Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff by Christopher Moore
The Agony of Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Night by Elie Wiesel
(I left out the obvious Jane Austen / Harry Potter recs.)
I stumbled across What Kids Are Reading: The Book-Reading Habits of Students from my NCTE inbox email. It’s actually pretty interesting!
Authors who have commentary in the document include Barry Gilmore, Jeff Kinney, David Coleman, Dan Gutman, Ellen Hopkins, Terri Kirk, Dav Pilkey, and Sandra Stotsky.
This document begins of lists of what kids are reading, separated by grade level.
Starting on page 42 are some exemplars for Common Core texts.
There is a section for librarians’ picks separated by grades and interest level.
There is also a list of frequently challenged books in 2008, 2009, and 2010.
I’d say if you’re looking for summer reading to stay on par with what your kids are reading, this pdf is a wonderful place to begin!
"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents."
— Emilie Buchwald
I mentioned I used Reciprocal Teaching with my third graders recently, and someone commented that they’d like to hear more about it. I first learned about it in my grad courses on literacy. The Reading Teacher published by the International Association for Reading has published a few articles on its use. If you are a member you can search the archives, or if you are a college student I know a lot of college libraries have access to full text articles. Here are some of the ones that discuss it that I know of:
- Taking on the Role of Questioner: Revisiting Reciprocal Teaching, Joan A. Williams, The Reading Teacher, December 2010
- Reciprocal Teaching for the Primary Grades: “We Can Do It, Too!”, Paola Pilonieta, Adriana L. Medina, The Reading Teacher, October 2009
- The Princess Storyteller, Clara Clarifier, Quincy Questioner, and the Wizard: Reciprocal Teaching Adapted for Kindergarten Students, Pamela Ann Myers, The Reading Teacher, December 2005
They also published a book called Reciprocal Teaching At Work: Strategies for Improving Reading which is on sale for $6.95 for members and non-members alike (I have not read it, so I don’t know if is worthy purchase).
Reading Rockets provides a good overview of how Reciprocal Teaching works here.
My students are already familiar with some of the 4 comprehension skills (predicting, summarizing, questioning, and clarifying) but I still slowly introduce each skill. For my younger students, I play a character for each skill as I introduce it. For example, when introducing the clarifying skill, I am a detective with a magnifying glass and my dad’s detective-looking hat. I explain my job as (whatever skill we are doing), why it is important, and how it helps people to understand what they read. I do a lot of read-alouds and modeling in small groups, and then the role is passed on to a student. I have cards for each skill posted in my room with prompts that say things like: I wonder why… I predict that … This passage is about…, etc. I also have smaller versions of these cards that I hand out to students before a page is read so they know that they are responsible for that role at that time. Eventually, the students naturally do all the skills and their comprehension improves.
Hope this is of some help!