Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Slice of Life Tuesday: Building Community Through Read Alouds

 One of the best ways to develop a community of learners in the classroom is a good read aloud.  Last year I picked up a picture book written by my friend, Lola Schaefer. The book caught my attention with the cover, but also because I now have a young grandson who loves numbers. The book: Lifetime, The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives, seemed like the perfect book for him.  However, when I got it home and read through it, I realized it had LOTS more to offer!
On first glance, I noticed the large pictures that covered whole pages. I noticed short pieces of writing on each page. I noticed things that would attract a young reader. I was sure my grandson would LOVE this book!  Numbers, animals, and lots of big pictures!
Then I looked at it with the eyes of a writing teacher, a teacher for older students who would be writing nonfiction books. This book is perfect for a study in science. What a model for those students.  Then I went to the very end of the book.  There I found several pages the older readers would enjoy. The section on The Animals told the exact scientific name for animals and gave information about them. The section on What Is An Average? gives those students information about how as a writer, Lola processed what she needed to write this book.  Last of all, the section: I Love Math shows how reading, writing and math all go together. She gives the readers the insight on how she had to find facts by solving problems. Then she gives a few problems for the reader to solve.
Once again, Lola amazes me with her talent. She has a love for kids, nature and writing! If you want to find out more about her, check out her website: www.lolaschaefer.com  Thanks, Lola, for another wonderful book!


  1. I love books that have so many learning opportunities built in. How special that she is your friend.

  2. Looks like a lovely book - I'll have to check it out!

  3. I've seen this book and just love it!