Friday, March 5, 2021

Telling Fibs in Third Grade

Fibonacci, a mathematician who lived during the 1200s, developed a number sequence named after him. Each number is added to the previous number to get the next number: 0 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 and so on. 

Author Greg Pincus invented the “Fib” form of poetry, in which each consecutive line has the same number of syllables that appear in the Fibonacci sequence. The students wrote their own. Here are some of their creations:

They are so 
yum. I really love 
them so much; they taste so awesome!
- M.A., Rm 18 

my fam-
ily and friends. 
They're very nice to 
be with on special occasions. 
- O.L., Rm 17 

so good.
Goats love it, 
so we have to too. 
I knew it is good because munch! 
- K.B., Rm 17

than the dark.
So be bright at night.
Always be bright, never be dark.
- D.D., Rm 18

Life of tomatoes
Delicious flavor
Vegetables beat that! Boom boom boom.
- H.B., Rm 17

is cute.
It plays fetch.
My dog brings back the
ball. My dog loves to eat my food.
- C.C., Rm 17

to play
with my cous-
ins and play gameboards
with my family and have a blast!
- L.B., Rm 17

Read on
the soft ground.
Lots of history.
Figure out a large mystery.
Go to the library and have lots of fun reading.
- M.J., Rm 17

she sat
drinking milk
outside on its mat.
The cat sat and napped dreaming of
chasing mice in its cozy house. During the night time,
she woke up with a startle to find the mouse was really there on the rug the whole time.
- C.S., Rm. 17

up the hill
now down the mountain.
Hip hop hooray. Fastest person!
- S.S., Rm 17

Telling Fibs in Grade 4

Fibonacci, a mathematician who lived during the 1200s, developed a number sequence named after him. Each number is added to the previous number to get the next number: 0 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 and so on.

Author Greg Pincus invented the “Fib” form of poetry, in which each consecutive line has the same number of syllables that appear in the Fibonacci sequence. The students wrote their own. Here are some of their creations:

Oh no!
I'm sick!
by that bug!
Its now on the rug!
I hope I will feel better soon.
I am feeling much better before the afternoon!
I guess those five-star rated, cherry flavored pills worked amazingly well, that is swell.
- C.S., Rm. 14

leaves. Get out-
side and enjoy the
breeze. It's a piece of cake to en-
joy today. Go out and play! Hip hip hooray!
- S.C., Rm. 14

will come
out on this
December 18.
The show is about Star Wars, yay.
- B.B., Rm 14

No way!
I got home and showed my mom and
dad my grade; it was an A! Yay!
"No way," said Mom. Yay Yay No Way Hey!
- C.P., Rm 14

than a mon-
ster's cold sore. Ew! So
gross. I meant to say ice cream. Ew.
- N.C., Rm 14

a num-
my chicken
wing so don't eat me.
If you do, you will go to chick-
en wing jail, and you will learn your rules so listen up.
- M.D., Rm 14

I can't
see my friends,
I still can. You might
not understand. But I can with
my tablet so I can. I hate this pandemic.
- C.C., Rm 14

with COVID,
because we have to
stay home and wear a mask. But ev-
ery one knows we love Ms. Moore's teaching because she 
does a lot of fun things. She loves teaching library; that is her favorite subject. Books!
- L.L., Rm 14

they are the best team.
Play in Foxboro at Gilette.
They are the best team in the National Football League.
- G.Z., Rm 15

the snow,
but I like
summer sunny days
so I can jump in the pool. Yay!
- L.B., Rm 15

will hunt
you down 'til
sunrise once you touch
the hidden treasure items. The
torches will turn into blue flames and start smoking.
You can't hide from them. You can't survive from them. They won't stop 'til you return the items.
- K.L., Rm 15

ice cream.
I like it,
but not strawberry.
I also do not like blueberry.
- A.S., Rm 15

worms, but
worms love apples.
When they see one, they
go crazy for one, then get crushed.
- T.C., Rm 15

Friday, February 26, 2021

We Have a Winner!

The American Library Association awards the Caldecott Medal to the artist of "the most distinguished American picture book for children." This year, I read 13 picture books to first and second graders for our Oak Lawn Mock Caldecott. 

