Saturday, April 21, 2018

Inaugural Rooster Games

Thanks to all of the students who read RI Children's Book Award books and participated in the first annual Rooster Games, a test of their knowledge of plots, characters, settings, and illustrations. Here are some photos from the night: 

Teams rotated through 5 stations

Our first two arrivals

Serious team photo

Silly team photo


First station: settings. Photo by Michelle Blanchette.



Third station: characters. Photo by Michelle Blanchette
Fourth station: Matching objects to books ... anyone want the rat? I have it!

Last station: Debating trivia answers

Decision made!
Next question!

Thanks to siblings who came along to support the team!






Monday, April 9, 2018

Grade 1 Wockets

I like to have the kids create pages for our own version of mentor texts; they copy the structure of the model and add original words and illustrations. The latest edition of Dr. Seuss' There's a Wocket in My Pocket (Continued) by first graders is now available for checkout! You can preview below: 

















Monday, April 2, 2018

What Ms. Moore Read in March

Here are some of the most recent books I've read and recommend for my students. They're all available from the public library, but any donations towards getting them into our collection are most welcome! Cover images and descriptions are from Goodreads. 

Picture Books



Teddy has a lot of cool toys. But his very favorite doll has the best manners, the sickest fighting skills, and a fierce sense of style. Then one morning, something truly awful happens. And there’s only one woman fierce enough to save the day. Can Teddy’s mom reunite Teddy with his favorite toy? 







Liam really wants some mail, so he writes a letter to his mailbox asking for something in return. His mailbox delivers, sending Liam more than he could have hoped for…and how! But as the mail starts to pile up, Liam realizes that the best packages and parcels are even better when shared with friends.









In this extraordinary new tale from Peter H. Reynolds, Jerome discovers the magic of the words all around him -- short and sweet words, two-syllable treats, and multisyllable words that sound like little songs. Words that connect, transform, and empower. 










"Bus! Stop!" a boy yells, as his bus pulls away one early morning. He must wait for the next bus. But the next one does NOT look like his bus at all. And neither does the next one, or the next. At first, the boy is annoyed. Then he is puzzled. Then intrigued. The other buses look much more interesting than his bus. Maybe he should try a different bus after all, and he's glad he does!









Middle Grade Fiction


In his daydreams, Jensen is the biggest hero that ever was, saving the world and his friends on a daily basis. But his middle school reality is VERY different - math is hard, getting along with friends is hard...Even finding a partner for the class project is a big problem when you always get picked last. And the pressure's on even more once the school newspaper's dynamic duo, Jenny and Akilah, draw Jensen into the whirlwind of school news, social experiment projects, and behind-the-scenes club drama. 




Frances is an observer of both nature and people. She spends most of her time up on the rocks behind her house in her "rock world," as Alvin, her kindhearted and well-read school bus driver, calls it. It's the one place where Frances can truly be herself, and where she doesn't have to think about her older sister, Christinia, who is growing up and changing in ways that Frances can't understand. But when the unimaginable happens, Frances slowly discovers that perhaps the world outside her rugged, hidden paradise isn't so bad after all, and that maybe--just maybe--she can find connection and camaraderie with the people who have surrounded her all along.
For as long as Robinson Hart can remember, it’s just been her and Grandpa. And though she wishes Grandpa would tell her more about the rest of her family, she’s learned over the years that he doesn’t like to talk about the past. But Grandpa’s memory is starting to get bad, and Robbie’s worried that soon he won’t remember their family—including her—at all. She’s sure that he would get better if she could stay out of trouble, but it’s hard to keep her fists to herself. It’s up to Robbie to learn how to deal with her anger and to keep her family together—no matter what.





Nonfiction


Strongheart may have been a movie star, but he wasn't always famous. He started out as a police dog who could sniff out criminals and march like a soldier, but he didn't know how to have fun. Larry Trimble was a Hollywood director who wanted to put Strongheart in his movies—not just as a pet but as the lead actor. Larry taught him to play with toys and walk like a regular dog. In his films, Strongheart brought audiences to tears.





The migrating warblers have arrived, to feed and preen, to refuel and rest before continuing on their amazing journey of thousands of miles. This photographic picture book captures in lush detail the story of these tiny, colorful, and diverse birds. April Pulley Sayre’s vibrant photography has been called “striking” and “wonderful in every way” by Kirkus Reviews. 





This energetic and inspiring picture book biography of activist Jane Addams focuses on the peace work that won her the Nobel Peace Prize. From the time she was a child, Jane's heart ached for others. At first the focus of her efforts was on poverty, and lead to the creation of Hull House, the settlement house she built in Chicago. For twenty-five years, shed helped people from different countries live in peace at Hull House. But when war broke out, Jane decided to take on the world and become a dangerous woman for the sake of peace.


This one-of-a-kind book explores the life and art of Keith Haring from his childhood through his meteoric rise to fame. It sheds light on this important artist's great humanity, his concern for children, and his disregard for the establishment art world. Reproductions of Keith's signature artwork appear in scenes boldly rendered by Robert Neubecker. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Mock Caldecott Voting Results

The American Library Association awards the Caldecott Medal to the artist of "the most distinguished American picture book for children." This year, first- and second-graders chose a title for the Oak Lawn Mock Caldecott by the same illustrator that actually won the official ALA honor: Matthew Cordell. 

