I'm so very sorry I've been away awhile. Went on spring break and totally relaxed. Then, came back to real life and I have been moving in hyper-speed ever since; always seem to be 3 steps behind in everything. Good thing Bill was here to keep the blog on track! :)
I started a new read aloud this week: Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea. The days we start our new read alouds are some of my favorite days all school year long. These are the days we preview, and get our thinking together about the possibilities based on cover and flap information.
I give each student a paper with the front cover, back cover, and inside flap information on it. Then, we take 20 - 30 minutes to process our thinking about what exists in front of us. I have included a picture of the SmartBoard where I captured their thinking. I love the feeling that we're all on the same page before I start reading, even when I know that some of their predictions are incorrect.
The thinking you see here is what we will come back to time and time again as we read this story together (there is more thinking on other SmartBoard pages about inside flap and back flap, as well). It is such a powerful way to show the students how they have to revise their own thinking as they read. How things seem in the beginning can be far different than how they are at the end (never better evidenced than in our last two read alouds, Out of My Mind and When You Reach Me).
I know some of my students read my blog sometimes, so I don't want to give away too much about this story. However, I will say that some of their thinking after only seeing the front cover, which is mostly visual in nature, was pretty darn insightful. I was quite a proud teacher for the types of thinking they were sharing.
So, we've begun the story of Mr. Terupt and his class, and I know setting the stage will only heighten the enjoyment and understanding we will all take from this story.
And on a related note, Mr. Terupt most definitely belongs in 100 + Amazing Teachers that MaryLee and Franki started at A Year of Reading.