Thursday, January 15, 2015
Reading is the pathway
From the dungeon
To the door.
Reading is the highway from
The shadow to the sun
Reading is the river
To your liberty
For all your life to come
Let the river run
Learn to read.
“Choose Your Freedom -- Learn to Read”
by Dr. Maya Angelou, 2002
As published in Rise and Read by Sandra L. Pinkney & Myles C. Pinkney, Scholastic, 2006.
Friday, January 9, 2015
pp 38-39, Raising Lifelong Learners, Calkins
- Stuart Little, by E.B. White
- The Dragonling, by Florence Koller
- Catwings and Catwings Return, by Ursula Le Guin
- Fantastic Mr. Fox and George's Marvelous Machine, by Roald Dahl
- The Hundred Dresses, by Eleanor Estes
- Harry's Mad (and others), by Dick King-Smith
- Matthew and the Sea Singer, by Jill Patton Walsh
- Chocolate Fever, by Robert K. Smith
- A Lion to Guard Us, by Clyde Robert Bulla
- Owls in the Family, by Farley Mowat
- Stone Fox, by John R. Gardiner
Thursday, January 8, 2015
There Was a Child Went Forth
by Walt Whitman
There was a child went forth every day;
And the first object he looked upon, that object he became.
And that object became part of him for the day, or a certain
part of the day, or for many years, or stretching cycles of years:
The early lilacs became part of this child....
And the apple-trees covered with blossoms, and the fruit
afterward, and wood-berries, and the commonest weeds by the road;
And the schoolmistress that passed on her way to the school....
The blow, the quick loud word, the tight bargain, the crafty lure,
The family usages, the language, the company, the furniture
--the yearning and swelling heart....
The doubts of day-time and the doubts of night-time--the
curious whether and how.
Whether that which appears is so, or is it all flashes and specks?
Men and women crowding fast in the streets--if they are
not flashes and specks, what are they?
These became part of that child who went forth every day,
and who now goes, and will always go forth every day.
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
List of novels, chapter books, novellas and dedicated story collections read through the year with J1, from age 3.75 to age 4.75.
Looking back: 2003 reading list is here.
“Let me give you an idea of how widespread the misunderstanding is about the difference between listening [level] and reading level, as well as the magic that can occur when they are understood. About twenty years ago I was doing an all-day seminar in a blue-collar community on the Jersey Shore. At lunch, a young teacher named Melissa Olans Antinoff introduced herself and said, ‘You’d love my kindergarten class!’ She explained that she read one hundred pictures books a year to the class, but also read ten to twelve chapter books...When the seminar resumed after lunch, I asked how many kindergarten teachers were in that room and learned there were eight. Further investigation showed that Antinoff was the only one who read chapter books to her class. Which of these eight classes will be better prepared for first grade: the ones who heard 150 four-minute picture books, or the one that heard one hundred picture books along with a dozen novels? Which class will have the longer attention spans at the end of the year and larger vocabularies, and exercise more complex thinking?” --Jim Trelease, The Read-Aloud Handbook (7th edition, Penguin, 2013), p. 59.
Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang
Better for six-year-olds?
Ursala K. LeGuin
Hotel Cat, The
Very slow, even though we love the Cat Club.
Stories for Four Year Olds
Edward and Nancy Blishen
We prefer the Corrin-edited, Faber-published age-level story books to the Blishen-edited volumes, but it’s good to have alternatives.
The Boxcar Children
Gertrude Chandler Warner
Primer-style language. An exciting, age-appropriate story, but like Beginner Books, better suited for emerging readers than for readers aloud.
The Reluctant Dragon
Michael Hague illustrations.
Comet in Moominland
The Children of Noisy Village
The Great Quillow
Doris Lee illustrations. Usual Thurber weirdness and wonderful language.
Tell Me a Story
Eileen Colwell (compiler)
Solid. Looking forward to read the other three volumes in the box set in coming years.
Owls in the Family
Terrific. Will seek out more Mowat.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
L. Frank Baum
Mostly Librivox audiobook, some chapters read by me. So glad we had a facsimile edition in the house--pictures are terrific.
My Side of the Mountain
Jean Craighead George
A Toad for Tuesday
|A child-appropriate thriller.|
William Stobbs illustrations. Ultimately heart-breaking but the kid didn't track the details enough to mind.
Four Seasons of Brambly Hedge
|These deserve to be better known in the States--lovely!|
About Teddy Robinson
Joan G. Robinson
|Adorable and so warm. Get omnibus/treasury?|
26 Fairmount Avenue
Tomie De Paola
Terrific. Perfect for age level. Will read the sequels.
Caroline and Her Kettle Named Maud
Miriam E. Mason
J loved this. Perfect age-level and interest level for a TK/Kinder boy, with bonus feminism and history for me. “Mom, I’m going outside to look for four-leaf clovers near gray rocks so I can find seven and put them under my pillow and wish for a gun.”
Sunday, December 28, 2014
"One way to keep tension is to be aware of it. I told the math class that to let something go by in class without knowing what it means, and without saying anything, is like leaving something in Howard Johnson's on a long car trip. You are going to have to go back eventually, so the sooner the better. The foolish metaphor has helped the kids, or so they say. They have learned to recognize, if only a little, the feeling of panicky confusion that slowly gets hold of them. To be able to say, 'I'm getting left at Howard Johnson's' how them to control this feeling, and if it gets too much for them they can always tell me they have been left behind; then I can do something about picking them up."
--Holt, John, How Children Fail, p 42
Saturday, December 13, 2014
"I have no patience with those who say that love and death are not proper subjects for children. Children can often respond to these large subjects with minds less coarsened and imaginations less infected than their print-sodden elders.
"It is largely in childhood, and largely through books, that we learn of attitudes to admire, which can then try out in real life--the heroic, the quixotic, the stoical, the impossibly magnanimous. It is not that we necessarily identify ourselves with every person in the poems or stories we read: but that we learn from them a language of feeling and enlarge our own vocabularies. And the attitudes which we finally choose will, whether consciously or not, affect our behavior all our lives.
"Poems can help us in this choice by showing us something of the variety of possible attitudes and moods. A child who has learnt that death can be looked at in more ways than one is better able to cope with a loss of his own than one who has only learned the stereotyped responses of the newspaper or cinema. Stereotyped emotion--which approximates all battles to Heroism, all love to Romance, all death to Tragedy, which cannot respond to irony or wit at all--is always something coarser than any individual is capable of feeling."
Janet Adam Smith, Introduction to The Faber Book of Children's Verse, 1953.