Thursday, December 29, 2016

Labeling Book Parts with Room 4

Room 4 students showed that they knew how to assign E call numbers as well as label parts of a book (and a Pigeon).

Grade 3 FICtion Covers - Room 18

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.

Right now we're working on 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 their book covers: 

Summarizing Rumpelstiltskin with Grade 5

In fifth grade, we practiced the Somebody / Wanted / But / So / Then method of summarizing a story. Here is what the students came up with for Rumplestiltskin after I read them Paul O. Zelinsky's retelling:

The miller
wanted to impress the king and show him that his daughter could spin straw into gold.
But she had to do it before dawn.
So she saw a little man who she traded valuables [with] for him to spin the gold.
Then he wanted her baby for it, and she had to know his name to keep the baby. - K.D.

The king
wanted the girl to make straw into gold,
but the girl didn't know how.
So the little man did it for her.
Then the king married the girl. - N.L.

The miller's daughter
wanted to live.
But if she didn't spin gold, she would die.
So a little man did it for her.
Then she had to do it again. - C.R.

The miller's daughter
wanted to survive.
But to survive, she had to make gold.
So she traded everything she had to R.
Then she had to find out his hame, or R. would take the baby. - E.C.

wanted to help the miller's daughter,
but he wanted something in return.
So he asked the girl, when she became queen, to give him her first child.
Then he didn't get what he wanted. - L.J.

wanted the queen's child,
but she could keep her child if she could guess his name.
So she had one of her servants go to his house and find out his name.
Then the servant found out his name, so she got to keep the baby. - A.B.

The queen
wanted to keep her child.
But she promised the little man to give him her child in turn to make gold.
So the little man told her if she found out his name, then she could keep the child.
Then the queen's servant discovered his name, and the queen kept her son. - J.H.

wanted to have the first-born baby,
but the queen pleaded, and he said, "If you guess my name, you may keep him."
So she tried every name and failed.
The she sent her servant to find out his name. - L.G.

The little man
wanted the girl's child,
but she wouldn't give her child to him.
So he said to guess his name, or he would take her son away.
The she guessed it right, and they never saw the little man again. - V.A.

wanted the baby,
but the queen guessed his name correctly.
So he got really really mad,
then flew away on his cooking spoon. - J.K.

Retelling Cinderella with Room 12

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 12'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


Once upon a time, there was a young lady named Cinderella. She had been bullied by her older stepsisters, who had treated her terribly. She wanted to go to a ball, but her stepsisters told her that she had to stay home and do the chores like scrub the floor. But C. wanted to go to the ball anyways. So she made herself a dress, and the stepsisters ripped it up. 

Her fairy godmother appeared. She granted C. wishes and gave her a new dress. She also turned a pumpkin in to a carriage. She gave her glass slippers all in a single wave of her wand. She told her, "Don't stay at the ball until 12 because your dress and everything that I gave you will disappear."

C. snuck out to the ball and Prince Charming fell in love with her. She forgot the warning until midnight, and realized that she was still there at midnight, and ran away. But she dropped her glass slipper, and PC picked it up. 

Later in the morning, the prince was trying to see who lost the glass slipper. When he got to C's house, her stepsisters locked her in a closet so she could not try on the slipper. But C.'s singing attracted the prince, and freed her and gave her the slipper to try on. When PC realized it C's slipper, they lived happily ever after.


After we retold Cinderella in four paragraphs, it was time to summarize it in a couple of sentences. The method I taught the 5th graders is Somebody Wanted But So Then. Here are some of the summaries they came up with: 

Wanted to go to the ball, 
But her stepsisters told her she couldn't.
So her fairy godmother came and gave her what she wanted.
Then she met Prince Charming and lived happily ever after.

The stepsisters
Wanted to not let Cinderella go to the ball.
But the fairy godmother showed up.
So Cinderella went to the ball.
Then the stepsisters got mad at her.

Prince Charming
Wanted to find the person who fit the shoe.
But he couldn't find her.
So Cinderella sang in the closet.
Then Prince Charming found her and freed her.

The Fairy Godmother
Wanted Cinderella to have a good time. 
But she was only allowed to stay until midnight.
So when it reached midnight, Cinderella came home.
Then Prince Charming came and found her.

Friday, December 9, 2016

In Other Words ... with Grade 5

Fifth graders are practicing their paraphrasing skills. First we worked together to come up with synonyms and ways to recast a sentence.

ORIGINAL: The automobile that went by very quickly was maroon. It went through a big puddle and splashed us.

NEW RM 12: The big puddle got us really good when the dark red car flew through it.

NEW RM 13: We got soaked because the dark red car sped through a ginormous puddle.

ORIGINAL: The educator removed the unruly student from the learning environment because of the sounds he was making

NEW RM 12: Because the disobedient student was making loud noises, he got kicked out of the classroom by the teacher.
NEW RM 13: The student was disrupting the class, so he got sent out.

ORIGINAL: In the metropolis, the recreation area was dilapidated. Youngsters received injuries when they attempted to utilize the equipment.

NEW RM 12: The young'uns who lived in the city were trying to play with deteriorated playground equipment, and they got booboos.
NEW RM 13: In the city, the children were wounded by using the worn-out playground equipment.

Then they worked on an individual assignment, putting the following sentences into their own words:
During my earlier years, I experienced much conflict with my male and female siblings who were born before me. Now that we are more mature, we have overcome some of our differences and have the ability to interact pleasantly.

Here are some of the new sentences the students came up with:
When I was younger, I would have problems with my older siblings, but now that we are older we can get along much easier. - J.L. 

When I was little, me and my older siblings would fight, but now that we are adults we don't fight anymore. - A.R
In the past, I faced a lot of problems with my older siblings. Now we are older, and have outgrown our differences, and have less conflict. - E.L. 

When I was younger, I went through a problem with my older siblings. We are older now and can get over our issues and get along well. - A.S. 

A few years back, I was bullied by my older relatives, but now we're grown up, the problems fade away. - T.K.

When I was younger I argued with my older brothers and sisters. Now we are older, we have stopped arguing and we have fun. - A.J.