Global Read Aloud – Week One

Our class is participating in the 2013 Global Read Aloud!  That means that we are reading aloud a book that is being read to thousands of other 4-6th grade students as well.  The name of the book for our age group is Out of My Mind.  It is written by Sharon Draper.  Here is a trailer for the book.  It gives you a sense of what the book is about.

Last week we read chapters 1-6.  Melody, the main character, lays it on us right away.  She loves words.  She has always loved words … except that even though she is eleven, she has never spoken them.  And she never will.

In one of those chapters she talks about music, and how she sees colors and connects smells with different kinds of music.  Her favorite type of music is country.  When she listens to country music, she smells lemons.  She smells sweet lemons.  I asked my students about music in their lives.  Here are some of the responses they have posted on their blogs.

“To me pop and upbeat music has always made me happy.  Pop music is nice because you can dance to all of it.  I myself love to dance.  I took lessons for a little bit, but then after that my teacher stopped teaching for a while so I did it on my own.  My friend and I have made up a lot of dances which are all perfected in anyway possible.  Fast and upbeat music has always seemed like bright stage lights and loud comfident voices. I don’t mean like heavy metal or anything like that. I mean One Direction, Ke$ha, and artists like that .  How do you feel about music?  How does it make you feel?”      ~ Hannah

“Melody likes country music like I do.  It makes me feel really happy.  My older brother Mitch turns on country in our car all the time.   He turns the music up as loud as he can, and we sing as loud as we can.  When  people drive past us, they look at us like we’re crazy.   We kind of  are crazy in a good way.   My friend Sage and I do they same thing. We will be in her front yard playing, and we just randomly start singing.   Sage likes hip hop too so we sing a mixture of country and hip hop. ”     ~ Maddie

 “I love country music. There’s one song that reminds me of my grandpa serving  in the army.  I love hearing that song because then I don’t forget him.  I really miss him.  Hearing that song really brings my heart out.  The song really brings a lot of color in my life.  Only that song makes me move on.”      ~ Ezra

“Music really helps me  get through the rough times in my life. When I am down in the dumps, and I feel there is nothing that can make it better, there is actually a way.  I think of the country songs I love. I think of the song and how good it is.  A country song really tells a story about  life and how troubling it is during hard times. When something bad happens, I relate to the song that tells that same story. That is how I relate to music.”         ~ Ryan

“I like to hum songs in my head all the time. I think Melody singing in her head is a normal thing.  Music  sorta is my passion I like all types  of music –  rock,  pop , and country.  It helps me relax or calm down.  Music plays a big part in my life.”      ~ Landin

Further along in our reading we met Mrs. V.  Melody went to her house after school most days.  Mrs. V was different than any other adult in Melody’s life.  I asked the students why Mrs. V was an amazing woman.  I also asked if my students ever had a “Mrs. V. in their lives.  Her are some more responses copied from their blogs.

“We are reading a book called Out Of My Mind.  There is a woman named Mrs.V, and a girl named Melody.  Melody can’t talk, move her arms, can’t keep her balance, and can’t talk.  Mrs.V made  a commitment to help Melody.  When Melody was a baby, Mrs.V got Melody to roll over and grab her toy.

I am in gymnastics and my coaches are like my Mrs.V.  One time we were working on round offs and I thought I couldn’t do it, but my coach told me I could.  When I tried, I messed up, but my coaches told me to keep trying.”       ~ Abby

“My Mrs.V is my mom.  Every day I learn something new from my mom.  She taught me how to play recorder.  She is the best baker in the world.  When I was 2, years old she tried to teach me the alphabet, and I tried my best.  My mom bought me a Letter Board when I was three.  Man, I  would type in words and screech with laughter.  That’s why I picked her.”      ~Brogan

“Hi there.   Mrs.V is inspirational to me because she did not give up on Melody. When other people looked at Melody, Mrs.V just looked at her like anyone else –  not someone who is different or weird.   To me my Mrs.V is my dad because he pushes me to my very best with everything from soccer to school to everything.   My mom also.   Who is your Mrs.V?”     ~ Maya

“Mrs.V is another character in the book we are reading.  Mrs.V is the only person who doesn’t think Melody is dumb.  Melody would go over to Mrs.V’s when her parents couldn’t watch over her.  Melody would go over to her house every day after school.  Mrs.V gave Melody sweets and soda when her parents would just give her milk or juice.  Mrs.V taught Melody how to say some words by putting a plexiglass tray on her wheelchair with the words that she wanted to say.  She also taught Melody how to flip her body over, and what to do if she fell out of her wheel chair.  Melody loves Mrs.V.  My parents are kind of like my Mrs.V.”      ~Zoe

“I think Mrs.V is amazing.  Teaching Melody to roll over!  She did what the parents did not.”      ~ Austin

Please feel free to comment to this post.  My students and I would love your feedback!

7 thoughts on “Global Read Aloud – Week One

  1. I was talking to my mom about our Global Read Aloud book and showed her this video. My mom works with kids like Melody and with kids with other disabilities, so I thought this book would be a really good book for her to read. After we watched the video, she told me about a scientist who is creating voices for machines like the MediTalker that Melody uses. The great thing about her research is that she can take a sample of even a small bit of someone’s voice and map it on to one of the computer voices. My mom said that means that the voice from the MediTalker will actually be the voice that the child would have if that person was able to talk. She saw an interview with a mom and her 17 year old daughter and the first time they both heard the daughter’s voice. She said they both cried because they were so happy. Maybe Melody will have her own voice some day. I love what my mom does because it makes me so happy that she helps kids like Melody.

  2. Hi Mrs.Steven!!!
    How is your new classroom?
    I miss you so so so much. You were probably the best teacher ever. I hope your new class loves you too!

    -Saphire:)

    • Saphire,
      It’s so good to hear from you! Hope all is well in 6th grade. I definitely miss your smile and, well, everything about you!

      The new room is great, although it feels smaller. As you can see, we’re keeping very busy back here in 5th grade.

      ~ Mrs. Steven 🙂

  3. I agree that it is a great book. We get to see the world from Melody’s perspective. When I think about her, I think about other people I’ve known who were like Melody in some ways.

    I worked for a short time in a classroom like the one Melody described. None of the children in the class could communicate by talking. They used words and pictures on their plexiglass tray like Melody does. But that didn’t work for everyone. The teacher kept trying to think of ways to help them express themselves. She was definitely a Mrs. V!

    • I agree it is a neat way to see stuff in Melody’s perspective.

      It must have been very interesting to see how Melody sort of lives her life. Why did you help out in that classroom? What did it feel like? Please comment back.

      Keep On Blogging Mrs. Steven,

      -Farmboy 920

      • I helped out in that classroom as a part of my college requirements for becoming a teacher. We could actually help out in any classroom, but that was a classroom I was unfamiliar with so that’s the classroom I chose. I became very attached to the children in that room. I got to know their personalities. Like I said in my previous comment, their teacher was a Mrs. V. She taught me that as a teacher you should never stop thinking of new ways to help a child express his/her feelings and thoughts.

  4. I love that book so much Mrs. Steven. The fascinating part of that book is that she is diagnosed with a disease, and she is smarter than most of the fourth graders. It is so sad that she can’t express her feelings. I have sympathy for Melody. What do you think is fascinating about Melody Mrs. Steven? Please share your thoughts.

    Keep On Blogging Mrs. Steven,

    -Farmboy 920

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