RDG 6319 Foundations of Reading, Summer 2017 discussion

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Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary

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message 1: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (drld) | 14 comments Mod
I really like the style Beverly Cleary uses to tell the story.


message 2: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Wolf (mrskewolf) | 51 comments I don’t want to say that I didn’t like this book, but I don’t want to say that I did, either. I enjoyed the storyline, but it definitely took me more than a chapter to get interested in it. I found myself annoyed by Leigh, the main character. He seemed to be so whiny! However, as his story developed, and he kind of “found himself” as a writer, I decided I could like him a little bit.

His story hits close to home for me...my parents were divorced and my dad walked out of our life, even though he promised he would always call or come visit. Like Leigh, I remember the anger I used to feel towards my dad and eventually learning to forgive him and move on from the crappy things he did to me and my family.

I thought that the problem of the lunchbox thief that he had to overcome was a good way to process the internal problem that he was facing with his emotions. He had to go beyond what he knew and figure out how to fix it. In the end, I wasn’t ready for the book to be over, but I thought that it progressed nicely after a slow start.


message 3: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Skiles | 14 comments This book took only 2 days for Megan and me to read. I had read this when I was younger and loved it. So happy to see it on this list, as I had forgotten just how wonderful this book is. It touched Megan’s, heart. This book is also fun for young readers who want to become writers I think. I like how this book has a very real life feel to it.


message 4: by Ariel (new)

Ariel Peaks | 14 comments The way this book is written is very interesting!! The approach to how the book was organized is very interesting. I will read this book to be students because I think it is a fun book. I would have the student write questions and ask their classmates the questions. Then I would give the students the chance to make a fun book out of them.


message 5: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Ram Gosnell | 42 comments I love epistolaries! The book is funny, sad, and thought provoking, but I did not like it as much as I thought I would. As a huge fan of the Ramona books, I was surprised I did not feel the same way. I can absolutely relate to divorce, and how inadequate or angry one can feel. Although it has been about 26 years since my parents divorced, I still feel some of these feelings the book presents. That definitely makes it a great read as a teachable moment.

Overall, the ending disappointed me; I guess I thought more would come from Mr. Henshaw, or we would discover the burglar, or something drastic would happen with the “new family.” That is probably why I am so critical of this book; however, the book is not meant to end excitingly, and if it did it would not be as realistic.


message 6: by Erica (new)

Erica Morales | 25 comments This was my first time reading this book and I really loved it. I thought it was lighthearted and real. I found it funny that Leigh was so annoyed with having to answer Mr. Henshaw's questions, but it ended up helping him. The idea of keeping a journal ended up being almost therapeutic for Leigh.
I like the idea of writing a journal and think students would enjoy keeping a journal of their own after reading this book. It would be a fun way to get them interested in writing.


message 7: by Hilda (new)

Hilda Lerma | 41 comments After I read this book, I felt that this book would really connect with fifth and sixth graders. At first, Leigh seems like a brat, but then I realized he was going through a hard life at home without a dad. I actually connected with Leigh's mother because I went through a separation as well. This makes me think about how might my kids feel about not seeing their dad for weeks. The book's format is easy to read and the text is "chunked" and gets longer at the end. This would be a great book to introduce to students.


message 8: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Ram Gosnell | 42 comments Stephanie wrote: "This book took only 2 days for Megan and me to read. I had read this when I was younger and loved it. So happy to see it on this list, as I had forgotten just how wonderful this book is. It touched..."

I agree! It is really realistic, and it would probably personally help a few students in the class with understanding their issues that Leigh also has to deal with.


message 9: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Ram Gosnell | 42 comments Erica wrote: "This was my first time reading this book and I really loved it. I thought it was lighthearted and real. I found it funny that Leigh was so annoyed with having to answer Mr. Henshaw's questions, but..."

I think having the students create their own journal is a great way to connect to writing using authentic learning. I think it is important to not read the journals; perhaps just have everyone hold up their pages each time rather than collect at all. The entries could be in any format, including artistic.


message 10: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Wolf (mrskewolf) | 51 comments Ariel wrote: "The way this book is written is very interesting!! The approach to how the book was organized is very interesting. I will read this book to be students because I think it is a fun book. I would hav..."

I do think this would be a fun book to read to students. When I was in 7th grade, my reading teacher had us keep journals and sometimes SHE would respond to the things we wrote and sometimes she would make us switch with our partners to have us respond to each other!


message 11: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Wolf (mrskewolf) | 51 comments Hilda wrote: "After I read this book, I felt that this book would really connect with fifth and sixth graders. At first, Leigh seems like a brat, but then I realized he was going through a hard life at home with..."

