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Category Archives: Book List

Reading Rainbow

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I was excited to hear that Reading Rainbow was developing an IPad app but nervous to see if it could meet my expectations. I downloaded the app because it’s free and began checking it out. It is truly excellent and I am really pleased with it. However, you should note that to get access to all the books will cost you 9.99/month but that would be well worth it. As a parent you get access to a website that tracks your child’s reading time and number of books, there is also a section with tips and ideas to enhance the time you spend reading with your child. The app has different topic islands that the child can visit. Each island has at least fifty books right now with the promise of more. As well there are videos showing real life content that ties into those topics hosted by Levar Burton. Each book has the option of being read to the child by a narrator, or to read themselves. There is also fun surprises hidden on the pages to touch and animate the illustrations. In addition most books include a game like matching. For teachers, they are developing a website section that should launch by fall but the app itself is a great tool. I can see using it within guided reading groups as a fun listen to books option. This truly is one of the best educational apps I’ve checked out and if they keep developing content the way they promise it will just get better.

A few more thoughts on Inclusive Education

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ImageI didn’t mean to do a series on Inclusive Education but that’s exactly what ended up happening so tonight I’m finishing that series off by sharing my final paper for my educational psychology class with you. Learning from those we label

I based my paper around a great children’s book “The Black Book of Colors” by Menena Cottin & Rosana Farin.  Even if you don’t read my paper this book is worth checking out.  It describes the colours the way a blind child experiences them.  The illustrations are black on black so they can best be felt rather than seen.  It is a feast for the tactile sense and the poetic words provide a brief insight into the way people without sight perceive the world around them.

Where’s Ms.Ginther been?

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Okay it’s the last week of semester and yep I’ve been MIA off my blog for the last few days.  I apologize but it seems no matter how well I try to plan ahead the last week before the end of classes is really busy.  I’ve been writing papers and finalizing projects for what feels like 30 classes (but it’s actually only 3 they tell me).  As well I’ve been longing for my family in Alberta it’s been a long time since I’ve seen my cute nephew.  Tonight I have the first of my projects to share, a complete 40 item booklist of great classroom reads.  Booklist just click this link and you should be able to access the pdf version of my list.  Some of these books I’ve featured already on my weekly lists but there are a more great picks here for you.  Since summer is a great time to search for booksales and do some reading I thought I’d add a few titles to your lists.

Coming up a post on what I’ve learned in my educational computers class (hopefully a fun interactive slideshow), a summary of learning and the final post in my inclusive education series 🙂 whew a busy week!


This weeks book picks

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It’s a little late and I apologize it’s getting busy with my courses.  However, here are this weeks books and this week I have three early reading chapter books to share.  These are great for those students who are just starting to read chapter books or would work for a first teacher led novel study.  

ImageGooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowery.  Gooney Bird isn’t just any second grader and when she arrives at her new school she teaches her whole class a lesson about being yourself and what makes a great story.  This short book is laugh out loud funny and very relatable for students.  It also would be a great book to introduce creative writing and help students learn some of the early steps in the writing process.  As an added bonus this is the first book in a series so there is plenty of fun ahead for readers.  



ImageWord after Word after Word by Patricia MacLachlan.  The author of Sarah, Plain and Tall writes this beautiful and lyrical book about the writing process. Through a series of author visits the grade 4 students are inspired to express their secret fears, sadness and thoughts through expressive poetry.  This book is all about the power of words and especially the written word.  A much gentler and quieter read about writing it moved me to tears at points and inspired me to write my own poem.  I think it would also be good for an introduction to a writing unit, especially a poetry unit.  


ImageThe Giggler Treatment by Roddy Doyle.  Moving away from writing books and into something that is just plain fun.  Rover the dog has a secret business working for the gigglers.  Gigglers are tiny creatures that look after children by making sure that adults who treat children meanly are punished.  In this fun rollicking read we learn how adults are punished and how Rover saves the day when the gigglers target the wrong adult.  Caution if the word poo offends you don’t read this book.  This is the type of book boys will like, potty humour, quick short chapters and a faced paced funny plot.  Is it deep? Not really but it’ll hook reluctant readers and the good news is there are more books in the series to keep them reading.  

Survey Time

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Booky Goodness

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I have a bunch of posts I want to write but first it’s time for another book list!  I really like the idea of this being a weekly feature so you’ll find book list under categories and as the blog goes on hopefully there will be a bunch of posts with lots of great books.  

Image1. Pirates Go to School by Corinne Demas Illustrated by John Manders 

This book is a rollicking ride through the school day following a band of pirates as they turn the mundane school day into something magical.  The rhyming text and engaging illustrations make this a perfect read aloud book and I think I would use it to introduce the idea of daily routines.  It could also be used as a first day book to help students feel more comfortable.  All in all it is just a fun book.  


Image2. Ruby in Her Own Time by Jonathon Emmett illustrated by Rebecca Harry

In this quiet gentle book Ruby a duckling is just a little slower than all the other ducklings.  Papa worries that she won’t be able to learn but Mama knows that she’ll do it in her own time.  The soft pastel illustrations and repeated refrain of ‘in her own time’ sets the tone to have a good discussion about how everyone is different. It would be excellent with young children to help them understand that not everyone does everything at the same time or way.  I am taking a course about inclusion and this would be a book I’d use to begin having a discussion about how different students have different needs.  

Image3. Whose Tail is This? by Peg Hall and Illustrated by Ken Landmark

This book could almost be considered non-fiction it is so full of excellent facts.  Each section starts with a picture of a tail and asks students to guess who it belongs to.  Turn the page and are shown whose tail it is and given some fun facts about that animal.  At the end a short quiz refreshes the kids memories about what they’ve learned and a short appendix gives even more fun facts and words to know.  There is even a reference list with good websites and books to continue the learning.  All of this is written in easy to understand language with bright, bold illustrations.  I like that it would be great for reluctant readers because it is not intimidating.    

A few good books

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As part of my crazy idea to take three summer courses at once I am taking a education library class.  I love picture books and sharing books with kids.  So as part of this I wanted to share some books with you.  I’m thinking this is a good way to keep exploring new books and so I might make this a regular feature on this blog.  Let me know your thoughts and any suggestions which would make this something more useful for you.   

Image1. Help Me Mr. Mutt! by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel

When dogs have trouble who do they turn to? Why it’s Mr.Mutt the dear abby of the dog world. In this fun book Mr. Mutt helps all sorts of dogs solve their problems but what he doesn’t know is that his own problems are going to take over.  Once his problem gets out of control can Mr.Mutt solve his own trouble?  Read the book to find out.  As an added bonus this book includes a search and find list to keep the fun going even after the first reading.  For classroom use this would be a great book to use while teaching letter writing or exploring problem solving skills.  

2. One by Kathryn Otoshi

ImageThis book is hard to explain in a book talk format it is the story of what happens when the red dot picks on the blue dot.  Through the story and amazingly simple but beautiful illustrations the author examines the concepts of colours and numbers while sharing a story about being true to yourself in the face of bullying.  The anti-bullying message is well done with a gentle touch.  Never preachy or heavy handed the author conveys the feelings of both the bully and the bullied.  Even young children can gain a lot through this story and the beautiful illustrations make it a natural for a read aloud.