Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Character Books We Love

Welcome to the Blog Hop hosted by Minute Mommy!

First, thank you for inviting us to join your Blog Hop "Summer Reading Stash" Minute Mommy! :)

If you're just visiting, welcome! Please check our ABOUT US page and click to connect with us on TpT, Pinterest, Instagram, and on our collaborative Facebook page. We look forward to hearing from you.

Today's focus is on books that teach Character traits. I (Karen) will share books geared towards K-2 while Kelie will share books geared towards 3-4.

Stephanie's Ponytail

Stephanie's Ponytail by Robert Munsch is a fantastic book, but of course in my opinion all Robert Munsch books are nothing less than fantastic. :) In this book, the main character Stephanie wants to be different and stand out. She notices that nobody at school wears their hair in a ponytail so she asks her mom to put her hair up in one. When she shows up to school the other kids tease her and tell her it's "ugly, very ugly." Stephanie doesn't cower down. She tells them, "It's my ponytail and I like it." In other words, Stephanie doesn't give a rat's-you-know-what about what anyone else things. (I love her!!) When she returns to school the next day, everyone has a ponytail just like hers.  Stephanie tells them that they are copycats and don't have brains in their heads (Ha-Ha, you go girl!). She asks her mom to place her ponytail in various positions on her head and every time the other kids copy her new look. The teacher even wants in on the "cool" new look and begins to join in with the wacky ponytails.

Stephanie gets frustrated, but she is determined to be unique and stand out from the crowd. One day she tells everyone she is going to shave her head bald. Sure enough, the "brainless copycats" shaved their heads bald before the next day of school (even the teacher). Stephanie stands smugly with her very first, "normal," ponytail coming right out the back. It doesn't look like anyone will be copying her look now, even if they wanted to. Stephanie outsmarted them all. Her character is clever and determined.

My kindergarten classes always loved this book. I used this book to teach them that it is "cool" to stand out and be unique and "uncool" to be a "copycat." We discussed how the world would be so boring if we all looked or acted exactly the same. Now, the real kicker, Stephanie reminds me a LOT of my 9-year old daughter. My daughter will NOT wear matching socks if her life depended on it. She wears stripes, animal print, and flannel boy's pajama pants and she doesn't care what anyone has to say about it. I hope you find this book and share it with your students. (Karen)

Clyde, the Cloud Who Always Cried

*Disclaimer* I (Karen) taught in a public school, therefore I was not able to read Clyde, The Cloud Who Always Cried by Kymberli Dyson to my students. This book was instead shared at bedtime with my kids. :)

In this book, Clyde is always crying because he longs to be radiant like the sun. Clyde was jealous that the sun was so beautiful and could make pretty flowers grow among other great things. Unlike the sun, Clyde could only make the sky dark and gray. He hated himself so much that he assumed everyone else did as well. One day God spoke to Clyde and told him that all of His creations are special. Clyde felt that God had refused to help him so he vowed not to send any more water on His land. The grass and flowers started to die. People were angry with the sun and prayed to God to send them rain in large amounts. Finally Clyde realized he IS special and appreciated and needed. This story helped my daughter realize that we all have a purpose in life and to be happy with who you are. Self-acceptance is a beautiful thing, even when it comes in the form of a crying gray cloud. :)

Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer

I (Kelie) always start my school year off  by ready Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer by Megan McDonald.  It's the perfect chapter book to introduce to 3rd grade newbies. We head back to school in August, so lets face it, it's still summertime in my kiddo's eyes (and mine too!!!).  The main character, Judy Moody has quite the personality, and is involved in all sorts of schemes in efforts to make her summer vacation awesome.  With several different characters, each with their own distinct personality, this book makes teaching character traits a breeze! As an added bonus, most of my students get hooked on this series after reading the book, and end up wanting to read more! Score for me!!!  Some of my students wont be ready to tackle a chapter book just yet, so I always direct them to the Judy Moody & Friends books which are much shorter, have a littler bit lower reading level, and have tons of color pictures.

Do I have you excited to read this with your class yet?  Need some resources to get you started?  Here is a sample of all the character trait material you will find in my Judy Moody and the Not  Bummer Summer Novel Guide:

 Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer Novel Guide

Stone Fox

Another novel that is amazing for character development is Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner.

This books gets me every time!  No joke- I always ask a student to read the last few pages because I get too choked up.  It's such a powerful novel and I love that my students get to see how moving a piece of literature can be, even to an old lady like me. Hahaha!  In this novel, 10 year old Willy wants to help his Grandfather who is very ill.  Willy feels like the only way he can help Grandfather is by using his college savings to enter into a dog sled race. In order to win the race, Willy has to beat a veteran dog sled racer, Stone Fox.  The odds are stacked against him, but Willy never gives up.  I'll let you read it to see how it ends, but do so with a box of tissue in hand!


Monday, 27 June 2016

Welcome to Karen & Kelie's brand-spanking new Blog

We are happy you found us. Please take a moment to learn more about us via the ABOUT US tab and connect with us via TpT, Pinterest, Instagram, and on our collaborative Facebook page. We look forward to getting to know you better. :)

Kelie and I would like to take a moment to give a shout-out to Laine (A Little Peace of Africa) for doing such a beautiful job designing our logos, collaborative Facebook page, and now our collaborative Blog. Laine is wonderful to work with and we both highly recommend her for all your design needs. :) Thank you, Laine!