Recently my daughter has started to enjoy books. She loves to carry them around and show them to you. She’ll let you read her about 2 pages of the story and then she’s off to find another book. I am excited that she loves books. I know soon she will love the words and meanings within the books. Since her birth, we have received a new book each month. How you might ask? My husband and I signed her up with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. She receives a free book until she is 5. I love to see my daughter’s face light up when she receives a new book. As an educator I feel that this is a great opportunity for children to be immersed in books. Take a minute to see if you have an Imagination Library near you, or sign up a friend’s child, nephew, niece, or someone you know who loves books!
The Phantom Tollbooth July 22, 2010
I read The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster just recently. I truly enjoyed this book. It is about a boy named Milo who never knew what to do with himself. Milo had everything a child could want. He was bored with everything until one day a tollbooth appeared in his bedroom. Along Milo’s journey he met his friend Tock, a dog with a watch as his body, and the humbug, a beetle that wants everyone to think of him as smart and wonderful. In the land of Digitopolis the trio encountered King Azaz, who gives them permission to rescue the beautiful Princesses Rhyme and Reason. They adventure into many lands ( Digitopolis, The Valley of Sound to name a few) to accomplish their task. While on this journey, Milo learns to value education, use common sense, and especially escape boredom, which is his main problem. You will have to read to find out if they rescue Rhyme and Reason.
One reason I loved this book was that Norton Juster did a fabulous job with puns. Each page was crafted with his creative use of words. For example (From Sparknotes):
Juster frequently plays upon the dual meanings of words and expressions to create humorous situations. When Milo orders a “light meal” at Azaz’s banquet, he is literally served light. When Milo catches a word on the tip of his tongue in the Soundkeeper’s fortress, a word physically appears in his mouth. When the Humbug jumps to the conclusion that nothing more can go wrong with the group’s journey, he leaps out of the car and lands on the island of Conclusions. Juster uses puns both to amuse and educate, as these unusual situations often result in Milo learning an important lesson.
Another reason I loved this book was the theme to value education. Milo educated himself on each little adventure he went on. This book has a lot to say about the importance of education. As an educator I truly believe learning is everything. Education is the key to success in life.
I look forward to teaching this book with my 6th grade students. I hope that they enjoy it as much as I have.
Writing Marathon July 1, 2010
Today my young writers and I had a writing marathon. This is where you travel to different places, write for a set amount of time, read your writing aloud, and then move again. There is no responding to anyone’s writing. It’s a great time to just write. The most interesting place we wrote was inside the kitchen of the school cafeteria. I enjoyed hearing the spontaneity in their writing. One of my students shared more today than she had all week.