I agree. I think it was a good book to connect to students who want to see something that matches the hardships they go through. Where I'm from, there are a lot of people who drive trucks. I grew up with a lot of friends whose parent was a truck driver, and that parent missed a lot of their life.


message 12: by Erica (new)

Erica Morales | 25 comments Ashley wrote: "I love epistolaries! The book is funny, sad, and thought provoking, but I did not like it as much as I thought I would. As a huge fan of the Ramona books, I was surprised I did not feel the same wa..."

I was hoping he would find the lunchbox thief as well. I think a lot of students would be able to relate to Leigh in some way as well.


message 13: by Erica (new)

Erica Morales | 25 comments Ariel wrote: "The way this book is written is very interesting!! The approach to how the book was organized is very interesting. I will read this book to be students because I think it is a fun book. I would hav..."

The book is written in an interesting format which I feel students would really enjoy for that same reason. I like your idea of having students make a book out of their own questions.


message 14: by Ixtchel (new)

Ixtchel Olalde | 24 comments This book is actually very touching and insightful for some kids. They often think that literature written is about made up stories they won't be able to connect with. However, I shared this with my 4th graders one year, and so many talked about the connections with their own lives. As always we never really know many of the underlying difficulties that our students have as they come to school everyday, but showing them that they can overcome them and helping learn to solve their own problems just as they will have to when they get older as well.


message 15: by Ixtchel (new)

Ixtchel Olalde | 24 comments Hilda wrote: "After I read this book, I felt that this book would really connect with fifth and sixth graders. At first, Leigh seems like a brat, but then I realized he was going through a hard life at home with..."

He does some to be much of a complainer in the beginning, but as some kids do anyhow, they complain or have a negative outlook because of some reason that is known only to them. The important lesson is to let things go that you cannot control, focus on something positive and be constructive with your actions.


message 16: by Ixtchel (new)

Ixtchel Olalde | 24 comments Erica wrote: "This was my first time reading this book and I really loved it. I thought it was lighthearted and real. I found it funny that Leigh was so annoyed with having to answer Mr. Henshaw's questions, but..."

I tried the morning journal with my students one year. First thing in the morning, they would come in and journal their morning thoughts. Whatever it was, they never had to read it or share it. I was the only one that had access to the journals. I wanted it to be a time and place for them to "dump" their worries and be able to move on and focus on their day at school.


message 17: by Hilda (new)

Hilda Lerma | 41 comments Ariel wrote: "The way this book is written is very interesting!! The approach to how the book was organized is very interesting. I will read this book to be students because I think it is a fun book. I would hav..."

I love your idea!


message 18: by Hilda (new)

Hilda Lerma | 41 comments Ixtchel wrote: "Erica wrote: "This was my first time reading this book and I really loved it. I thought it was lighthearted and real. I found it funny that Leigh was so annoyed with having to answer Mr. Henshaw's ..."
I will definitely try this with my students.


message 19: by Tanner (new)

Tanner Pruitt | 11 comments I think at some point in school, especially middle school, students should be encouraged to use a journal whether it be to respond to books or just life in general. We all see what's going on outwardly with our students and our peers, but it is important to keep in mind that we don't know what their home situation or work situation is like. We don't know what they are going through. It is important for students to learn that you never know what someone is going through and they have a safe place to write or talk about it


message 20: by Marcus (new)

Marcus VanBuren | 21 comments Reading this book had me all over the place but I did grow to like it. To see a little boy go through so much as a kid is hard for anyone. He wanted to be an author so bad and he did everything in his power to try and make that happen, but at the same time he wanted his father around. He took a lot of bad and made it positive so that he would not be sad the entire time. Overall to me a great read for someone that has been through a lot as a kid growing up.


message 21: by Marcus (new)

Marcus VanBuren | 21 comments Erica wrote: "This was my first time reading this book and I really loved it. I thought it was lighthearted and real. I found it funny that Leigh was so annoyed with having to answer Mr. Henshaw's questions, but..."

I also felt the same way but to see how he was able to get through the tough times by writing in a journal.


message 22: by Marcus (new)

Marcus VanBuren | 21 comments Hilda wrote: "After I read this book, I felt that this book would really connect with fifth and sixth graders. At first, Leigh seems like a brat, but then I realized he was going through a hard life at home with..."

This is the reason why I want to become a teacher/coach for those kids that does not have that father figure at home. This will be a great read to those type of students.


message 23: by Tien (new)

Tien Dinh | 14 comments This book was quite sad. I honestly would not share this book with my young students because of how disheartening it was. It was an emotional story about a boy going through hardships and the complexity of his feelings. I truly felt like wanting to take care of him and make him happy. I could feel the loneliness of the boy jumping out of the pages which was simply heartbreaking. Overall, the book was just too sad for me to handle.


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