Early Release day, which occurs in February, we would allow students to read. The. Entire. Day.  From 9:00 in the morning until dismissal at 1:20, students could read or would be read to...

Here's are some quick facts about this year's Read the Day Away.

:: Our Literacy/Library subcommittee (every staff member serves on a subcommittee) selects the date but that is basically it - the day is very self-guided and the schedule for the day is left up to the teachers.

:: Students in all grades wear pajamas and bring a stuffed animal. This is especially handy for students in the lower grades as they can read to their little friends throughout the day.

:: Students can read where ever they like (almost) in the classroom. One teacher allowed students to build blanket forts. Here is her hilarious tweet. It's like a Where's Waldo with students.

:: Teachers can invite guest readers to the classroom. This can include parents, Specialists or members of the community. Or even your Assistant Principal! Here she is. Notice the pajamas.

:: Classrooms that have book buddies can get together with their partner classrooms to share and look through books together. For example, our fourth grade students visited their first grade buddies today.

:: Specialists read too. Or you could go all out and create AN ENTIRE PLAY. This was an amazing exploration of Monica Brown's My Name is Celia by members of our Spanish language team.

:: This year, like every year, Read the Day Away would not be possible with out the absolute and unwavering support of our Principal and Assistant Principal.

I'm happy to answer any questions you may have in the comments below! Check back for answers in the comments.

Do you have something similar at your school?
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