Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Guided Reading Book Recommendation for Workshop Wednesday

Hey there!  We are linking up with our friend J to the Ivey for:

Today's topic is to pick ONE book that we like to use in guided reading groups.  I think I sort of helped with this topic choice but now I don't want to take credit because once I started trying to think of just ONE book, I had a hard time narrowing it down.  So if you had a hard time too, it wasn't me...  ;O)

So, I'll try to stick with the rule, but I may bend it a little...

I really LOVE Kate DiCamillo books for guided reading groups.  But again, I couldn't just pick one of hers that I like, so I was at a loss.  Here are the ones I really like...and they are great read-alouds too!

These are definitely for upper grades...but they are all soooooo good!

Ok, back to the straight and narrow!!  ONE guided reading book that I really do think lends itself to small group is:

The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman.  This book is recommended for grades 4 and up!

The reason I think this is a great book for small group guided reading is because it is written from different points of view.  Each character gets to tell "their side" of what happens throughout the story.  It looks something like this:
The pages are divided by character "stories" all about the same scenario.  It could get confusing, BUT, when I read it with a small group, they decided that they wanted to take "parts" and read it like that.  They had a lot of fun "acting" as the characters.  I liked that they could see so many view points and really analyze so many different characters all at one time.  It was great for character analysis!!

Here's the summary from Amazon:  
Meet the D Squad, a foursome of fifth graders at the Grand Canyon School made up of a geek, a class clown, a teacher's pet, and a slacker. They are bound together by one very big secret: the homework machine. Because the machine, code-named Belch, is doing their homework for them, they start spending a lot of time together, attracting a lot of attention. And attention is exactly what you don't want when you are keeping a secret.  Before long, things start to get out of control, and Belch becomes much more powerful than they ever imagined. Now the kids are in a race against their own creation, and the loser could end up in jail...or worse!

The group really loved this book, and they were really excited to hear about the sequel:

But I won't talk about that...because I'd really be breaking the rules and I think I did enough of that!  But I think Jivey will forgive me!!  (fingers crossed)

What are some guided reading books you feel are great for small groups?


  1. Of course I forgive you!! Mainly because you made me crack up with J to the Ivey!! ;-) I will have to check out Homework Machine next year! And the sequel!! :)
    J to the Ivey
    ideas by jivey
    Follow Me On Facebook! :)

  2. Great choice! We love Kate DiCamillo. I have a reluctant reader that just recently got hooked on her books. He's currently not so reluctant, as he whizzed through The Tiger Rising already this week and it's only Wednesday! I will definitely be investing in more of those! Thanks for sharing. :)
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  3. I love my sweethearts but they are still reading K's and L's! I will have to wait (im)patiently. We just read Andy Shane and the Very Bossy Dolores Starbuckle and were cracking up the whole time!


  4. I love Kate DiCamillo, my kids love her stuff. Dan Gutman's books are so great too. They are always a favorite.

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  5. I like that the kids decided to read the book in parts. What a great way to work on expression when reading. I think I will check these books out for teaching point of view next year. I am going to say something that I know people will be shocked by, but I don't love Tale of Desperaux, there I said it.

  6. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Kate DiCamillo. I have SO many reluctant readers who just love her books! It's taken a few years to decide, but I think the Tiger Rising is my favorite.
    I'll have to check out the Homework Machine for next year!



  7. The Homework Machine is a great books and the kiddos love to read it. I recommended Edward Tulane too -- my all time fave! :)

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  8. I had two boys read Tale of Desperaux...they liked it! One of my girls just wrote a letter to Dan Gutman telling him how much she enjoyed his books! (practicing those letter writing skills!)

    :) Kaitlyn
    Smiles and Sunshine

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  10. Homework Machine sounds right up my alley. I have never heard of it, but I really love books with multiple points of views. Thanks for sharing. I am going to check it out!

    Eclectic Educating

  11. This book sounds like so much fun. It's on my list now. Thanks for sharing, Heather

  12. My students love The Homework Machine and The Return of the Homework Machine. I never thought about reading it during small groups. It is going on my list of sets to buy this summer! Thank you for sharing!

    Foreman Teaches

  13. I love Kate DiCamillo too!! Because of Winn Dixie has always been a class favorite but I didn't use it with my reading groups this year or last because so many students had already seen the movie. I don't know why that bothers me so much if they watch it prior to reading.
    I didn't realize that the Homework Machine had a sequel. Thanks so much for sharing!!
    Fourth Grade Flipper


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