The reason I decided to move from 2nd to 5th was ultimately decided by books. As I thought about how big 5th graders are compared to 2nd graders…and all the attitude they might bring in their bigger selves…I suddenly had an epiphany…with bigger bodies comes bigger reading skills – well maybe that’s not a hard fast rule, but in elementary school I think it makes sense!
Reading...essentially my favorite sport! Don’t get me wrong some of my little second graders were great readers. But no matter what kind of reader you are as a second grader, well…you’re no fifth grader. So, my love of reading and desire to teach rich literature at a higher level I accepted the position!
I’ve since checked out about 40+ books from the library. I’ve always read a lot of YA literature. But, I haven’t been keeping up. Plus, a lot of the YA literature I read is geared more towards high school or middle school readers…so I’ve been reading.
Here are some pictures of this – you can’t read all the titles but you can get a sense of “she’s compulsively checking books out of the library…and may not be in complete control”.
I try to get the same amount of books in English and in Spanish because I will need to make sure to read and provide my students with equal opportunities to read authentic literature in both languages – no easy task my friends!
Here is what I’ve officially read or am reading most recently:
1. Steven Layne’s “Igniting a Passion for Reading”. This is not a book I will be reading to my students, rather it’s a professional development read. I am halfway through and am convinced Steven Layne and I are teaching soul mates. Everything he says or recommends I’ve either done in one – but less purposefully, or have contemplated. One thing he recommends is for teachers to focus their “personal for pleasure” reading on books that fit the age group they are teaching. I haven’t been doing very good at this…so teacher vow: “I solemnly swear to read MOSTLY YA lit this year” (except for during my commute when I listen to books). I highly recommend this book if you are looking for ideas for reading or are looking to be inspired!
2. Judy Sierra’s “Que locura por la lectura” which also comes in English “Crazy About Reading”. This is a book that is great for almost any grade level. It’s well written and clever. Older kids will appreciate they lyricism and wit of the text. I’m looking forward to using this to set the tone in my classroom – Reading is AMAZING!
3. Gordon Zorman’s “The Island”. This was my first read by this prolific author. It was a little slow to start but I’m a sucker for anything that is a series! I love following characters indefinitely. I think this will be a great read for 5th graders – they will have to “freshen up” on their nautical vocabulary though!
4. Andrew Clements’ Frindle. I LOVED this book. The characters were all likable and the school setting didn’t feel contrived at completely out of touch the way some do. This is another read I hope to share with my students this year.
5. Thanhha Lai’s “Inside Out & Back Again”. I’m about a quarter through this book. This is an interesting read about a young girl in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It is written from her perspective in verse. This isn’t a book I would normally pick up, as I prefer prose, but it is well done. I’m amazed at how much of her spirit, wit and will come through this writing style – more so than in your average novel!
6. Julie Kagawa’s “The Immortal Rules”. The first in a trilogy – which means it leaves the reader desperate for the second book. Typical! After Twilight I haven’t really read any vampire books, but this one was more “The Passage” meets “Hunger Games”. I enjoyed it, and found the writing to be well done and the characters interesting. I’m curious to see how the story continues. I do not think I’ll be sharing this one with my fifth graders. :)
7. Pam Muñoz Ryan’s “The Dreamer”. I’m actually reading the Spanish version “El soñador”. A good friend of mine did not enjoy the English version, but so far I’m enjoying the Spanish version. This story is about Pablo Neruda a famous Chilean poet. I’m only part way through but is following him through his childhood. The books is written in a mixture of prose, verse and stream of consciousness all from Neruda’s p.o.v. I do not know that this would be a great read aloud as a whole, but there are many brilliant sections with beautiful language for teaching visualizations, sensory language and figurative language. Also, if you ever want a peek into the mind of someone who is brilliant/incredibly easily distracted this book does it! Anything by Pam Muñoz Ryan is bound to be good in my opinion.
Do you have any recommendations for 5th grade? I’m making near daily library trips, so recommendations are BIENVENIDOS!
Come “friend” me on Goodreads if you’re a YA reader too!
my read shelf:
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