Why Blog

I’m passionate about finding ways to simplify comprehension instruction and learning. I’m concerned that we are defining comprehension too narrowly as an accumulation of five or six meta-cognitive strategies when cultivating comprehension involves so much more than that. We need to help children acquire accurate fluent reading skills and strategies; build background knowledge; develop their oral language and vocabulary; make reading-writing connections, and acquire a repertoire of meta-cognitive strategies to use as and if needed.

So I invite you to join me in blogging about this ever-so-important topic. I look forward to hearing your ideas, teaching strategies, book recommendations, classroom stories, etc., basically anything that will inspire a healthy conversation among colleagues.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Two Great Read Aloud Titles for the Little Guys

I can’t wait to share two great titles that are guaranteed to get and keep your little guys engaged and begging you to “read it again.” Some of you may already know and own them, but they’re new to me and I couldn’t be happier. I feel like I found gold.
A Frog in the Bog by Karma Wilson starts out:

“There’s a frog on the log
in the middle of the bog.
A small, green frog
on a half -sunk log
In the middle of the bog…”

And when I read that I may have audibly moaned—oh no, not another linguistic “this-is-good-for-you” text to hit kids over the head with letter sounds. Fortunately I kept reading (probably because of the accolades on the back cover) and realized my first impression couldn’t have been more wrong. This book is fun, zany, bouncy, delightful and makes you (yes, it made me) join in chanting, even singing, the verses. Your little guys will LOVE it, so please check it out. (And after you’ve had a ton of fun reading and rereading this book, you can dig into its treasure trove of onset and rimes. Like I said, this book is pure gold.)

My second read aloud find for the younger set is Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle. Besides being a satisfying story of a little blue truck whose friendship and kindness to his barnyard friends pays off, it’s great fun to read aloud. It, like A Frog in the Bog, rhymes and the up-beat verse beckons readers to join in. Before you know it, you’ll have a roomful of playful kids “beeping” like Little Blue and croaking, baaing, oinking, peeping, and quacking like Little Blue’s farm friends. It’s a fun book about friendship, so after all is said and done, you can use it to kick off a wonderful conversation on that ever-so-important topic. There’s also a sequel called Little Blue Leads the Way.


  1. OK, so you're definitely not helping me kick my Amazon.com habit...

  2. you're funny...but these are truly wonderful titles! (my husband once joked: "aren't you supposed to be in this (teaching, he meant) to MAKE money? so i completely understand your dilemma!