 Our book? Bob, Not Bob!, written by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick. The ALA book is Wolf in the Snow, written AND illustrated by Matthew Cordell. So we didn't have the same title, but we had the same person! Here are some reasons the kids voted for it:

  • I like it when he says "No! I wan by Bob, not Bob. Bob! Bob! Bob!"
  • He wanted Mom but had a stuffed nose and said Bob.
  • Because he said "Bob, not Bob!" so many times.
  • I like that it says "ah choo!"
  • They have no idea what he is saying.







A couple other finalists got lots of votes. They include:


Creepy Pair of Underwear, written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown
  • He kept trying to get rid of the underwear and it kept coming back each time.
  • The underwear glows!
  • Because he does not like the underwear, but then he does.
  • I like the creepy underwear.
  • The underwear kept coming to life.
  • When the bunny randomly is in his underwear.
  • The creepy underwear is cute.






Her Right Foot, written by David Eggers and illustrated by Shawn Harris

  • I like the Statue of Liberty.
  • I like green.
  • She goes in the water to go on the stand.
  • It says she's on the move and shows her in different places.
  • It has real history.
  • I did not know that the Statue of Liberty's right foot was up and it looks like she is walking.







Saturday, March 3, 2018

What Ms. Moore Read in February

Here are some of the most recent books I've read and recommend for my students. They're all available from the public library, but any donations towards getting them into our collection are most welcome! Cover images and descriptions are from Goodreads. 

Picture Books


Rot is a mutant potato. Like most mutant potatoes, Rot loves all sorts of games and contests. So when he sees a sign for the “Cutest in the World Contest,” he can’t wait to enter.But when Rot realizes who he’s up against—an itty-bitty baby bunny, a little-wittle cuddly kitten, and an eenie-weenie jolly jellyfish—he loses confidence. Will the judges find room in their hearts for an adorable mutant potato?  





Dear Girl, is a remarkable love letter written for the special girl in your life; a gentle reminder that she’s powerful, strong, and holds a valuable place in the world.

Through Amy and Paris’s charming text and Holly Hatam’s stunning illustrations, any girl reading this book will feel that she's great just the way she is—whether she enjoys jumping in a muddy puddle, has a face full of freckles, or dances on table tops.

Dear Girl, encourages girls to always be themselves and to love who they are—inside and out.





Middle Grade



Olivia Bean knows trivia. She watches Jeopardy! every night and usually beats at least one of the contestants. If she were better at geography, she would try out for the show’s kids’ week. ... One day Olivia’s friend-turned-nemesis, Tucker, offers to help her bulk up her geography knowledge. Before Olivia knows it, she’s getting help from all sorts of unexpected sources: her almost-stepdad, superannoying Neil; her genius little brother, Charlie; even her stressed-out mom. Soon she has breezed through the audition rounds and is headed for Hollywood! But will the one person she wants to impress more than anyone else show up to support her?





Mason Buttle is the biggest, sweatiest kid in his grade, and everyone knows he can barely read or write. Mason’s learning disabilities are compounded by grief. Fifteen months ago, Mason’s best friend, Benny Kilmartin, turned up dead in the Buttle family’s orchard. An investigation drags on, and Mason, honest as the day is long, can’t understand why Lieutenant Baird won’t believe the story Mason has told about that day.

Both Mason and his new friend, tiny Calvin Chumsky, are relentlessly bullied by the other boys in their neighborhood, so they create an underground club space for themselves. When Calvin goes missing, Mason finds himself in trouble again. He’s desperate to figure out what happened to Calvin, and eventually, Benny.


A funny and poignant debut middle-grade novel about a foster-care girl who is placed with a family in the witness protection program, and finds that hiding in plain sight is complicated and dangerous. ... 

Nicki swears she can keep the Trevor family safe, but to do so she’ll have to dodge hitmen, cyberbullies, and the specter of standardized testing, all while maintaining her marshal-mandated B-minus average. As she barely balances the responsibilities of her new identity, Nicki learns that the biggest threats to her family’s security might not lurk on the road from New York to North Carolina, but rather in her own past.




No one likes or wants to take the statewide assessment tests. Not the students in Mrs. Woods's sixth-grade class, not even their teacher. It's not like the kids don't already have things to worry about. . . .

Under pressure to be the top gymnast her mother expects her to be, RANDI starts to wonder what her destiny truly holds. Football-crazy GAVIN has always struggled with reading and feels as dumb as his high school-dropout father. TREVOR acts tough and mean, but as much as he hates school, he hates being home even more. SCOTT's got a big brain and an even bigger heart, especially when it comes to his grandfather, but his good intentions always backfire in spectacular ways. NATALIE, know-it-all and aspiring lawyer, loves to follow the rules--only this year, she's about to break them all.

The whole school is in a frenzy with test time approaching--kids, teachers, the administration. Everyone is anxious. When one of the kids has a big idea for acing the tests, they're all in. But things get ugly before they get better, and in the end, the real meaning of the perfect score surprises them all.
 




Nonfiction



By the 1930s Elsa Schiaparelli had captivated the fashion world in Paris, but before that, she was a little girl in Rome who didn’t feel pretty at all. Bloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelliis the enchanting story for young readers of how a young girl used her imagination and emerged from plain to extraordinary.