Hooray for Mo Willems. I decided that September would be Mo Willems month in my classroom. Usually I have this “welcome to school” theme and I read all these books about school, but this summer I admitted to myself that I think all those books are boring, so I went straight to a unit on bugs and an author study on Mr. Willems, my hero.
I also decided to start the Repeated Interactive Read-Aloud method right away. So I dug out the Knuffle Bunny lesson plan I wrote last year, and on Monday, we read the book for the first time.
The children loved it. On Wednesday, we did the second reading, and I had the class in the palm of my hand. They raised their hands (or shouted out, in some cases) often to make comments and answer my questions.
On Thursday, we did the third reading, and Max came back from OT part-way through and exclaimed, “Knuffle Bunny!” with glee and joined us on the carpet as quickly as he could. My native Spanish speakers (except for Lola, who wasn’t talking to her invisible friend, but wasn’t paying attention to the story, either) followed along and a few of them even raised their hands and whispered a few words in answer to my questions.
My most reliable participants in the discussion were David, Trixie, and one other little boy, but the pattern is being set. Miss Nelson said she was impressed, and I told her I’m teaching them how to discuss books.
The best moment, however, was when they noticed the man in the park who is wearing Pigeon t-shirt. “The pigeon!” they shouted, and all was happiness.