Although some of Ms. Codell's ideas--like making a Time Machine--are certainly more "classroom-y", our Reading Corner was an offspring idea from her brainstorming. I took over a corner of the family room, set up a comfy chair, and placed a huge basket beside it that is now crammed full of books and books on tape/CD. Perhaps the biggest allure of the Reading Corner is that as soon as a child is seated in the chair, I serve him or her a special snack to munch on while reading. Since food is otherwise prohibited anywhere but at the table, this is quite a novel idea and thus a huge draw for them. Regardless of the true reason they fight over who goes first in the Reading Corner, they are nevertheless spending a half hour each day reading on their own.One other idea I wrestled with for quite some time. I heard about the Captain Underpants series back when I taught second grade. I was then appalled by such titles as "Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants." However, that was before I realized I had a struggling reader. And a struggling reader who giggles at the mere mention of underwear or poop. While the Captain Underpants series goes against all I value as an English teacher and lover of good literature and all I strive for as a well-mannered mommy, I knew the series was a match for my boys.
So I ordered five of them, and they came yesterday afternoon. The boys couldn't wait to get to them after basketball and showers. Funny thing is the boy for whom I really bought these books said they look too hard for him to read and thus did not even try. Instead, he quickly settled for letting his little brother read the good parts to him....while he zoomed around the house in his skivvies and a cape (sorry--these pictures are reserved for my scrapbook only...and perhaps the wedding rehearsal dinner of a certain young man). I suppose I shouldn't be so critical of books about poop; I did, after all, once write my own little potty book.