Alternative title: A Book A Week #41
Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows
OK, for a complete departure from last week, I decided to go back ‘down’ to the levels where the books really will work in many of our classrooms. And, they are quicker to read!
I decided to time myself reading this book because I have been thinking a lot about the pace at which kids read when they get to books that are about 28 (M) and above.
I know I read faster than your average second grader, but this book only took me 25 minutes to read, so it probably shouldn’t take a reader who is independent and this level no more than one hour to read.
I also wanted to see just how long it would take to read some of the ‘longer’ books in classroom libraries, because I strongly believe reading books in your library is the best way to prepare for teaching reading.
By reading out of your classroom library you can:
- Get a better understanding of what is required of the reader at each level of text
- Get a better understanding of how a new series or level of book goes
- Get an instant list of teaching points/conferring (for both READING and WRITING!) that are transferable to many different books
- Know what’s current in children’s literature (if you read a recently published book.)
Here are all the teaching points/uses I thought of while reading this book:
- Mentor Text: Ivy and Bean is a perfect mentor text for realistic fiction and small moment: each chapter is a small moment, all the mini moments link together, it’s completely realistic.
- Predicting: the chapter titles provide the perfect opportunity to practice linking titles to events in the chapter.
- Getting to know characters: there are two main characters in this story, and a strong secondary character. Each offers good examples of character traits with supporting evidence.
- Connections: It’s realistic fiction, so it would be easy for children to come up with connections to the characters and their experiences that would help the reader understand the book better.
- Visualization: there is one passage where the author describes a scene and then there is a picture of it on the next page. Planned correctly, it would be a good spot to practice visualizing and then checking to see if the picture in your head matched the picture in the book.
- Going to the next level: It’s a level M book- and a pretty typical example of one at that. There is light picture support and the text is not that dense on the pages. It would be a good book to use so that students going from a L to an M to look at so they can get an idea for how it looks.
- Story Structure/ Determining Importance: since the moments connect, you could think about the main problem of the whole story and how the author embedded a smaller problem or event in each chapter. Identifying the main ‘event’ in each chapter= determining importance.
All that in 25 minutes? Not a bad use of time.