Friday, January 13, 2012

Miraculous Journeys of Read Alouds


My day usually starts with a cup of coffee and some great breakfast in the wee hours in the morning--getting to school around 5:20 AM. There is just no way that I could get my "goods" together without getting to school at the butt crack of dawn. It's amazing the things that one is able to get done when no one else is in the building! Grading, emailing, planning, cleaning, etc got done this morning.

Being a Christian in the teaching world isn't the easiest thing simply because the field tries to demand that you never talk about God. I've got news for them--I do anyway! Finding ways to tell the gospel story is a great pleasure of mine, and I just pray that the kids pick up on it. Living in the "Bible Belt" makes it easier since most if not all the kids go to church. Therefore, when choosing read-alouds, I have my absolute favorites that are not only wonderful pieces of literature, but they spread the gospel (take that Washington!!) in a variety of ways.

This time around, I am reading The Miraculous Journery of Edward Tulane. This book teaches the kids so many life lessons with the strongest theme being the power of love of selfishness. The rabbit, Edward, is a great representation of Christ and how he "plays in ten thousand places" (there is a book by Eugene Peterson with this title that is WONDERFUL) in order to identify with "humanity". While reading the book, my heart and spirit just swells thinking about all these amazing themes and with the hope that my students are able to pick up on these in some regard. This is part of my prayers for my students. I do believe that my kids are starting to get it with the evident of their writing. Now if they will turn about and put their learning into action, I would be so excited! One step at a time, ha ha ha.

This is what I did: There is a critical part of the story (don't worry I am not going to give it away just in case you want to read it) that gives you a different view of Edward. I asked the students if they had begun to have sympathy for Edward. Of course they had to explain with details. I was pretty impressed with their answers. I figured I would get a lot of "no"s. However, I got a lot of "yes"s. They explained to me how his character had changed, how people deserve to feel safe, everyone needs a chance to become someone special. They really put a lot of themselves into this and showed how they would treat Edward. It made me feel as if these kids were really learning something important about character.

Story of the week: I know that I have already included one, but this one was just too good in my opinion to not include. I have a noise detector that looks like a traffic light and will sound off if it flashes read. Well, one of my students asked me if the police will come if it goes off. I said that I was like the police that regard. Another one of my students comes up to me and asks me if I have a secret lab under my classroom! Ha ha ha! I said..."why...yes, I do." Oh, there are so many things that I could tell my students about the "secret lab"...hhhhmmmm....how devious am I feeling...

Anywho....The same student asked when we were going to have the rolling computer lab so they could post on the class blog. I told them that it would be a while, but I had a plan. The child proceeds to ask me if I was going to have a "sneak attack"! I mean, what in the world?!?! I just sat there laughing. What else could I do??