Monday, June 23, 2014

#IMWAYR June 23

In the summer time usually the TBR pile shrinks, but mine seems to be growing. Thank you, Ms. Yingling! Time for the weekly read titles. Don't forget to check in with Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellie and Rickie at Unleashing Readers to see what everyone else is reading.

Alphabet Soup: A Feast of Letters by Scott Gustafson

Loved this one. From the beautiful text to gorgeous illustrations, I really enjoyed this one. I have several alphabet stories that work well for Kindergarten or even first grade. Due to the vocabulary in this one, I plan on using it with my middle grades to teach alliteration. I think the 3rd or 4th graders will love this one.

Jamica's Find by Juanita Havill

Such a sweet story! Jamaica finds a stuffed dog at the park. Struggling with the desire of "finders keepers", Jamaica finally makes a great choice. This story will be perfect for one of my lower grade classes. There are times when doing the right thing is not an easy choice for first graders.

Other reads that were not near as impressive:

Johnny Lion's Book by Edith Thatcher Hurd
Moon Was at a Fiesta by Matthew Gollub
A Day with Daddy by Nikki Grimes
Extraordinary Adventures of an Ordinary Hat by Wolfram Hanel
Wild Pitch by Eric Fein
Miss Lanely Is Zany! by Dan Gutman

Keep Reading!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Great Nonfiction Picture Books June 18th

Finding great nonfiction picture books is a challenge in itself. Once found, reading is a snap!
This week I found some books that will be perfect additions for my library. I know some of these titles have been around for a while, but I finally purchased them for my school. I highly recommend these books for school libraries and math teachers.
Sir Cumference stories by Cindy Neuschwander, illustrated by Wayne Geehan
Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone
Sir Vertex must solve a puzzle and find Edgecalibur, the king's hidden sword. With knowledge of geometric shapes, Sir Vertex finds the sword. What a way to teach the different shapes.
Sir Cumference and the Off-the-Charts Dessert
The harvest festival is only a few days away and the cook is sick. Lady Di asks two chefs in the village to audition for the job of cooking desserts for the festivities. Chef Pia and Chef Bart Graf cook up a storm and present data to Sir Cumference and Lady Di as to the most poplar dessert in town. This one is a great introduction to pie charts and bar graphs.
Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland
In this adventure Squire Radius seeks a quest to solve the mysterious disappearance of King Lell. With the help of an old family heirloom, a golden medallion shaped like a compass, Radius deciphers the puzzle and finds the missing king. (If only geometry had been this exciting when I was in middle school!)

Keep Reading!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tried It Tuesday: Symbaloo

Tech Time in the library. Have you tried Symbaloo?

My school is updating our web page. Of course our district is using a different company. What does that mean for me? I'm also the school's webmaster. I've been spending a bit lot of time transferring information from our old page to the new site. I wasn't overly excited with the new site's options for links. ( I have a student link page.) My techie friends had been talking about Symbaloo. I had to try it.

It was easy peasy! I haven't figured out how to make the boards smaller so I had to make multiple boards. That might be better for my students.

First, I made a board for my Lower Grades.

Of course I didn't stop there. Made a board for our research links.


I also made one with the science links my students use.

I fixed my Symbaloo boards very quickly. I like that I can log on to Symbaloo and quickly make corrections or additions. No more trying to keep updating homepages on the student computers at school. I still need to work on some of the images, but overall I'm happy with the results.

Keep Reading!!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

#IMWAYR June 16

 I found a little time to read during my third week of summer vacation.  Here's my It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Link up with Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellie and Rickie at Unleashing Readers.

Do Unto Otters: A book about Manners by Laurie Keller

If you teach lower grades, you will love this one! Perfect for K-2 students. Rabbit gets new neighbors and learns what Do unto Otters means. Hilarious!  Discusses everything from being friendly, honest, saying excuse me and thank you. You get the idea. LOVE THIS ONE. I'm not sure which of my book buddies recommended this one but - THANK YOU!!! Homerun.

The Pirate of Kindergarten by George Ella Lyon

I would have purchased this one just because of the author. Once again Ms. Lyons has written a delightful story. Ginny sees everything in doubles but doesn't know everyone doesn't see that way. Finally she gets her eyes checked and it's discovered she has double vision. Recommend this one!

Other Picture Book reads included:
Ride, Fly Guy Ride! by Tedd Arnold
There's a Fly Guy in my Soup by Tedd Arnold
Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by Eric Litwin and James Dean
Pete the Cat and his Magic Sunglasses by Kimberly and James Dean
Silverlicious by Victoria Kann
Purplicious by Victoria Kann
Pinkalicious: Flower Girl by Victoria Kann
Bats at the Library by Brian Lies

Also managed to read a few short chapter books.

