I've never a full count of them, but my estimate would be that I personally own at least 150 different children's books. That includes picture books as well as reading books. Most of them are display in various locations around my classroom simply because I think it does children so much value just to actually see books because they may not have any at home. Especially the kids who come to my school because we live in a low-income area where 95% the students throughout the school qualify for free lunch. Since they are kindergarteners, most of the books they actually pick up are picture books or have limited vocabulary.
A: Well, our school instituted a mandatory two hour reading block for all grades. Obviously, the way this is conducted in kindergarten is different from the higher grades. Much of our reading time is spent in reading groups, actually. We have some computer programs and we have worksheets, but I always try to spend at least half the time with actual books in their hands. The terrific thing about the level of children's books I use in kindergarten is that after seven years I have memorized quite a bit of them. Verse books especially. This allows me to actually watch them as they get stuck on a word while I am following along in my head.
Q: If you've memorized some of the books and you have over one-hundred of them, I would imagine that would mean there are some favorites that get read every single year What kind of books are favored among kindergarteners in the 21st century
A: The doctor never fails. Dr. Seuss is just as popular now as ever. It might be the verbal play and silly words, but at the same time they enjoy books about Charlie Brown and the "If you give a" series. Of course, when it comes to having kids actually looking through a book on their desk, you can't beat Eric Carle.
Q: As an educator, why do you think Dr. Seuss is as popular in 2008 as he was in 1968
A: I may be the wrong person to ask. Quite evidently, the rhymes and the made-up words appeal to kids. Dr. Seuss is fun to listen to and the illustrations obviously have great appeal. Any book with humorous drawings is a guaranteed hit among kindergarteners. But I think my particular experiences with Dr. Seuss may differ from others.
Q: Could others learn from your experience Do you think this experience with Dr. Seuss is something that could be translated into a standard lesson plan or curricula
A: The way I deal with rhyming books and Seuss in general is not something that I would consider standardizing. You have to have a flair for the dramatic and even a certain willingness to kind of make a fool of yourself, I guess. The language and fun and humor of Seuss in particular, but most kindergarten-level rhyming book in general, may appeal to contemporary students even more than students in 1968 or 1988. The rhythm of these books is instantly recognizable to most of my students, and probably every American student, as a form of rap. So, even though I'm not a fan of rap music or consider myself a great rapper, I know I can reach these students by turning Dr. Seuss into a rap song. Any