Thursday, July 20, 2017

TBR - July 20

Here is my latest to-be-read pile after a trip to the public library:

Kids, post YOUR TBR pile as a comment, along with your initials and last year's homeroom, and you can pick from the prize box the next time I see you (and add another book to your pile).

Sunday, July 16, 2017

What Ms. Moore is Reading - Vacation Weeks 2 & 3

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

Picture Books

As one artist incorporates accidental splotches, spots, and misshapen things into her art, she transforms her piece in quirky and unexpected ways, taking readers on a journey through her process. Told in minimal, playful text, this story shows readers that even the biggest "mistakes" can be the source of the brightest ideas--and that, at the end of the day, we are all works in progress, too. NOTE: 2018 Mock Caldecott nominee

Little Louie is stuck in bed with a bad cold. His nose is clogged, his ears are crackling, and his brain feels full. All he wants is his mom to take care of him, but whenever he calls out for her, his stuffed-up nose summons slobbery dog Bob instead! As Louie tries and tries to make himself understood in this funny picturebook, kids will love calling out with him, "Bob, not Bob!" NOTE: 2018 Mock Caldecott nominee

Middle Grades

When cell phones are banned at Branton Middle School, Frost and his friends come up with a new way to communicate: leaving sticky notes for each other all around the school. It catches on, and soon all the kids in school are leaving notes—though for every kind and friendly one, there is a cutting and cruel one as well.

In the middle of this, a new girl named Rose arrives at school and sits at Frost’s lunch table. Rose is not like anyone else at Branton Middle School, and it’s clear that the close circle of friends Frost has made for himself won’t easily hold another. As the sticky-note war escalates, and the pressure to choose sides mounts, Frost soon realizes that after this year, nothing will ever be the same.

Mori and her friends live a normal life on Firefly Lane in their utopian community, Old Harmonie. In a world this safe and perfect, they've never had to question anything . . . never had to wonder about how their lives came to be. Until a new girl named Ilana moves in. She's so perfect that Mori and her friends are curious . . . Where exactly did Ilana come from, and why does she act so strange sometimes? When Ilana's secret is revealed, the kids on Firefly Lane must decide: is it finally time to start questioning the only world they've ever known? NOTE: 2018 Rhode Island Middle School Book Award nominee


The phenomenon of desperate refugees risking their lives to reach safety is not new. For hundreds of years, people have left behind family, friends, and all they know in hope of a better life. This book presents five true stories about young people who lived through the harrowing experience of setting sail in search of asylum. Aimed at middle grade students, Stormy Seas combines a contemporary collage-based design, sidebars, fact boxes, timeline and further reading to produce a book that is ideal for both reading and research. Readers will gain new insights into a situation that has constantly been making the headlines. 

Born in Scotland more than 250 years ago, William Playfair was a dreamer who saw the world differently from other people. Unfortunately, this difference sometimes got in the way of his success. Early on, as he attempted to apply his unique perspective to a series of career opportunities in order to gain "riches! fame! glory!" he instead suffered one failure after another. Then, while writing a book about economics, Will's innovative vision inspired an idea that would set him apart: he created the first modern line graph. Next came a bar graph and later a pie chart. These infographic inventions provided a way for numbers to be seen as pictures, which ... changed the way the world would interact with data forever. NOTE: I'll be adding this to our Grade 2 curriculum.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Grade 3 Autobiography Poems

I spent the last hour or so of the school year with the third graders; as their final assignment, they created autobiography poems. I'll give them back at the end of fifth grade so they can see how they have (or haven't) changed. For now, here are some of the ones that students were ok with me sharing online (some ran out of time to finish all of the lines):

Funny, curious, athletic, friendly
Sister of Shepherd and Holden
Likse reading, riding her bike, playing soccer and softball, and hanging out with family and friends
Dislikes potatoes
Needs a book to read ... once she finishes, needs a different book
Dreams of meeting her Pawpaw
Wants to be an electrical or aerodynamics engineer
Would like to meet Barack Obabma
Wants to go to Washington D.C.

Friendly, funy, kind, super
Loves her family and pets
Likes reading, dancing, skating, and playing outside or inside
Dislikes mean people
Needs to read
Dreams of having magic powers
Wants to be a nurse practitioner
Would like to meet Trump
Wants to go to all of the U.S. states

Room 17 student
Cute, silly, playful, nice
Son of his mom
Likes playing and snuggling
Dislikes meanness
Dreams of having fun all day
Wants to be a great person
Wants to go to Disneyland
Room 17 student

Curious, nice, sporty, artistic
Granddaughter of James Manzi
Likes playing soccer, doing chemistry, planting, playing outside, and ice cream
Dislikes violence
Needs food, water, sleep, music at night, a night light, and lots of milk
Dreams of having a mansion, being rich, and having three huskies
Wants to be a famous soccer player
Would like to meet Sabrina Capenter and Sofia Carson
Wants to go to Florida and Hawaii

Room 18 student
Pretty, friendly, nice, good at cursive
Grandaughter of Peter
Likes art, animals, clothes, and making brownies
Dislikes (sadly) bacon
Room 18 student

Nice, graceful, dancer
Cousin of Samantha Boffi and Mike Ryan
Likes dogs, books, and dancing
Dislikes buillies
Dreams of being the best dancer
Wants to be a special education teacher and a pro dancer
Would like to meet Jiff Pom
Wants to go to Disney

Room 18 student
Funny, fast, flexible, great climber
Daughter of her mom
Likes riding her wheels that she has, simming, and electronics
Dislikes when people are mean
Needs funnies in her life
Dreams of being a mermaid or unicorn
Would like to meet a unicorn
Wants to go to Disneyland and Great Wolf Lodge
Room 18 student

Dancer, funny, weird, cool
Granddaughter of Georgia Damashi Cormier
Dislikes going on roller coasters
Needs bows, chocolate, dogs, unicorns, and mermaids
Dreams of being a professional softball player
Wants to be a famous person
Would like to meet JoJo, Sabrina Carpenter, or Sofia Carson
Wants to go to Hollywood

Room 17 student
Curious, majestic, hyper, positive
Daughter of her parents
Likes dinosaurs, food, sleep, drawing, animals, and her family
Dislikes homework
Needs her doggos, her family, food, and sleep
Dreams of studying for her PhD at Princeton in paleontology
Wants to be a paleontologist
Would like to meet Tim Burton
Wants to go to California
Room 17 student

Friendly, silly, creative, crazy
Granddaughter of Joann Jonston
Likes airplanes, Florida, swimming, her siblings, and ice cream
Dislikes fighting
Needs sleep, lots of juice, music, and going to the store
Dreams of having a big family
Wants to be a teacher
Would like to be a unicorn
Wants to go to California

Room 18 student
Generous, friendly
Sister of Bob Kabush
Likes reading, baking, playing with her dog
Dislikes mean or grumpy people
Needs water, sleep, and dogs
Dreams that because of her, there are no such things as kill shelters
Wants to be a soccer player
Would like to meet Alex Morgan
Wants to go to Utah and see Best Friends Animal Shelter
Room 18 student

Bob Kabush
Weird, nice, friendly, awesome
Brother of Peppa Pig
Likes sports, falling, and being weird
Dislikes annoying people
Needs food and water
Dreams of being a sports star
Would like to meet Tom Brady
Wants to go to California
Bob Kabush

Room 17 student
Silly, crazy, kind, sensitive
Sister of her sister
Likes videogames and animals
Dislikes mean people
Needs sleep
Dreams of being a zookeeper or vet
Wants to go to Disney
Room 17 student

Saturday, July 8, 2017

TBR - July 8

Here is my latest to-be-read pile after a trip to the public library:

Kids, post YOUR TBR pile as a comment, along with your initials and last year's homeroom, and you can pick from the prize box the next time I see you (and add another book to your pile).

Monday, July 3, 2017

What Ms. Moore Is Reading - Vacation Week 1

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

Board Book

Everyone knows the sun is hot. But open the flaps in this book and you may find a chilly surprise instead! Each spread of this cleverly designed board book reveals a surprising opposite that makes for a truly original way for toddlers to learn about words and concepts. Whether it be hot or cold, clean or dirty, slow or fast, this book has you covered—at least until you open the flaps. 

My take: LOVE. Ingenious. Will add to my Grade 1 Opposites lesson

Early Reader

Giraffe is bored, as usual. He'd love a friend to share things with. So he writes a letter and sends it as far as possible across the other side of the horizon. There he finds a pen pal: Penguin. 

My take: This grew on me as it went along; by the time Giraffe and Pelican were making drawings of what they thought Penguin looked like, I was utterly charmed. Will recommend to 1st and 2nd grade teachers as jumping-off points for pen pal projects.

