Monday, March 17, 2014

#IMWAYR March 17th

Happy St. Patrick's Day. It's Monday and I'm linking up with Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers. What are you reading?

This past week I only read picture books. Did not have the time for a serious chapter book.

Be Good to Eddie Lee by Virginia Fleming, illustrated by Floyd Cooper
Very sweet story about Eddie Lee who has Downs Syndrome.

Pinky and Rex and the Bully by James Howe, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
I have several Pinky and Rex stories. They are cute little Leveled Readers. Great beginning chapter books for my 1st or 2nd graders. I don't know how I skipped this one. In this book Pinky deals with a 3rd grade bully. Pinky finally gets stands up to him and everything turns out alright.

Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple illustrated by Brooke Dyer.
Cute little lullaby about different animals hibernating.

All for Me and None for All  by Helen Lester, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
This same talented team are responsible for the Tacky the Penguin books. This adorable story is all about Gruntly the Hog who well is a hog. Great little story about greed.

Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter by Diane Stanley
A very cute twist to the tale of Rumpelstiltskin. In this tale the daughter of Rumpelstiltskin outwits the greedy king.

The Tuskegee Airmen Story by Lynn Homan and Thomas Reilly illustrated by Rosalie Shepherd
Great story about the Tuskegee Airmen and their role in WWII. Beautifully done.

Lili at Ballet by Rachel Isadora
Cute picture book about a little girl learning to be a ballerina. Has cute graphics describing the various positions, equipment and roles in ballet.

Marimba! Animales from A to Z by Pat Mora, illustrated by Doug Cushman
A very different ABC book about the animals in the zoo dancing while the monkey plays the marimba.

Mr. George Baker by Amy Hest, illustrated by Jon J. Muth
Cute story proving you are never too old to learn how to read.

My Garden by Kevin Henkes
A cute little story about a young girl's dreams of her own garden. My favorite - planting jelly beans and growing a jelly bean tree.

Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes
I forgot I had purchased this one. Would be perfect for my kinders.

"Let's Get a Pup! said Kate by Bob Graham
Kate needs a pet so the family heads to the animal rescue center to pick one out. While they are there they find two dogs that are just what the family needs. Cute

What Did You Do Today? (The first day of school) by Toby Forward, illustrated by Carol Thompson
In this delightful tale a little boy experiences his first day of school while mom goes to work.

Happy Reading!!! I've got to go pick out some more books to experience.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

#IMWAYR March 10

Yes, I know it's Tuesday. Yesterday, I got the dreaded phone call from the high school. The youngest had the stomach bug. If you've had it, I'm sorry. If you haven't, you don't want it! I'm posting a day late and probably a dollar short....

Check Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers to see what others are reading.

We were out a day last week for weather so I finished a few.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

I finally got a copy! My students have already created a waiting list. Have another one on order. The students will love it. Plenty of rebellion and violence in this one. I didn't like it as well as The Hunger Games, but very well written. I'll read Insurgent when it arrives. Think I'll pass on the movie. If they put just half of the plot from the book, it will be too much for me. My boys will love it. They can go with Dad. Frozen was more my speed. 4 stars

Finished The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan.

I've been trying to finish this one for a month. This is book two of the Kane Chronicles. The Kane kids have to find the Book of Ra and awake the god. Of course they have near misses with death and have to fight a few evil magicians on the way. Love Riordan. 5 stars

I hit the picture books to work on my 300 book challenge. (My fifth graders "bet" me I couldn't read 300 books this school year. Only two conditions: 1- had to be books in our library - so they could read them too and 2- could not have previously read them.) I'm trying to mix up chapter books, nonfiction and picture books. Have to admit it's helping me really know my collection.

Dot by Patricia Intriago

Happy dots, sad dots, all about dots.  It was cute. Going to have to use this one with my Kindergarteners. Maybe the art teacher and I can collaborate on a project. hmmmm  It probably hasn't been circulated a lot since it's not an AR book. Have to talk it up a bit. 5 stars Don't be confused by Peter Reynold's book The Dot. I have it also.

One of Each by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Marjorie Priceman

Oliver lives alone and has one of everything. Though the story he discovers it better to have two so you can share with your friends. Cute story. Adorable illustrations. 5 stars

Henry Hikes to Fitchburg by D. B. Johnson

Beautiful story about how two friends travel to Fitchburg. Henry walks and interacts with nature while his friend works for money to purchase a train ticket.  Cute story and gorgeous illustrations. Footnotes about Henry David Thoreau. 5 stars

The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers

Henry loves books, loves to eat books. Then he discovers the joys/benefits of reading them.
Cute Cute Cute Pictures of Henry reminded me of David Shannon's David character. 4 stars

Found three Deborah Hopkinson books. Not sure how I skipped these. They were all very good. Recommend them all.

Saving Strawberry Farm sweet story set in the Great Depression. The illustrations by Rachel Isadora were perfect for the book.5 stars
Under the Quilt of Night, illustrated by  James E. Ransome  If you are looking for a title to correlate with the Underground Railroad this one would be perfect. 5 stars
Stagecoach Sal illustrated by Carson Ellis This one was loosely based on the story of Delia Haskett Rawson a stagecoach mail carrier in the later half of the nineteenth century. Cute story which incorporates American folk music into historical fiction. 4 stars

Also read:
 Aunt Flossie's Hats (and Crab Cakes Later) by Elizabeth Howard, illustrations by James Ransome
Lily and the Mixed-Up Letters by Deborah Hodge, illustrated by France Brassard
Two Mrs. Gibsons by Toyomi Igus, illustrated by Daryl Wells
I Wish I were a Butterfly by James Howe, illustrated by Ed Young

Happy Reading!!!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Celebrating Reading

This past week my school had special activities for Read Across America Day. Due to the crazy winter weather, ice forced us to delay some of our activities. Students read and listened to 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins. Then they created their own version of a Suessy hat.