93 students chose from among

5 finalists, and

1 came out on top with 

41 votes (44%):

Snail Crossing, written and illustrated by Corey R. Tabor

Here are some reasons why: 

  • It was cute.
  • The snail thought he was at the cabbage but he wasn't there. 
  • It is silly.
  • The ants went in the snail shell and had a tea party. 
  • Because the snail helps the ants.
  • It was sweet and funny.
  • He thinks he's going to the food, but he went in a circle.
  • I like when the snail thought he scared the bird away, but the car did. 
  • The ants were nice enough to bring the lettuce that the snail was trying to get.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

In Other Words ... with Grade 4

Fourth 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: The car flashed through the puddle and got me soaked. 

NEW: We got soaking wet when a car splashed through a puddle. 



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

NEW: The rude student was kicked out of school because he was making noises.

NEW: The teacher was distracted when the student was making a terrible commotion in class, and they kicked him out. 


ORIGINAL: I remained awake until the wee hours, absorbing broadcast entertainment. At the present time, I am lacking energy.

NEW: I stayed up late listening to the radio, and I'm tired.

NEW: I'm tired because I stayed up too late watching TV. 

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:

Back when I was a kid, my older siblings didn't get along with me. Now that I'm older, we now respect and love each other - A.M.

When I was young, I got into fights all the time with my older brothers and sisters. Now that we are older, we don't fight anymore and get along nicely. - D.P.

When I was younger, my older sister and I didn't get along too well. Now that we're older, we get along much better. - G.S.

When I was younger my siblings and I fought. Now we are older and we are mature, we have a nice time together. - G.Z.

When I was younger I fought with my older brother and sister a lot. Now that we are older, we get along and enjoy each other. - L.S.

When I was younger, I often used to fight with my older brother and sister. As we got older, we realized we may not always agree and get together often. - M.R.

When I was a kid I would fight with my older brother and sister. Now that we are older we get along better. - N.C.

When I was four years old, I had many arguments with my older brother and sisters. Now that we are older, we are able to get along with each other and not argue. - R.R.

When I was younger, my brothers and sisters and I always fought over silly things. Now we are older, we have worked out all our problems! - S.C. 

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Mrs. Gemma's Class' Holiday Fortunately/Unfortunately Story

I was hanging ornaments.

Unfortunately, I was home alone!!!

Fortunately, I had a German Shepherd there to keep me company. 

Unfortunately, he bit all the ornaments.

Fortunately, we had extras in the attic.

Unfortunately, last year some of them broke because of my siblings. 

Fortunately, I was very rich and had servants to clean them up. 

Unfortunately, the servants were very clumsy and dropped all of my other rich ornaments.

Fortunately, the ornaments were magic and flew back together and back to their places on the tree.

Unfortunately, robbers came in the house and stole the tree and the ornaments. 

Fortunately, I called the police, and they got there as fast as they could.

Unfortunately, they actually lived in Tallahassee, FL, and I was all the way in Washington, DC.

Fortunately, they finally got to DC.

Unfortunately, they skipped my house and went to visit the president. 

Fortunately, they got back on track and came to my house.

Unfortunately, President Washington was having a talk with President Lincoln and President Theodore Roosevelt about creating a mean Grinch to steal Christmas.

Fortunately, they weren't that smart.

Unfortunately, they were still able to turn all the cops into Grinches.

Fortunately, they were happy Grinches.

Unfortunately, they still wanted to steal Christmas.

Fortunately, I invented a machine to make all the Grinches nice.

Unfortunately, the machine didn't work because there were too many Grinches.

Fortunately, President Lincoln decided that he was not going to help them any more.

Unfortunately, President Lincoln got zapped with the Grinch machine.

Fortunately, Santa Claus came and said they were going to be on the naughty list.

Unfortunately, President Washington zapped Santa Claus.

Fortunately, it was snowing and the snow came through the roof, and they all got cold and turned into icicles.

Unfortunately, I also turned into an icicle.

Fortunately, Santa Claus was secretly in training and he had a six pack and was able to break out.

Unfortunately, when he did that, he was so strong that all the Grinches got out too.

Fortunately, the Subvengers came.

Unfortunately, the Grinches and Presidents ate the Subvengers,

Fortunately, the Subvengers came back out of the Grinches and Presidents and ate them.

Happy holidays!

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Fortunately/Unfortunately with Grade 3

Thanks to for the idea and the image.

We read Fortunately by Remy Charlip, a story that follows Ned through a series of problems and resolutions, and talked about plot structure.

