Friday, March 6, 2015

Read-Alouds and Digital Citizenship - Virginia is for Book Lovers Blog Hop

I'm always excited to join my VA blogger buds for a blog hop.  This time we're embracing our love of reading! Each of us will be sharing a book and resource that we LOVE to use in the classroom for this very special hop. Even more THRILLING, is that you'll find a book giveaway on each page of the hop, with a super huge giveaway at the end over at Mrs. O Knows.

Mom and Dad always read to my sister and I growing up; picture books, chapter books, fairy tales, comics in the paper, the Bible, everything.  Traci was two years older and started reading independently before me, so then she ended up modeling it for me as well.  Mom took us to the library a lot.  I know for years I always checked out Colleen Moore's Fairy Tale Dollhouse book.  Never even read it until I was 32, but I adored the pictures and made up my own thoughts and stories to go along with what I saw.

I grew up in Alaska.  and I know there were book stores, because I can remember always visiting "The Book Cache".  But I think I bought a great many books at the grocery store. They had books at in the checkout lanes as impulse sales. Get a pack of green Hubba Bubba and a book.  Good times. When we went to the store, often we were told before we even made it through the doors that we were not buying anything not on the list.  But get to the check out counter and ask for a book, and Mom and Dad never said no.  Traci and I ended up with countless Archie Digests and fantasy chapter books this way.

My first year teaching fourth grade, I started building up a class library.  I only filled one four shelf bookcase that year.  By my ninth year, I'd graduated to needing six book cases and I was up to 50 labeled baskets.  A bit out of control, perhaps, but I love it!

I like to vary my read-alouds between picture books and chapter books for variety.  Shocking that I'm a little ADD, I know. When I first started teaching second grade seven years ago, I was a bit worried about having to give up my chapter books.  But it turns out- chose the right one, and there's nothing to worry about!

The Shredderman Series by Wendelin Van Draanen turns out to be perfect for second graders for a couple of reasons.  One, there is the occasional cartoon picture.  And they come often enough to keep the kids antsy to see it.  Two, the main character is in fifth grade- so the maturity level is not too far out of their frame of perspective. Three, the issues of bullying, good kid standing up against tyranny, and wishing to be a superhero are all applicable to the seven/eight year old mind.  Plus, as an added bonus, as you read it aloud, you get to say "butt".  This thrills the second grader to no end.

My students beg me for this book every year.  And they even check it out from the library, and beg me to continue reading the rest of the series.  Interest engagement alone makes this book worth it.

However, in the past few years, society norms have changed enough to make this book interesting for kids and teachers in a new way.  Published in 2004, anti-bully campaigns in schools were already in full force- but cyber bullying was not quite getting the attention yet that it does today.  For this reason, I like to read Shredderman to my second graders with the lens of thinking about the choices Nolan makes to end the physical and emotional bullying at school through his website.  It's a great way to talk about digital citizenship, and whether or not Nolan should have made other choices when working against Bubba.  It's also a great book to read with kids to talk about the choices the adults make in regards to the bullying both at school and over the web.

I read this book in the first month of school prior to introducing my kids to their digital portfolios and while I also teach them about writing appropriate response comments in our other website uses.  It allows for discussion on building a classroom community, establishing group norms, and also discussing citizenship in both the digital world and the real one.

My simple freebie includes a Digital Citizenship poster, and a book discussion form to talk about Nolan's choices.  This will be a forever freebie offered at my store.  Click the picture to go get your download!

Fill out the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win your own Paperback copy of Shredderman: Secret Identity by Wendelin Van Draanen.  I'm willing to mail it anywhere, so no worries if you're overseas! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure you hop through all nineteen of us, and don't forget the Amazing Mega-Giveaway at the end of the hop at Rachel's Mrs. O Knows page.  There you can try to win ALL NINETEEN of the books in one go.  Each one of us will individually mail you our book.  Just imagine getting nineteen different packages at your door, each box with an amazing read-aloud for your kids!

Click below to keep on hopping to Jen at An Adventure in Literacy!

An Adventure in Literacy


  1. I actually host parent evenings on digital citizenship and cyberbullying. I did my dissertation on cyberbullying, so I love finding new resources to share with parents and students. This book looks awesome! I am definitely keeping my fingers crossed for this one!

  2. I love your freebie on digital citizenship! Shredderman looks like an awesome series too!


  3. Great resource, thank you! We have a great discussion at the beginning of the year talking about the importance of safety on the Internet.

  4. I think it's a prerequisite to be a teacher to have a book and school supply addiction. I have had to scale back on the library myself ;) I'm definitely adding this to my list of books, it's such an important topic and information for kids now.

    Owls and Lessons, Etc.

  5. Great resource! This is such an important topic! Thanks for sharing this.

  6. We have discussions about safety and post the rules in the room. We are explicitly clear on what they can and cannot access. And we monitor closely.

  7. Great ideas about digital citizenship. Thanks for the book ideas.

  8. Lots of discussions and monitoring! :) This looks like a fabulous book- I need it for my seconds. :)

  9. I have heard of this book but never seen it. My son would have loved it when he was in second grade, and many of the boys I work with would love it too. Will have to look into this one!

    Reading Toward the Stars

  10. Many of my books came from the grocery store, too. Our grocery store used to have a collection and they would sell 1 book for a cheaper price and then hook you on it and feel the rest of the set at regular price. For this reason, I had a lot of first books in a series. Hubba Bubba wasn't a bad add-on, but I think I may have preferred to add a roll of Neccos or some wax bottle candy! Simpler times!

    I love that your book is from the perspective of a fifth grader, because it will allow my bigger kids to make a connection to a story with an important lesson.

  11. We have discussions on internet safety at the beginning of the year. Parents also fill out forms on internet safety.

  12. Thanks for introducing me to this book! It sounds great! I talk about it with my students.

  13. This looks like a great book. I love to catch my students' interest with books that are part of a series!

  14. Heather-I just love your posts. I still recall your first hop post, and I always look forward to seeing what you have in store with these things. Shredderman sounds just my alley. I love finding what the kids love. That's why I'm going to meet Jeff Kinney with Gary's videotaped questions. LOL! It's all about connecting with kids, right?? Thanks for sharing!

  15. Our guidance counselor does different lessons throughout the year.

  16. I haven't heard of this one before but I think I may share it with my fourth graders (if only for the opportunity to hear them giggle when I read the word butt:)

  17. I use the online free Be CyberSafe! Lessons...all grades from k through high school, with lesson plans & Common Core alignments.

  18. I have never had a lesson or discussion with my students about this but I will now!