Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Book Fair Shenanigans

The book fair's theme from Scholastic is Wild West; we received a "photo booth" kit today and took pictures of the kids sporting cowboy hats, mustaches, and sheriff badges:

Sunday, November 5, 2017

What Ms. Moore Read in October

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

Jasper Rabbit is NOT a little bunny anymore. He’s not afraid of the dark, and he’s definitely not afraid of something as silly as underwear. But when the lights go out, suddenly his new big rabbit underwear glows in the dark. A ghoulish, greenish glow. If Jasper didn’t know any better he’d say his undies were a little, well, creepy. Jasper’s not scared obviously, he’s just done with creepy underwear. But after trying everything to get rid of them, they keep coming back! NOTE: This is even better than Creepy Carrots!

Our author would like to write a funny story, but his main character Monster has a different idea. He wants to be the star of a chilling, petrifying, utterly terrifying SCARY story. But scary stories . . . well, they can be very scary especially for their characters! Particularly when they involve dark forests and creepy witches and spooky houses . . . Oh yikes and crikes, this is definitely not the scary story Monster had in mind! Maybe he wants to be in a funny story after all!" 

34137106Acclaimed poet Bao Phi delivers a powerful, honest glimpse into a relationship between father and son and between cultures, old and new. A Different Pond is an unforgettable story about a simple event--a long-ago fishing trip. As a young boy, Bao Phi awoke early, hours before his father's long workday began, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis. Unlike many other anglers, Bao and his father fished for food, not recreation. A successful catch meant a fed family. Between hope-filled casts, Bao's father told him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam. 

A mistake is an adventure in creativity, a portal of discovery. A spill doesn’t ruin a drawing—not when it becomes the shape of a goofy animal. And an accidental tear in your paper? Don’t be upset about it when you can turn it into the roaring mouth of an alligator. A singular work of imagination, creativity, and paper engineering, Beautiful Oops! is filled with pop-ups, lift-the-flaps, tears, holes, overlays, bends, smudges, and even an accordion “telescope”—each demonstrating the magical transformation from blunder to wonder.

Early Readers

Yellow Bird has a button. It does . . . nothing! It is a good for nothing button. Red Bird and Blue Bird are excited to try the button. But when they press it, they discover that the button makes them happy. Happy is something! A flabbergasted Yellow Bird insists the button does nothing. But it sure does seem to be making him mad. Mad is something! The hilarious debate that follows takes readers on an emotional roller coaster that pokes at the power of imaginative play. NOTE: I am betting this will win a Geisel.

Middle Grade Novels

When 11-year-old Stella Rodriguez shows up at NASA to request that her recording be included in Carl Sagan's Golden Record, something unexpected happens: A black hole follows her home, and sets out to live in her house as a pet. 

The black hole swallows everything he touches, which is challenging to say the least but also turns out to be a convenient way to get rid of those items that Stella doesn't want around. Soon the ugly sweaters her aunt has made for her all disappear within the black hole, as does the smelly class hamster she's taking care of, and most important, all the reminders of her dead father that are just too painful to have around. 

It's not until Stella, her younger brother, Cosmo, the family puppy, and even the bathroom tub all get swallowed up by the black hole that Stella comes to realize she has been letting her own grief consume her. And that's not the only thing she realizes as she attempts to get back home. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Don't Let the Pigeon Touch the Books!

In case you haven't been introduced to the Pigeon yet, he is the star of a series of books by Mo Willems; the first one is Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! We read that and Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! in K, and I am happy to report that MOST students resisted his arguments (a few were willing to be bought off by his promise of five bucks).

Then we watched this video:

Finally, the kids came up with their own rules for the Pigeon that he would need to know in order to check out books ... which they themselves started doing the next week. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Room 8 Kids Are Not Rude Cakes!

As kindergartners settled into school routines last month, we discussed appropriate behavior by reading the following books:

  • The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten - Rules for school include raising your hand, being quiet when the teacher is talking, waiting your turn, and cleaning up.
  • Rude Cakes - We want Cyclops politeness, not Rude Cake rudeness! Say please and thank you, wait your turn, and share.
  • No Fits, Nilson! - When you feel a fit coming on, try distracting yourself, promising yourself a reward (banana ice cream, banana ice cream, banana ice cream ...), or taking deep breaths.
  • Horrible Bear! - Talking about feelings and apologizing is the way to go v. planning revenge for something that might have just been an accident.

Rude Cakes depicts a VERY rude cake who treats others badly and then is kidnapped from its bed by a cyclops who wants to ... eat it? no, wear it as a hat! And show it off to its very polite friends! We talked about ways to show rude cake (bad) and cyclops (good) behavior and made our own cylops headbands and rude cake hats, thanks to Matthew Winner's craft idea that I found online.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Grade 2 Covers Inspired by The Z Was Zapped

Second graders are reviewing how call numbers help us find books in the library.

We read The Z Was Zapped by Chris Van Allsburg, which features the letters of the alphabet meeting sad fates. The students had to guess the action happening to them, which started with the same letter; for example, the F was flattened by a foot and the Q was quartered. I love when students come up with words that neither Van Allsburg nor I had though of ... this year, it was "the G was Godzilla'd" and "the W was worn (out)."

Then the kids created their own version of the book, as well as their personal call number. I'm going to put their work into a binder that can be checked out and brought home as a library book. Here is a preview:

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sorting Books with Grade 1

Part of our grade 1 focus in library is sorting and categories. As an introduction to how the library is arranged, I gave groups of first graders a pile of books and asked them to sort them into two categories. They came up with so many different ways to arrange the piles, I was impressed, including:
  • softcover v. hardcover
  • big v. little
  • chapter books v. picture books
  • fiction v. nonfiction (which is the focus of our next lesson!)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Three of These Things with Grade 1

A big part of information literacy is being able to recognize patterns and to categorize facts, sources, etc. We're starting to work on these skills in first grade. 

Last week's lesson in the unit is one of my favorites; it involves the original Three of These Things from Sesame Street. Original as in from the 1970s. I showed several sample videos to the kids, and they raised their hands as soon as they figured out what didn't belong. Here's one of them:

Then it was the students' turn to pretend they were segment producers and come up with their own "Three of These Things" example. Can you tell what doesn't belong?