Here is my newsletter to parents about our year of chapter reading. It’s the best part of the day in the classroom.
June 10, 2022
Chapter reading is one of our treasured moments of the day. We bring to life the imagination, the world, and the past. The anticipation of ‘what happens next’ stirs excitement every day. Children listen and think. They ask questions. Ask your child, “At chapter reading where do you make the pictures?” You will hear your child say, “In your head.”
When we finish a good book and then start a new one, emotions run high and low. The end of a good book is so satisfying and pleasant, yet…it is over. That is the wonderful roller coaster of reading. And, with each chapter book we read, we ride that roller coaster again and again.
We have finished Little House on the Prairie, and it was thrilling; from Jack the dog, to building a house, to Indians in the house. Pa and his neighbor Mr. Scott dug a well, and we learned about the bad gas deep inside the earth (Pa had to save Mr. Scott) that only a candle can detect. Of course, I had to bring in my grandfather’s childhood portrait wearing a miner’s hat with the same candle. Laura and her family had fever ‘n’ ague (malaria), an illness that people thought came from eating watermelons. There was also fear of Indians, which was an opportunity for Gloria to discuss diversity and prejudice.
We read a second Doctor Dolittle book, Doctor Dolittle’s Journey (ask your child about Long Arrow and Spider Monkey Island), and we added a new book to our chapter reading this year, The Wild Robot. It is simply wonderful, and the children know there is a sequel.
These are the chapter books we have read this year. Good books are meant to be read over and over again. We encourage you to revisit these wonderful books with your child:
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles
The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Florence and Richard Atwater
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Doctor Dolittle’s Journey, adapted by N.H. Kleinbaum
The Wild Robot, by Peter Brown
The fundamental constant that gives children the tools to succeed in school is language. The more words that children hear, the better they will do in school. Reading aloud to children is far more than an enjoyable experience. It increases their language development! In kindergarten through grade four, the primary source of instruction is oral. The more words that a child has heard, the better s/he will understand the instruction, and the better s/he will perform in school, in all subjects. Therefore, we will always campaign to read aloud.
A wonderful guide to book recommendations and to understanding the importance of reading aloud is the million-copy bestseller book, The Read-Aloud Handbook. I have used the book since my children were little. The author, Jim Trelease, visited the Aqua Room and GCS. We are featured in the seventh edition of the book.
A lovely message 🥰
what a wonderful and meaningful letter!
Thank you, Beth! If I can keep parents reading to their children and help them understand the magnitude of importance, I’ve done a good thing.
What a wonderful year of reading.
It was, Dan. Thank you!
Fortunate students and parents to have you for a teacher! What a wonderful practice.
Thank you Jennie!!!
Sent from my iPhone
You are welcome.
Such great books you have read out loud to the children. I agree, that reading out loud is so important, even when they can read themselves. I usually visit middle-grade classes (grades 4 to 7). But I visited a grade two class once and read from one of my books. A young man put up his hand and said, “I love the words you use because they paint a picture in my mind.” The best compliment I could ever get!
What a complement, indeed!! I have two library groups for second and third graders, which I love. Reading aloud is the best thing for children, and certainly my favorite thing.
Thank you! It’s a wonderful and timely reminder to me that it’s high time I take My Father’s Dragon or Mr. Popper’s Penguins with me to Baby Girl’s house to begin reading them to Littlest. He’s 3 1/2 already! #1 Grandson will probably listen in too b/c they are still among his favorite books. 😍
Teachers never sent home such messages when I was at school. As always, you go the extra mile with your vocation. I don’t think of it as your job, because I just know you were born to teach.
Best wishes, Pete.
Honestly, I think few teachers do/did, yesterday or today. It’s my passion, Pete. Yes, I go the extra mile because…because…just because. Thank you, Pete. My very best to you, my friend.
I bet every child leaves your class loving reading…
One thing I remember vividly was in my infants school a teacher who was the head in our little village school, would read a chapter each Friday afternoon before we left for home…
One of the books that sparked my own love of books was The Borrowers By Mary Norton…. It really sparked my imagination and perhaps even my love of writing..
So what you are doing with your classroom, of young readers is wonderful Jennie ❤
She chose a wonderful book for Friday afternoon reading. See, you still remember and it made a big difference. Thank you, Sue. I hope my students remember. They certainly love books and reading.
Oh I have no doubts at all you are creating Life long memories with your students Jennie… You my friend are a teacher in a Million. ❤
That’s so nice, Sue. Thank you!
You need to be cloned Jennie, and have one of you sent to every school!
Awww…that’s so nice. Thank you! 🥰
Wonderful blueprint for the parents, Jennie.
Blueprint…what a perfect word. Thank you, Don.
You have nurtured the children’s curiosity and given them the tools to become readers. That is an incredible talent!
Thank you so much, Pam!
Wonderful book choices! True that reading is good for the children’s development… in addition, enjoying their reading time at school is likely to turn them into readers 🙂
Well said, and true. The books I chapter read are popular year after year. That speaks volumes for good books.
This is a wonderful letter to parents! They must be so appreciative to receive it.
I hope so. Liz. I write two year-end newsletters, the chapter reading one, and reflections of the school year (which I’m working on now.)
I can tell that you instill the love of reading in your students!
I do! Thank you.
A wonderful list of books, Jennie. I have also read most of them.
I’m so glad you have read most of these books. Thanks, Robbie.
Some of my favorite reads right there, Jennie. I’ve started The Wild Robot this week. I will treasure that book forever.
It’s a great book selection. I’m glad you’re reading The Wild Robot! And, thank you for your kind words.
Great stuff, Jennie. I have that seventh edition in which you are featured. 🙂
Thank you, Norah. I’m so glad you have the book. His stories have me glued, especially Cuban cigars and the teacher in Boston. It was an honor to be featured in the book.
And rightly so. You do so much to foster and promote literacy. 🙂
Bravo for a wonderful year of reading! ❤
Thank you, Debby!
Reblogged this on NEW BLOG HERE >> https:/BOOKS.ESLARN-NET.DE.
Thank you, Michael!
Wow, what a long list, and surely great fun for the pupils. Congratulations to a wonderful year of reading, Jennie! Have a beautiful weekend! xx Michael
It is a long list, and children were immersed in every story. Best to you, Michael.
Great to get them so interested, Jennie! Best wishes as well! xx Michael
It’s my favorite part of the day at school. 😍