Sunday, April 30, 2017

Grade 5 Advertising Agency

We spent most of 3rd quarter discussing advertising, including its history (going back to ancient civilizations), its prevalance (some of the kids are walking ads in branded clothing), the power of logos (proven by the students' knowledge of these product mascots), and three tactics to be aware of: exaggeration, generalization, and scare tactics

Finally, the kids took what they had learned and produced an original ad of their own, using one of the tactics listed above. Here they are at work, along with what they came up with:

What Ms. Moore is Reading - April 2017

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

La Paz is a happy, but noisy village. A little peace and quiet would make it just right. So the villagers elect the bossy Don Pepe as their mayor. Before long, singing of any kind is outlawed. But there is one noisy rooster who doesn't give two mangos about this mayor's silly rules. Instead, he does what roosters were born to do. He sings: "Kee-kee-ree-KEE!"

Carmen Deedy's masterfully crafted allegory and Eugene Yelchin's bright, whimsical mixed-media paintings celebrate the spirit of freedom -- and the courage of those who are born to sing at any cost.

ROCK, PAPER, and SCISSORS were the strongest, smartest, and fastest in all the land. Time and again they beat the most fearsome opponents they could find: an apricot, a computer printer—even frozen, breaded, dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets! But when the warriors finally meet each other, the most epic round of battles begins . . . and never ends. That is why, to this day, children around the world honor these worthy adversaries by playing ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS! 

Middle-grade books

Cardinal rule #1: Don't get noticed by the mean kids. Cardinal rule #2: Seek out groups with similar interests and join them. On her first day at her new school, when Peppi trips into a quiet boy in the hall, Jaime, she's already broken the first rule, and the mean kids start calling her the "nerder girlfriend." She shoves poor Jaime and runs away!

Falling back on rule two and surrounding herself with new friends in the art club, Peppi is ashamed about the way she treated Jaime. Things are already awkward enough between the two, but to make matters worse, he's a member of her own club's archrivals--the science club! And when the two clubs go to war, Peppi realizes that sometimes you have to break the rules to survive middle school!

So you’re only halfway through your homework and the Director of the FBI keeps texting you for help…What do you do? Save your grade? Or save the country? If you’re Florian Bates, you figure out a way to do both.

Florian is twelve years old and has just moved to Washington. He’s learning his way around using TOAST, which stands for the Theory of All Small Things. It’s a technique he invented to solve life’s little mysteries. But when he teaches it to his new friend Margaret, they uncover a mystery that isn’t little. In fact, it’s HUGE, and it involves the National Gallery, the FBI, and a notorious crime syndicate known as EEL.
  (2018 RICBA nominee)

Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight. She is happy just hanging out with her best friend, Soojin. Except now that she’s in middle school everything feels different. Soojin is suddenly hanging out with Emily, one of the “cool” girls in the class, and even talking about changing her name to something more “American.” Does Amina need to start changing too? Or hiding who she is to fit in? While Amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized.

On the same day as the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, 250 miles away in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, there was an even more devastating fire. Twelve-year-old Ailis and her younger brother, Quinn, survive, but their family does not. Ailis and Quinn are taken by a family acquaintance to live in a boarding house in Chicago, where they meet six-year-old Nettie, an orphan displaced by Chicago's fire. But the woman who runs the boarding house makes their lives miserable, and Ailis vows to find a way for the three of them to leave. Then Nettie disappears, and Ailis and Quinn discover she's been kidnapped by a group that forces children to work in the sewers killing rats. Can they find a way to rescue her?   (2018 RICBA nominee)

Friday, April 28, 2017

Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run!

The Theodore Geisel Award, named after Dr. Seuss, goes to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the "most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States during the preceding year." Thanks to DonorsChoose, we have all of the 2017 winners in the Oak Lawn library, and I was able to share them with all students in grades K-2.

One of the Honor books - Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run! by Mike Twohy - inspired me to create a new lesson. The story is told in just about 30 words, all in alphabetical order. After we read it, 1st and 2nd graders created their own four-panel alphabetical-order stories/cartoons. I'll be putting them together in a binder that can be checked out.

In the meantime, here are a few of my favorites:

We found some acrobatics at the circus.
It was a bouncy circus.
There were lots of funny dancers.
There were elephants standing on balls.
The elephants were very flexible.

"Do you want Brussels sprouts?"
Kira the
mouse said


Nom nom nom

Samantha got in a fight with a
tiger. She won, and the tiger went
up to heaven, where he played the

Stop it!
Tell the mouse I am going to catch him
Uh-uh, you can't run away.
Very fast, huh?

Room 1 ended up with two apple stories:

Bite it!
Catch it!
Done with apple.
Everyone eat apples!
Found another apple!
Green apple.
How about we eat the apple?
I've had enough apples!
Just enough apples for one day.
Kick all the apples!
Lick them first.
Make evil apples!
Now rise, my evil apples!
"Ouch! That hurt, evil apple!"
Pie apple, rise!
Queen apple, rise!
Rise, Lady Liberty.
Sees every person.
Take their money!
Underwear for the apples.
Vendor apple.
Wiser apples.
X-ray that apple.
"Yahoo!" said the apple.
Zap the apple's guts.

Apples everywhere!
Bad apples.
Caramel apples.
Dirty apples.
Everywhere I go, apples appear!
Fun, fun, fun, we have fun picking apples!
Good apple.
Happy apples.
Icy apples.
Jiggling apples.
Karate apples.
Light-up apples.
Makeup apples.
Nutty apples.
Open-mouth apples.
Peanut-free apples.
Quiet apples.
Rainbow apples.
Simple picking apples.
Teepee-shaped apples.
Ugly apples.
Violent apples.
Writing apples.
Xylophone apples.
Yo mama apples.
Zebra apples.

Can you make a story from these class word lists?

Apple Bat Collar Dog
Everywhere Fun Good Hat
I Julia Kindergarten Liliana
Man Nuts Oak Lawn Paulie
Queen Ring Sophia Top
Underwear Vincent Wind
CoX Yellow Zebra

Andrew Baby Cat Daddy
Ed Fat Game Happy
It's Jump rope Kailer Lamp
Map Nickel Okolowitcz Pizza
Quilt Rat Said Truck
Unicorn Van Went
Xavier Yolk Zigzag

Apple Ball Cat Dog
Egg Funny Good Hat
Itch Juice Kite Little
Man Not Octopus Pig
Queen Rat Snake Top
Up Van Wind
Xray Yarn Zebra

Joe Kamrin Lillian
Mason Natalie Octopus Pop
Quinn Rat Snake Tristan
Unicorn Veterinarian Water
boX Yellow Zebra
Apple Benjamin Chloe Domenic
Emma Fan