Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Grade 5 SWBST Rumpelstiltskin Summaries

In fifth grade, we practiced the Somebody / Wanted / But / So / Then method of summarizing a story. (And discussed how summarizing is different from retelling.)

Here is what the students came up with for the Caldecott-honor version of Rumplestiltskin by Paul O. Zelinsky:

The miller
Wanted to impress the king,
But he made something up.
So his daughter had to spin straw into gold.
Then the little man came.

The girl
Wanted to spin straw into gold,
But she couldn't.
So R. helped her.
Then she married the king.
- T.S.

Wanted the queen's baby,
But she wouldn't give it to him.
So he said, "I'll give you three days to guess my name; if you get it right, you keep the baby.
Then she guessed his name so she flew away on a spoon.
- A.M./J.S.

The king
Wanted a girl to spin straw into gold.
But she couldn't, because she didn't know how.
So R. did it for her, but he wanted something [in exchange]. Finally the girl had nothing, so R. wanted her first child.
Then when the time came she wouldn't give him the child, so he gave her days to guess his name. Eventually she got it right.
- A.T.

The little man
Wanted the queen's child,
But they made a deal that if she guessed his name, she would keep the child.
So the queen guessed his name, R.
Then the little man flew away on his cooking spoon and never returned.
- T.R.

The miller's daughter
Wanted to spin straw into gold,
But she could not.
So R. helped her.
Then she had to give him her first child.

Wanted the queen's baby.
But if she could think of his name in three days, she could keep her baby.
So she thought and thought and finally knew his name.
Then she got it right, and R. was never seen again.
- M.P.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Mock Caldecott Finalists - Batch 1

Each January, the American Library Association awards the Caldecott Medal to the artist of "the most distinguished American picture book for children." Who will win in 2016? Well, first- and second-graders are going to make their pick in library, and we'll see how our choice lines up with the national award. After reading eight books so far, the following three titles will be moving on to the final vote:

We Forgot Brock!
Carter Goodrich

Just looking at the cover, several kids were able to figure out that Brock might be an imaginary friend ... which he is. But to Philip, he is as real as can be. So real that he gets left behind at the big fair. Will the two reunite? Almost every single student I read this to voted to keep it on our list. They LOVED it.

Goodrich, a RISD graduate and artist who was the lead character designer for Brave, Ratatouille, and Despicable Mehas a lot of the artwork from this book posted on his web site. Many picture books these days are 32 pages, but this one is 48; most of the pages only have a couple of sentences, while the artwork tells a lot of the story. In fact, this could probably work without any words at all.

It's Only Stanley
Jon Agee

Stanley was a big hit as well.  The students noticed features in the illustrations that I had missed, such as the blurry picture on the TV screen, and the poor cat's appearance every few pages after having experienced some of Stanley's activities.

The Penguin site has a 3-page activity PDF that you can download and then color, do a maze, or cut out memory cards and play.

The Princess and the Pony

Kate Beaton

Room 1 took one look at the cover of this book and began to literally ROTFL (see photo below). I have loved Beaton's work for years; her Hark! a Vagrant! web site (for grownups only!) features comics about historical figures and literary characters that make me laugh. She has a new site for her new picture book career that includes coloring pages with characters from The Princess and the Pony.

And you can even buy a plush pony online! (They're currently sold out, but will have more available soon.)

Oh, dear, while pulling files for this section, I just learned that Beaton is Canadian and therefore not eligible to win a real Caldecott. Well, we'll leave her on our list for now anyways.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Room 17 FICtion Covers

Third graders now get to take out books from anywhere in the library ... but they're not sure how to find what they want. So we're learning how to use the online catalog and convert call number listings into shelf locations.

We started simple, with the fiction section. Every fiction call number has "FIC" as the first line, and then the first three letters 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 the call numbers for a list of books and and then created their very own for a fiction book they "wrote." Here are some of Room 17's book covers: 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

More Pigeon Rules from Room 10

When the 5th graders saw a kindergarten pigeon on display, they wanted to make their own rules:

Don't Let the Pigeon ... with AM K

Morning kindergartners also came up with rules for the pigeon:

Summarizing Cinderella with SWBST

After we retold Cinderella in four paragraphs, it was time to summarize it in a couple of sentences. The method I taught the fifth graders is Somebody Wanted But So Then. Here are some of the summaries they came up with:

Wanted to marry the prince,
But has to get slaved around the palace that she lives in.
So she snuck out and went to the ball.
Then she danced with the prince.

The stepmom and stepsisters
Wanted to marry the prince.
But the prince didn't like them.
So they tried to fit into the glass slipper.
Then it didn't fit.

The prince
Wanted to find a good wife,
But so many people were at the ball.
So he started dancing.
Then he fell in love with Cinderella.

Wanted to go to the ball,
But her evil mother said she couldn't.
So she stayed home.
Then things happened.

The fairy godmother
Wanted to help Cinderella to go to the ball.
But she had to be back by 12.
So she made C. a dress and fixed her up.
Then she rode away to the ball.

The prince
Wanted to find who owned the shoe.
But she ran away.
So he went searching.
Then he finally found the house the girl lived in.

Retelling Cinderella with Room 9

In 5th grade, we are reviewing the difference between retelling and summarizing a story. Retelling has lots more details and may contain dialogue, like Room 9's retelling of "Cinderella." The kids took turns adding sentences to the story below:

Ms. Moore's favorite retelling is "Ever After," starring Drew Barrymore.
Photo from thewonderfulworldofcinema.wordpress.com.

A long time ago, there lived a girl whose mother died. Her dad married another woman, and they were really mean (she had two daughters who were brats). She was doing chores all day (which is why they called her Cinderella - cinders are ashes, and she was always dirty) and never left the house, but she wanted to go on a date.

So one day they got invited to the ball, but they said, "Cinderella, you can't go because you have to do chores. You can go if you finish all your chores and help your sisters get ready." And then they tore apart her dress. She fell down in tears.

The fairy godmother came and was really creepy. They turned a pumpkin into a carriage and then a duck into a man and then she went to the ball and met a beautiful handsome man. But she had to be back by 12 a.m. She danced with the prince and then the clock struck 12. On the way out, she lost her shoe. Then she went in the carriage, but she didn't get back in time.

Then the prince went looking around the town to see whose foot fit the shoe. So the prince met the two stepsisters, and it didn't fit, and they were like, "Oh, but, of course it fits!" and they locked Cinderella in the attic. C's mice slipped her the keys under the door, and she got out.

Then she ran down the stairs, and the evil mother said "She can't try on the shoe, she's just a maid," but the prince said "All maidens can try the shoe on." Then the evil mother said, "You can't marry my prince!" But Cinderella married the prince, and they all lived happily ever after.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Don't Let the Pigeon ... with PM K

The kids demonstrating the "puppy faces" they might use
 to try and convice parents to let them stay up late.
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 PM 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 the kids came up with their own rules for the Pigeon ... next time I see them, they will teach the Pigeon book care rules as a prelude to their first checkout.