Read your books

It is very important that we are intentional with everything that we do in the classroom.  I have seen teachers who, wanting a literacy rich classroom, fill their rooms with books.  Everywhere you turn there are books.  This isn’t a bad thing. 

However, I caution you to be intentional in the books you put out.  Make sure there is a good balance of fiction and non-fiction, fantasy, real, science, math, language, and all levels.

I was at Costco this weekend and was looking through the various books they had for children.  Costco is a great place to get what I call “toy books”.  These are books that do have words and are meant to be read, but they are much more interactive than literacy based.

They aren’t bad to have around, but again, be careful and intentional.  Why do I emphasize this point?  Because of the following:'

I picked up this book that is a foam book, so probably intended for the Infant/Toddler reader.  It is called a Lift & Look Opposites, therefore, I already know that it will be about things that are opposites.  It looks cute enough at the front

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It actually wasn’t too bad.  It had simple sentences that worked through as rhymes.  This is always a bonus so that it becomes predictable somewhat as well as easy to memorize. 

I was chuckling to myself knowing that those shaped puzzle type pieces that popped in and out as the lift & look would often be found strewn about.  The children will LOVE taking these out. 

Then I got to the last page.  If you can’t see it says, “Cheetah is fast.  Who is slow?”  Think you know the answer?

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I forget what the line before it said, but I thought I knew for sure that it was going to be a snail.  To my surprise, this is what I saw:

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WHAT!?!  Do you see it, too?  That, dear readers, is a BEE front and center.  I was shocked.  I stuck the piece back in and turned to my husband.  I said, “Honey, what’s the first thing you see when I take this off.” 

I took the piece out and he said, “A bee.”

Yep, that bee is front and center and BIGGER than the snail to which the child is supposed to be looking at.  It says, “Snail is slow.”

It actually took me a pause to notice that the snail was even there.  He is just kicking it back there on the fence, almost blended in to the background.  He gets completely missed!

I wasn’t really looking to buy any books that day; however, if I was, this would be reason enough for me to not purchase this book.

This is what I mean when I say we have to be intentional in what we bring into the classroom.

What’s the worst mistake you’ve noticed in a children’s book?  What’s the best children’s book you have ever seen?  What’s the most surprisingly good book you have ever seen?

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