Then we wrote our own version as a class ... the kids much preferred coming up with the "unfortunately" parts!

Ms. Gemma's Class

Story 1:

I was going swimming.

Unfortunately, I went to the deep end and I can’t swim.

Fortunately, there was a lifeguard there to save me.

Unfortunately, the lifeguard couldn’t see me.

Fortunately, there were stairs beside me.

Unfortunately, I fell down the stairs.

Fortunately, there were life vests.

Unfortunately, there were sharks that had come through the drain, as well as piranhas.

Fortunately, they were nice.

Unfortunately, a jellyfish came through the drain and zapped me.

Fortunately, a doctor was swimming in the pool too.

Unfortunately, he was evil.

Fortunately, the sharks ate the evil doctor.

Unfortunately, the doctor gave the sharks a shot.

F, the lifeguard finally saw me and I was rescued.

Story 2:

There was an evil octopus in the sea that sucked the smart out of people.

Unfortunately, the octopus sucked the smart out of me.

Fortunately, I was so smart that the octopus couldn’t suck ALL of my smartness out of me.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t alone, and he had poisonous piranhas and poisonous sharks that can also suck out brains. 

Fortunately, they couldn’t breathe on land, and I escaped.

Unfortunately, there were mountain lions chasing me.

Fortunately, the lions were distracted by Subway subs.

Unfortunately, the octopus was actually a scientist that didn’t like humans because they killed his brother, and he came on land and suffocated me.

Fortunately, my older brother was there sneaking up on me.

Unfortunately, he fell into the water and the evil scientist tried to suck out his brain. 

Fortunately, he saved himself and Supergirl and Superman attacked the octopus with their laser eyes, and the Subway subs turned into the Avengers … actually the Subvengers.

Story 3:

Once there was a scientist in secret lab.

Unfortunately, the scientist caught me and planned to turn me into a hairless cat.

Fortunately, he was allergic to cats, even the hairless ones.

Unfortunately, he decided to turn me into a dog.

Fortunately, he was scared of dogs.

Unfortunately, when I turned into a dog, I transformed into a Grinch and wanted to steal Christmas.

Fortunately, I turned into a good Grinch.

Unfortunately, he wanted to turn my brother into a lifeless lizard.

Fortunately, the Subvengers were there, ready to take on everything. 

Mrs. DeSimone's Class

Ned finally made it to the surprise party.

Unfortunately, all the things that chased him were at the party, including sharks and tigers and a pitchfork.

Fortunately, there was a superhero there as well.

Unfortunately, she was an evil supervillain.

Fortunately, everything that chased him decided to fight the supervillain.

Unfortunately, a big herd of elephants ran into the room, being driven by an evil scientist.

Fortunately, the scientist had no chemicals on him.

Unfortunately, he did have a bomb.

Fortunately, the bomb went into the water and blew up the boats instead of the people.

Unfortunately, it rolled back to the party and blew up.

Fortunately, a ladder also flew out of it onto the roof, and Ned was able to escape.

Unfortunately, the evil scientist came back to eat his brain.

Fortunately, Ned was right outside of his best friend’s house.

Unfortunately, before the scientist lost his chemicals, his best friend had had his brain sucked out, and was not smart enough to let Ned inside.

Fortunately, he found the back door open and let himself in. 

Unfortunately, his friend was like “What the heck?” and fell to the ground because he was so scared.

Fortunately, he recovered and they were safe. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Mock Caldecott Results

The American Library Association awards the Caldecott Medal to the artist of "the most distinguished American picture book for children." In the spring, first- and second-graders listened to about a dozen picture books that were published in 2019. Our voting process was interrupted by COVID, but we finally had a chance to select a winner from the list of four finalists this fall.

The winner: Who Wet My Pants?, illustrated by Zachariah O'Hora and written by Bob Shea.  

Here are some reasons why the kids chose it:

  • It made me laugh and it was funny
  • Because I liked how he talked
  • He wanted to find out who wet his pants ... and it was him
  • It was like a comic with not that many words on each page.
  • He kept asking WHO WET MY PANTS!!!
  • It's funny when he says "These pants are broken."
  • Because it is hilarious
  • He was kind and he was curious and even if one of his friends did it, he would still forgive them.

Full voting results:

Forms response chart. Question title: Which of these four books was your favorite?. Number of responses: 65 responses.