Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saint Bernards are "Just Right"

I love my "puppy" so much that, like a Wild Thing, I could just eat her up.

In kindergarten we have begun having our students read "just right" books.

"Just Right" books are books that children can read either independently or with a little support from an adult or more knowledgeable peer.  The books contain predictable text, usually with patterns (I see the dog, I see the boat, etc.), strong picture support and some easy sight words (I, my, the, etc.)

Based on current assessments most students could use some assistance tracking print with his/her finger (one to one matching) to establish word boundaries and use of initial letters to figure out unknown words and deepening comprehension of a text.

The latter can be done by questioning him/her during and after the reading about specific text items or extending the ideas in the book to his/her own experiences.

One of my favorite "Just Right" book series is about a Saint Bernard named Winnie.  The illustrator, William Benedict, must have certainly spent quite a bit of time around Saints.  He captures their charm, tenacity and brilliance in each picture.  I love them!


If you are searching for these types of books for your emergent reader take a look at Brand New Readers. Not only do their books feature Saint Bernards but there are also MONKEYS!

Just another reason for me to love my work!

4 comments:

Pauline said...

Thanks for this post - now I know just what to get my new-to-reading grandson. We'll read them together Christmas Day!

Barbara said...

I just wanted to reach out and hug your beautiful dog. Sometimes I think 4-legged friends are the best kind.

I always love your book ideas. I'll file this one away for a read-aloud theme of "pets". Unfortunately the shelter doesn't allow pets, but the children there like to talk about them anyway.

Angella Lister said...

Happy birthday a few days late, Gary! I am so glad you came by my blog and left a comment. I have actually been visiting your blog for a while now (don't really like the word "lurking" so won't use it) and I, too, found you through Steve. I love your blog. I wish I had had it back when my own two were in grade school. It would have helped me understand so much more! But, belated understanding, like belated birthday wishes, have value. I hope you continue to enjoy your birthday all month long! As you know, I am particularly fond of Scorpios (my husband and my dad). And I will be back here often.

And you really brought back memories with just right books, and uphill books and downhill books!

Gary said...

Pauline - I also like Monkey Eats Worms and all the Winnie books. I am not in love with Beeper though. I am thrilled you are looking into these. Happy Reading!

Barbara - Nellie, my dog, would probably run and hide if you gave her a hug. She was a rescue dog and is very skittish around strangers. I wonder what her life was like before she came to us. She has some interesting quirks but I simply adore her.

The Brand New Readers are not really well suited to use as read aloud books. They are very simple without much meat for reading (one short sentence per page). Although they are wonderful to promote language developent and discussions surrounding life experiences. I like to use them for my ASL read alouds because they allow me to focus on particular aspects of signs (classifiers, handshapes).

Angella - Thanks for the birthday wishes and for you kind words. I too really enjoyed your blog and will visit often. Glad I found you.

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