Charlie and Mouse, two young brothers, enjoy a day out together, attending an imaginary party and collecting rocks.

My take: Old fashioned, simple, and sweet. Lots of repetitive text for the early reader. And I love that Mouse wore a tutu to the party.

Middle Grades

Eleven-year-old Fern's rundown home borders a pristine forest, where her impoverished family hunts and forages for food. It's also her refuge from the crushing responsibility of caring for her wild younger brothers and PTSD-stricken stepfather. But when a fracking company rolls into town, Fern realizes that her special grove could be ripped away, and no one else seems to care.

My takeDon't read this if you're looking for a lighthearted story. I did like that it was an "issue" novel that wasn't overly preachy. But man, Fern's house made me feel cold and hungry.


Out of gratitude for the poet's art form, Newbery Award winning author and poet Kwame Alexander, along with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth, present original poems that pay homage to twenty famed poets who have made the authors' hearts sing and their minds wonder.

My take: Should be on college syllabi for poetry classes. Will recommend to RI Mock Newbery committee. Not all the poems worked for me (in part because I'm not a fan of some of the poets being celebrated), but the sheer amount of work that went into this achievement is evident. Favorites:

  • I Like Your (celebrating e.e. cummings)
  • Jazz Jive Jam (celebrating Langston Hughes)
  • How Billy Collins Writes a Poem (celebrating Billy Collins)
  • No Idle Days (celebrating William Carlos Williams)

Also the artwork is gorgeous.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Grade 1 E Book Covers

This year, first graders learned about call numbers, which work like addresses for books. Although they're called "numbers," most only have letters ... kind of confusing. We focused on th the E (for Everyone) section.

Every picture book call number has "E" as the first line, and then the first letter of the author's last name as the second line. For example, if I wrote a book, the call number would be


What would YOUR call number be?

Students figured out theirs and created an E book they "wrote" as their final library assignment. Here are some of their book covers:

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Fortunately / Unfortunately with Room 5

Unfortunate Caterpillars

By Shayna

One day, there were three caterpillars.
Unfortunately, they were tiny.
Fortunately, they grew.
Unfortunately, a bird ate one of them.
Fortunately, the other two survived.
Unfortunately, they had to say goodbye to their friends.
Fortunately, they went into a chrysalis.
Unfortunately, one ate the chrysalis.
Fortunately, the other one turned into a butterfly.

The Witch

By Larisa and Zoe

One day, there were two children.
Unfortunately, a witch came.
Fortunately, there was a house made of gingerbread and candy.
Unfortunately, they ate the house.
Fortunately, they got away.
Unfortunately, the witch made a bubble to trap them.
Fortunately, the bubble wasn't strong.
Unfortunately, the witch got ahead and did stronger magic.
Fortunately, they did a sharp turn

Kitten Mischief

By Kira and Samantha

One day, there was a kitten.
Unfortunately, she had to take a bath.
Fortunately, it was a bubble bath.
Unfortunately, she made a mess.
Fortunately, she got invited to a party.
Unfortunately, she was busy and couldn't go.
Fortunately, she went anyway.
Unfortunately, she got kicked out of the party.
Fortunately, today was her birthday.

The Neverending Story

By Johnny and Aaron

One day, a boy named Brady played Terria.
Unfortunately, his computer blew up.
Fortunately, he got a new one.
Unfortunately, his house blew up.
Fortunately, he lived in newspaper.
Unfortunately, it blew away.
Fortunately, he lived in the sewers.
Unfortunately, there were crocodiles.
Fortunately, he got away.
Unfortunately, he got eaten but was still alive.
Fortunately, he lived in the crocodile.
Unfortunately, the crocodile died.
Fortunately, it had laid eggs.
Unfortunately, some didn't hatch.
Fortunately, Brady had a knife with a pickle on it and cut open his egg.

Froggy is Missing!

By Justin

One day, there was a cat named Mr. Jinks and he had a frog.
Unfortunately, a robber took it.
Fortunately, Mr. Jinks jumped over the robber.
Unfortunately, he fell.
Fortunately, he could fly.
Unfortunately, he flew into a shark's mouth.
Fortunately, he opened the shark's mouth.
Unfortunately, the robber could fly.
Fortunately, Mr. Jinks found a phone and called the police and got his frog back.