OIS Teacher Feature: Friends Make Reading Fun!

Reading is a focus at Odenville Intermediate School. With so many wonderful teachers and students, you can always find something exciting going on as you walk through the halls, seeking out readers. Take for example, Mrs. Wonert's Class. Mrs. Wonert teaches reading to both a fabulous group of third graders AND to a beloved group of Beanie Baby Friends. During independent reading time, you will see a room full of engaged student readers...why are they so engaged? Well, because they're reading to their "friends"...a Beanie Baby animal friend of their choice. The Beanie Babies seem to enjoy being read TO almost as much as the students enjoy reading! When asked about her flock of readers, this is what Mrs. Wonert had to say:

I "borrowed" this idea from another teacher at Steele Junior High School. However, she allowed students to read to any stuffed animal. I collected beanie babies when I was a child and I came across them again when I was moving houses. I hated seeing them boxed up and put away so..... I thought they would come in handy for silent reading in my classroom. Brilliant idea! I have never seen children get so excited about reading!! Reading with the beanie babies is a reward. Sometimes if my class (as a whole) has been good for the day, I let them read with a beanie baby. I also let them read with them on test days once they have finished taking their test. Seeing my students silently read to them is precious. Some of them put the beanie babies on their shoulders and read; while others have them in front of them reading and showing the book as if they were a teacher! Priceless!

Keep up the great work, Mrs. Wonert. You ARE making a difference...creating life-long lovers of reading!


Remember to Turn in Your Summer Reading Logs!

If you're a student of OIS, be SURE to turn in your Summer Reading Log! You have until the end of the month to get them sent to the library and be eligible for some fun reading rewards. If you've lost your log, you can always write down the books you read and the approximate dates you read them on a sheet of paper. Let us know what you've been reading. It's so good to see all of your smiling faces back at school. We're going to have a great year!


Kohl's Cares - Help OIS Win $500,000!

I love Kohl's. Shopping there is fun and the time, effort and funds they spend giving back to the community are even better. They currently have a program called Kohl's Cares. They're using the month of August to tally votes on Facebook for schools entering the race to win $500,000!!! Here's what you need to know:

*$500,000 will be donated to 20 eligible schools nationwide, for a total of $10 million. Donations are made possible by the Kohl's Cares cause merchandise program.

*You, your school and your community can go to www.facebook.com/kohls to vote and submit program funding ideas.

*The 20 schools that get the most votes and meet eligibility criteria will receive half a million dollars each!!

That's amazing!! The good news is, you can vote for your school up to five times AND you have 20 votes - which means you can vote for 4 different schools - or more schools if you want to spread the love. This is GREAT for people like me who work at one school and have a child at another - I was able to vote for both schools, be fair and not feel guilty - because it only allowed me 5 votes for each. PLEASE - we would love for you to cast your five votes for Odenville Intermediate School. There are things we, our students and community, are in need of desperately...a play ground, cafeteria, music program, art supplies, and of course...materials for our library and classrooms. Won't you do your part and vote today?

Just go here to vote. The children of Odenville THANK YOU! Spread the word!


Free Book App - Plus Free Downloadable Books!

I'll take reading anyway I can get it. To me, there's nothing quiet the same as having an actual book in your hand. However, as an educator of children, it's important to remember that we are CONSTANTLY competing against a vast assortment of technology. If you own a Kindle, you can find a ton of free reading materials online...and even if you don't...you can download an app for reading to your computer, BlackBerry, Android, iPhone or iPad. Cool, huh? Here are a few links to get you started...

Free App for Reading (get this first, then download your books to view)

Books for Kids and Classics

The Velveteen Rabbit

Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know

Free Beatrix Potter Books

The Jungle Book

Children's Hour with Red Riding Hood and Others

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Treasure Island


Gulliver's Travels