I have a secret.
I am a book-a-holic reading teacher.
I abuse Amazon’s “one click” and “add to cart” buttons.
I spent my entire first year teaching salary on children’s books.
Okay, those aren’t secrets. (Except maybe the salary fact.)
The real secret: I hated reading: as a child, as a teenager, and as a young adult.
As a child, I whined and complained that I wanted to be outside instead of reading. As a teenager, I cheated my way through book reports and English assignments. As a young adult, I spent more time trying to avoid reading than I would have spent actually reading the book. (Such things included cliff's notes, the movie version of the book, and if I was really desperate, the audio book.)
Thankfully, when I entered the education program in college, I met a brilliant professor. She began and ended every class with a fantastic picture book. It was then, that I finally discovered the joy of reading.
However, even today, I still check the length of chapters in any book I’m about to read. I would prefer to read a longer book that has very short chapters versus a really long short story.
I think it’s visually deceiving or it gives me a sense of accomplishment to complete one short chapter.
All I have to do is get through this two page chapter and I will feel successful.
It's sort of the same feeling as checking things off a list.
1. Get up. Check.
2. Drink Coffee. Check.
3. Take dog for walk. Check.
However, when I read it in under two hours, I was shocked. Its format wasn’t intimidating. I wasn’t intending to read for two hours that day, but I flew through it. And the exact same thing happens with the kids I teach.
Novels in verse are like legal gateway drugs that lead kids to the best addiction ever: books.
Why Kids Love'em
*Some contain illustrations
*Emotionally driven stories
Why Teachers Love'em
*Kids read and enjoy them
*Exposure to poetry forms
*Added supplement to history lesson (for Historical Novels in Verse)
*Great for practicing reading strategies such as visualizing and inferencing.
*Can be used to practice fluency by performing the poems.
*Kids read and enjoy them
Top Three Favorites
What are your favorite novels in verse? How do your kids or students respond to them?
Check back in a day or so for a compiled list of Novels in Verse you can download.
But for now, here is a visual list: Novels in Verse.
We are so excited to be mixing things up at the Children's Book Academy. Mondays with Mandy or Mira is now the Blogfish!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays will feature award-winning former agent and former kidlit professor Mira Reisberg PhD who is also the Director of the Children's Book Academy.
2nd Mondays will feature reading specialist and MFA in creative writing graduate Mandy Yates has been published multiple times in Highlights Magazine.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays will feature the great Christine Taylor-Butler who has published over 70 award-winning fiction and non-fiction and nonfiction books including the acclaimed new middle grade series - The Lost Tribes.
And 5th Mondays will feature will feature the fabulous Carl Angel, award-winning multi-published Illustrator and graphic designer.
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