Thursday, November 30, 2017

What Ms. Moore Read in November

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


There are so many wonderful things about life, both in good times and in times of struggle. Through the eyes of the world’s animals—including elephants, monkeys, whales, and more—Cynthia Rylant offers a moving meditation on finding beauty around us every day and finding strength in adversity. Brendan Wenzel’s stunning landscapes and engaging creatures make this an inspiring and intriguing gift for readers of all ages





Turtle has looked everywhere for his favorite book, but it's nowhere to be found! Maybe his book was borrowed by Zebra, Owl, Giraffe, Elephant, or Lion. As Turtle searches, his friends offer to share their own favorite stories, but other books just won't do. Or is it time for Turtle to try something different? A tribute to books, reading, and the joy of sharing stories with others.
Rodney is that kid who just can't sit still. He's inside, but he wants to be outside. Outside is where Rodney always wants to be. Between school and home, there is a park. He knows all about that park. It's that triangle-shaped place with the yellow grass and two benches where grown-ups sit around all day. Besides, his momma said to stay away from that park. When Rodney finally gets a chance to go to a real park, with plenty of room to run and climb and shout, and to just be, he will never be the same. 





See what happens when flipping the page of this gleeful picture book gets you--SPLAT!--a pie in the face, followed by--SQUISH!--an insect sandwich, and--SPLASH!--a deluge of water balloons. Bright colors and appealing visual gags add up to a perfect mess--no cleanup necessary.  









Nerdy Birdy and his best friend, Vulture, are very different. Nerdy Birdy loves video games, but Vulture finds them BORING. Vulture loves snacking on dead things, but Nerdy Birdy finds that GROSS. Luckily, you don't have to agree on everything to still be friends.

One day, Nerdy Birdy joins Tweetster, and the friend requests start flying in. Vulture watches as Nerdy Birdy gets swept up in his new friendships, but when she finally gets angry, Nerdy Birdy knows just what to do to make things right.





Middle Grade Novels


JOSEF is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world . . .

ISABEL is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety in America . . .

MAHMOUD is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe . . .

All three kids go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers -- from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But there is always the hope of tomorrow. And although Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud are separated by continents and decades, their stories will tie together in the end.



When unlucky teacher Ms. Linda LaCrosse wins the lottery, she shares her winnings with her class--giving each student over a BILLION DOLLARS!

You might think this was nice, but it was not. It was a terrible idea! With great money comes horrible allergies, steep taxes, exploding volcanoes, and other problems. As the students of Classroom 13 are about to learn, winning the lottery is not always lucky. 


Sequel to "The War That Saved My Life:" World War II continues, and Ada and her brother, Jamie, are living with their loving legal guardian, Susan, in a borrowed cottage on the estate of the formidable Lady Thorton—along with Lady Thorton herself and her daughter, Maggie. Life in the crowded cottage is tense enough, and then, quite suddenly, Ruth, a Jewish girl from Germany, moves in. A German? The occupants of the house are horrified. But other impacts of the war become far more frightening. As death creeps closer to their door, life and morality during wartime grow more complex. Who is Ada now? How can she keep fighting? And who will she struggle to save? 





Nonfiction


It's never too early to learn computer coding. With interactive paper engineering, My First Coding Book is a playful, hands-on introduction to offline coding and programming that will give young children a head start. Filled with puzzles, mazes, and games to teach the basic concepts of sequences, algorithms, and debugging, this book will help children develop critical thinking, logic, and other skills to cement lifelong computer literacy, which is extremely valuable and sought-after in today's world.

With its unique approach and colorful and creative imagery, My First Coding Book makes learning and fun one and the same and will have children playing their way to programming proficiency.

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: