Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog

Highlights from the Joy Cowley Classroom Giveaway

Helping to support the Joy Cowley Classroom Giveaway was a group of very enthusiastic education bloggers. We offered these bloggers a chance to conduct their very own Mrs. Wishy-Washy giveaway (offering a Joy Cowley Big Book to one winner from each site) and to get first crack at reviewing a couple of our Mrs. Wishy-Washy books and informing their readers about our classroom nomination contest. Here are highlights from some of more creative posts (in alphabetical order by blog name):

1..2..3..Teach with Me

Written by former teacher Tammy Ferrell, this blog focuses on  grade levels K–2 as implemented in the homeschooling of her two children.

Her post on the Mrs. Wishy-Washy contest and book reviews includes an example of some activities she created to help her son learn using  Mrs. Wishy-Washy and the Big Wash  as the focus of the lesson.

She created a chart with headings and made sticky notes with items to be matched to the headings. Then she had her son (five years old and reading at a first-grade level) match the sticky notes to their corresponding headings. The headings asked the child to identify the title, setting, and characters that were central to the story, and also what problem and solution drove the plot.

Another activity she created for her son was a synonym-matching activity based on vocabulary found in the book. Over on her blog, you can see pictures of the activities she created and read what she had to say about the book.


Catching Readers Before They Fall

Written in support of   the book by the same name ,   Catching Readers Before They Fall   is a blog maintained by the book's authors,   Pat Johnson   and   Katie Keier , that focuses on strategies to help struggling readers in grades K–4.

Katie, with the help of her students, reviewed  Mrs. Wishy-Washy and the Big Wash and   Wishy-Washy Clothes . Unique among our reviewers, Katie gave us some of the children's opinions in their own words:

*Joy Cowley is a smart writer. She knows how to make kids laugh. I love Mrs. Wishy-Washy!

*It was so funny when the animals put on Mrs. Wishy-Washy’s clothes (in the book  Wishy-Washy Clothes) . They looked funny and it made me laugh so hard!

*Joy Cowley writes books for kids that kids like. She makes the characters solve problems in a funny way. Sometimes Mrs. Wishy-Washy gets tricked by the animals. I like that!

Of course, Katie also gives her own reviews from a teacher's perspective. To find out what she thought of the books (and to see more reviews from the kids), check out her page.

I Live 2 Learn, I Love 2 Grow  

The blog of second-grade teacher   Anita Goodwin I Live 2 Learn, I Love 2 Grow   is another place where our Mrs. Wishy-Washy books were reviewed and put to good use in the classroom. Anita had her class pair up with a kindergarten class to put on a "Reader's Theater" skit of  Wishy-Washy Clothes , one of the books from our Joy Cowley Early Birds series that is intended to bring Mrs. Wishy-Washy and friends to a lower-reading-level audience.

They also used   Mrs. Wishy-Washy finger puppets   to make some rhythm videos! You can check out the videos and some images from the skit over on   Anita's blog .

Secrets & Sharing Soda  

This is a book blog dedicated to reviewing and commenting upon   children's and teen fiction. It is written by DC-area children's librarian   Katie Fitzgerald , and she was among the bloggers generous enough to write reviews on the two Mrs. Wishy-Washy books we sent out in advance of our contest.

Katie's reviews were very complete and outstandingly articulate. She did a great job of capturing the aim behind the Joy Cowley Collection and Joy Cowley Early Birds series, including the reading-level differences between the two. For great insight into these fun books, check out the link to her blog!

Think, Wonder, and Teach    

Arizona teacher   Misty Poland   writes this blog, which focuses on teaching and parenting. Her reviews of our Mrs. Wishy-Washy books highlight the level of reading skill and reading readiness at which these books will best serve children.
She compares Mrs. Wishy-Washy to long-beloved children's literature characters Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Amelia Bedelia—an apt comparison, as children who are fans of these characters are sure to love the adventures of Mrs. Wishy Washy and her animal friends.

There were more than thirty other bloggers who also contributed reviews and raised awareness for our Joy Cowley Classroom Giveaway, so there isn't space here to mention them all, but you can find links to more of their blogs on   our Pinterest page ! Keep your eyes open for our next contest—we post them on   our website home page   and   our Facebook page ! If you "like" us on Facebook, you'll receive to-the-minute information as these contests and giveaways are announced.

- Tara Rodriquez

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