Some students listened to if I Ran the Zoo and created their own critter for the "McBrown Zoo".

They're hard to read but my second graders created a Zoozy Floozy and a Heartsie Tartsie. I drew a weird shape for the body and the students took turns adding features to create a class creature for our school zoo.

After telling our 8th graders the history behind Green Eggs and Ham, she read it then challenged them to find the 50 words.

We had special snacks in the cafeteria. Don't rat us out! It wasn't on the approved school menu. Don't even get me started about our school lunches. The students loved them.

We had lots of special readers during the week Miss Greene County, County Commissioners, Director of Schools, our State Representative, and our favorite Judge.

Don't forget to link up with Primary Chalkboard with ways you celebrated Dr. Seuss and Read Across America in your classroom.

Happy Reading!!!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Book Character Day- Celebrating Reading

We missed our Read Across America Day Monday because of ice. We simply called the kids and moved all the fun to Friday. I'm glad we did. It was a little crazy at school today. What a way to end Dr. Seuss week! Our students and teachers dressed as their favorite book character. I was going to play it save and dress as Cat in the Hat, but no, I got a little crazy! Meet my version of Pinkalicious.
(You have to understand. This is totally out of character for me. I'm really a conservative dresser, lots of black and brown. The looks on the kid's faces, PRICELESS!)

Pinkalicious, Cat in the Hat, Fox in Socks, Thing 1 and Thing 2, Cat in the Hat, Truffala Tree, and The Grouch Ladybug, Clifford and Cindy Lou Who all appeared at my little school. Too fun! 

The teachers are so cute in their outfits. Our principal even wore his Dr. Seuss hat. Several of the students dressed up in cute costumes. 

Lots of cute characters at school today. Did your school get to celebrate Read Across America Day with a book character day? Hey, whatever it takes to inspire reading!!! I'm linking up with Primary Chalkboard for their Dr. Seuss week.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Celebrating Read Across America With My Favorite Authors

At my school we love Dr. Seuss! Why? It's all about READING! My teachers and I will do about anything to inspire the love of reading  in our students. Read Across America Day is a great day/week to celebrate reading at school.  Whether it's reading Dr. Seuss books or other favorite authors, my teachers go above and beyond to foster the love of books with our students.

Author studies or author of the month is a favorite activity of mine with my lower grade students. With Kindergarten, First Grade and my Second Grade students I try to have a monthly author focus.  It's a great time to highlight some of my favorite authors with the kids. Some authors get a spotlight in collaboration from the teachers. Others get shoutouts because they are my personal favorites. I love telling the students about favorite books from my childhood as well as introducing them to new and upcoming authors.

I love reading Clocks and More Clocks by Pat Hutchins. The students find it way too entertaining to discover I was four years old when it was written.  As a student I loved hearing it read by my first grade teacher and I want to make it just as exciting for my students.

Another great classic is The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle, published the year I graduated from high school. I just love all of Eric Carle's books. He's one of my favorite picture book authors/illustrators.

Newer authors I love are James Dean's Pete the Cat books and anything by Mo Willems. 
Students today are blessed with an array of talented authors. As a librarian I'm only limited by my budget to great children's literature,  definitely not the selection available!

Go check out other favorite authors at Primary Chalkboard's linky. 

Happy Reading!!!

Monday, March 3, 2014

#IMWAYR March 2

It's Monday! and What are you reading? Link up with Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki form Unleashing Readers to see what others are reading.

With basketball and getting ready for Read Across America Day, it' not been a super great reading week. I did finish a few in my stack. Just got the phone call, we're out today! So disappointed. :(

I found a couple little scary tales for my middle grade students. They want a thriller but I don't want to give them anything too horrific. I picked up Dare to Be Scared and Double-Dare to Be Scared by Robert D. San Souci, illustrated by David Ouimet.  These will be perfect for my 3-5th graders. Both books contain 13 short stories guarantee to thrill the students. The books contained just enough of scare factor without being overly graphic. 4 stars

Another thriller was The Ghost of Graylock by Dan Poblocki

I was a bit worried about this one when I started reading it. Was very afraid it was going not handle mental illness in an appropriate way for my students. But it improved after the first couple chapters. Turned out to be one I can recommend for my middle students. A great little thriller/mystery/ghost story.

One of my lower grade teachers wanted some fairy tales to compare and contrast. While I was pulling the titles she requested, I found these on my shelves.

Cactus Soup by Eric Kimmel, illustrated by Phil Huling 

Basically it's a version of stone soup. Set in San Miguel, Mexico, soldiers enter town and are hungry. Soup is made from a cactus instead of a stone. Cute and well done!

The Impudent Rooster by Sabina J. Rascol, illustrated by Holly Berry

This Romanian tale is about a rooster which tries to help his master by finding a purse but looses it to a rich nobleman. Great little story about friendship and kindness. 5 stars

The Dragon Prince by Laurence Yep, illustrated by Kam Mak

This is a Chinese Beauty and the Beast tale. Beautifully done. 5 stars

Can You Guess My Name? by Judy Sierra, illustrated by Stefano Vitale

A nice collection of traditional tales from around the world.

I should finish reading the third book of Tiger's Curse, Tiger's Voyage by Colleen Houck tonight today since we're out for weather.

I'm going to be honest. This series is becoming tiresome. I really enjoyed the first book, Tiger's Curse, but with the second and now the third I'm just wanting it to be done. Tiger's Voyage is really dragging.... So far only 3 stars. Not impressed.

Happy Reading. Going to have to bring a new stack of books home from school tomorrow.

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