Saturday, August 25, 2012

James and the Giant Peach

How many of you teach reading with chapter books as opposed to basal readers? I honestly do not like our reading series. Most of the stories are boring and I just don't see the kids enjoying reading them. Last year I attempted chapter books for the first time. I was nowhere near prepared, but it was after the middle of the year and I had already taught all the big skills so I was able to just throw them into each week. The kids loved it. They were loving reading for once. They were able to remember what happened earlier in the book and I was really impressed. And their comprehension was just amazing. Even my low readers who never volunteered were wanting to read out loud and were able to answer questions. I even saw an increase in fluency!

This year I decided I was going to rearrange our basal reader to go with our IB units. I hated it. I can't read the stories out of order. If I am using those books, I am doing them in order so that the skills match the stories. So I decided to go back to reading them in order... or so I thought. Friday at about 2:00 I decided I would rather read chapter books. So off I went to our library to look at our literature buckets. I decided that James and the Giant Peach would be a fun one to start with. Only I have never read the book and have NO resources on it. So I thought, ok I will read it a week ahead of my class plans and create things as I go along. But that plan is already failing because I spent today sewing some dresses for 2 special little girls going on the Mickey Boat next month (can we say jealous?!)

So has anyone here read this book and have any suggestions? Found anything on the web that was just amazing? I looked on TpT but I haven't found anything that looks like what I am looking for. If you have any suggestions, links, things you have bought that you can lead me to, etc. I would so appreciate it. I may just switch to Because of Winn Dixie to start with but James seems to be an easier read (even though it is a higher leveled book).

And just to add in my 2cents... I realize that common core is trying to get kids to read more nonfiction and I know that THE TESTS have a lot of nonfiction on them. But I just can't teach my kids reading skills with completely nonfiction. If they can't read/don't like to read, I feel that if I find books that will hold their interest I can improve their fluency/comprehension and THEN start working on nonfiction. Kids that can't read aren't going to learn by reading a science or social studies article. They have to first learn to read and understand...then we can work on reading the boring stuff.

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