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Not such a good choice for my 3rd graders after all . . .
on April 21, 2009
As a 3rd grade teacher, I was looking for a fun book to read my students. I chose to read my favorite read-a-aloud book from when I was growing up, Sideways Stories from Wayside School. While I have gotten quite a good response from my students, the book is not all I remember it to be. While this is a children's book and not all of the stories are supposed to make perfect sense, many of the stories lack nearly all logic which makes the stories almost confusing at times.
In addition to the over-the-top silliness, there are many references to "fat" children in the book. I personally don't encourage name-calling in my classroom (nor do I think any good teacher does), and this book teaches many euphemisms for the word "fat." Also, Chapter 20 is about a student named Kathy and the cats she abuses - another story encouraging terrible behavior.
I found myself doing a lot of on-the-spot editing as I read; attempting to quickly make changes as necessary to make sure I did not read the part about how one of the students was "as big as a cow" or how "Kathy would just kill her next pet before it had the chance to run away from her." Not such a good choice for my 3rd graders after all . . .