Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Classroom Pig!

Yesterday Sassy Pants and I went to a third grade classroom. I read two chapters of Sassy Pants. One of the students brought her copy to class for her teacher. Even the big wiggly boys sat and listened! They gasped at Sassy Pants bad behaviors, oh-ed and laughed in all the right places. It was great fun.
Questions and answer time was lively too! How did I get the idea? Did I have a favorite pet animal? But the question that came the quickest and loudest was: “Are there more Sassy Pants stories?” The answer “Yes” was greeted with wide grins, quiet clapping, a little bouncing in place and another question: “When can we get it and where?”
Sassy Pants Makes Amends, a story about how to fix a friendship when you are the one who broke it is currently starting production July of 2011. It will take approximately 6 months to make it into a book—we may have some “pre-release” copies available around Christmas time. That is the way it worked with Sassy Pants, so that is my hope for this one as well. I will keep you posted. You will be able to buy pre-release copies from my website:  Judging from the reaction of these third graders, it will be a hit!
Then the teacher asked me to ask the children questions. My first question was, “Do you think Sassy Pants thought about the consequences of her actions?” That met with a resounding, “NO!” We talked about choices and consequences; about how all our choices have consequences. Some we like and some we don’t. That question sparked a quick segue to the issue of bullying. Sassy Pants was the barnyard bully and several children were ready to tell their tale of being bullied. No one likes it—it is not to be tolerated. We even had some stories of encounters with electric fences—they hurt! And that was the segue to talk about boundaries and learning the hard way and the easy way about what is allowed and what is not—which is are kid boundaries whereas the electric fence is a pig boundary.
A neat thing about these books is the free audio version. Each book has a free download code in the back of the book. You can download the audio, burn a CD for the car or the computer. It is also a help for struggling readers to “read along,” it assists with word recognition and fluency. Also, for homeschooling parents: You can download a parent/teacher manual with suggestions for how you can use the book. (I didn’t think it would be cool to include it in the book when a child would be reading it!)
Until next time...

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