Saturday, November 13, 2010

And the winners are . . .

We have three Top Book election results to share from last week. The EK children, who are studying the effects of cold weather on animals as well as the number 3, read Old Bear by Kevin Henkes, Don't Wake Up the Bear written by Marjorie Dennis Murray and illustrated by Patricia Wittmann, and The Triplets by Barbara Seuling. (Can you guess which book goes with which unit of study? I bet you can!)

If you remember the elections from the first week of November, Old Bear was the winner with the PK kids. Not so this week with the EK kids. It was a tight race between The Triplets and Don't Wake Up the Bear, but Don't Wake Up the Bear garnered 7 votes to 6 votes for The Triplets. Old Bear might as well have stayed in bed that day, receiving only 1 vote.

The PK children  have also been studying the effects of cold weather on animals, the letter P, and the effects being a Bossy Boots has on play situations. (3 and 4-year olds can sometimes be a tad bossy with each other.) We read Bear Snores On written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman, Dinofours: I'm the Boss written by Steve Metzger and illustrated by Hans Wilhem, and Pigsty by Mark Teague. (Can you guess which book goes with which unit of study? I bet you can!)

Steve Metzger was bossy at the ballot box, winning with 7 votes to Teague's 4 and Wilson's 2. I was a bit surprised, if the truth be known. The kids loved all three books, especially Wilson's. They were SO invested in the bear not waking up, and even "read" the repeating refrain without any prodding from me: "BUT THE BEAR SNORES ON!" (You have to shout it if you're 4-years old.) I was stumped when it only received two votes. Possibly, the voting was too far removed from the reading. I'll have to look back and see how Monday books fare on Wednesday voting days. Or maybe I should just move on. Who am I to question the will of the people?

Move on I will, to the results of the CPG voting. Because of the Veterans' Day holiday, we only met for one class this week. I decided to start my Don and Audrey Wood unit in CPG by reading The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear and Piggies. Don and Audrey Wood's King Bidgood's in the Bathtub is on my Top Ten Picture Book List, and I always love reading their stuff to my students. The Little Mouse is one of those magical books that speaks to nearly every preschooler who hears it. There's just enough tension to make it more than a sweet piece of fluff, and the gorgeous illustrations bring added depth to the seemingly simple storyline. I wasn't at all surprised when it won CPG Top Book this week, slamming Piggies with an 11 to 2 vote count.

The Don and Audrey Wood Readapalooza continues next week in all classes. Who will be the winner?  Will it be Quick as a Cricket? Will it be The Napping House? Will it be my personal favorite, King Bidgood's in the Bathtub? You'll find out next Friday. Or Saturday. Or maybe Sunday. I'm not sure when I'll get it posted. In any event, you'll find out!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Shhhh! Don't Wake Up the Bear!

It's Friday at Hogarth, which means it's Election Day. To go with a hibernation unit we started in PK and CPG this week, children in both classes read Old Bear by Kevin Henkes and Don't Wake Up the Bear! written by Marjorie Dennis Murray and illustrated by Patricia Wittman. Don't Wake Up the Bear! has just the right amount of tension to keep preschoolers on the edges of their little seats. Let me tell you, Murray gives preschoolers as much of a thrill as Stephen King gives grown-ups. I'll let the CPG Kids speak for themselves.

Zephan: I was scared of the mouse that waked up. I was scared when the bear waked up. It chased the mice. He found something to eat. Berries.

Delaney Roache: The fox was scared of the bear. The mouse slept in the bear's ear. They said, "Don't wake up!" Somebody woke him up.

Emma: The mouse woke up the bear with a KERCHOO! He woke up and he was angry and he had to get something to eat.

Cooper: The bear waked up because all the animals were on him. He chaseded them.

Killian: The rabbit said, "Don't wake up the bear." They sleeped with him.

Samuel: The bear was sleeping and the bad wolf came in to sleep. What is that? [Me: It's a badger.] Oh, a badger. What's a badger do? Look it! Here comes a wolf! What is that? [Me: It's a fox.] It's a fox! He didn't still wake up. That mouse is in his ear. Look! He waked up! He said, ROAR! Look he's eating some berries. I loved this story. I need to read it. (Samuel leafed through the book again, reenacting the story as he went.)

Patrick: He waked up the bear. The mouse. The bear was mad. He made a mad face.

Camryn H.: A bear was sleeping. Then a hare came along and he wished he could snuggle with that bear. Then he did. Then a fox, then something else, I don't know. What is it? [Me: A badger.] Then the mouse came along. Then the hare said, "Don't wake up the bear!"

Cameron W.: The mouse sneezeded. Then they ran away.

Delaney Riley: Don't wake up the bear!

So how did the elections turn out this week at Hogarth? Don't Wake Up the Bear won CPG Top Book today with 6 votes to Old Bear's 4.

In PK, Top Book was Old Bear with 6 votes over Don't Wake Up the Bear! with 5 votes. Those were both pretty close races, if you ask me.
To go along with this week's EK lessons on letter Pp and number 3, the EK kids read The Three Pigs by David Wiesner and Pigsty by Mark Teague. The Three Pigs was elected Top Book by a 9 to 5 landslide.
Again, we had that little bit of tension with Wiesner's version. When the wolf actually ate the pig, there was an audible gasp from a few of the kids. (Not to worry, folks. The pigs ultimately emerged unscathed from the book. Literally.)