Whatever After series by Sarah Mlynowski

So far I've managed to read the first 5 books in this new series. Basically Abby and her younger brother move into a new house with a magic mirror in the basement. The mirror transports the two youngsters to various fairy tales where they must "fix or change the ending of  the story". I think my middle grade (3-5) girls will like these.

Also finished Stink: Solar System Superhero by Megan McDonald
Stink: Ultimate Thumb-Wrestling Smackdown by Megan McDonald
Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute by Jarrett Krosoczka

Keep Reading! Only 7 more weeks of summer vacation. I shouldn't have looked!

Monday, June 9, 2014

#IMWAYR June 9th

Week 2 of summer vacation has passed. I found a little time to read. Here's my It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Link up with Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellie and Rickie at Unleashing Readers.

 Scarlet  and Cress by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet is book two of the Lunar Chronicles. The first book Cinder set the stage for the introduction of Scarlet and Wolf. So far I've not been overly enthrawded with 2nd books in a trilogy. Loved this one! Cress was equally addicting. I started reading on evening about 11 thinking "I'll read a couple chapters before I go to sleep." Oh no, I finished the book about 3 AM! I couldn't set it down. Now I've go to wait till next spring to read Winter. On to the next series.... (AR reading levels of 5.8 and 6.0)

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

I thought Book 2 of the Divergent series was a little slow, and honestly started to get bored with Book 3, Allegiant. After a few chapters the action quickly picks up. The last third was hands down better than the first third. The ending totally got me. Maybe I should have seen it coming, but that's what I get for reading at the doctor's office. (My 15 year old  has been really sick... was finally diagnosed with mono.) Recommend this one for the uppers. I don't think my 5th graders are emotionally ready for this one.  (AR reading level 5.7)

Babymouse: Monster Mash by Jennifer L. and Matthew Holm

I just don't like Babymouse. My students love her. They will appreciate it a lot more than I did. Doesn't help that I read it after Allegiant. This one will be a big hit with the lower grades.  (AR reading level of 1.9)

Geronimo Stilton: I'm Not Supermouse! by Geronimo Stilton

My third grades really enjoy this series. This makes about the 3 book in the series that I have read. Don't know if I'll read another one. I liked the Magic Tree House or Nate the Great books better. (AR reading level of 3.8)

Keep Reading!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Great Nonfiction Picture Books - June 4th

Unless it's history I don't like to read a lot of nonfiction. Therefore the nonfiction picture book challenge is perfect for me.
What If You Had Animal Teeth!? by Sandra Markle illustrated by Howard McWilliam

LOVED IT!  On the left layout Ms. Markle states facts about an animal's front teeth. The right layout is a great page of what if  you had those teeth. The combination of photos and illustrations is perfect. The last few pages are devoted to information and care of human teeth.

I highly recommend this one to any lower grade teacher or elementary library. I'm sure this one will be a hit with my elementary students. (Accelerated Reading level of 4.9)

Keep Reading!!!

Monday, June 2, 2014

#IMWAYR for June 2nd

It's Monday! What are you reading? Of course I'm linking up with Jen at Teach Mentor Text and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers!

Got a few picture books read - Just a few! I'm trying to read all the books on my last book shipment.
I Need My Monster by Amanda Nell
Me and My Dragon by David Biedrzycki
Olivia and the Fairy Princesses by Ian Falconer
Crazy like a Fox: A Simile Story by Loreen Leedy
Memoirs of a Goldfish by Devin Scillian
Bits and Pieces by Judy Schachner
Listen to My Trumpet by Mo Willems
If you are looking for great picture books, these were TERRIFIC!

Mapping Penny's World by Loreen Leedy
This was such a great picture book. This one is very informative and an entertaining about maps.  Explained all about creating maps and what makes a good map.  I can't wait to create maps with my kids this fall.

I discovered Ladybug Girl books by David Soman and Jacky Davis last fall on a visit to Barnes and Noble. LOVE HER. My first graders wanted more Ladybug Girl stories. Had to honor requests!
Read Ladybug Girl, Ladybug Girl at the Beach, Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad, Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy, Ladybug Girl and Bingo.  Might have to dress up as her on our book character day next year. IF I can loose enough of the tummy to squeeze into a red tutu and find red boots! Otherwise it will be Ladybug Woman :(

How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg
My middle school students are going to love this one. Has just enough gore without being overly gross. It had a reading level of 6.8 according to AR. Might have to read part of this one to my uppers just to get a reaction!

Don't think it really counts as reading since it's a wordless picture book, but I loved The Chicken Thief by Beatrice Rodriguez. Cute surprise ending!

Other reads included:
How Hybrid Cars Work by Jennifer Swanson
I Survived the Japanese Tsunami, 2011 by Lauren Tarshis
I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916 by Lauren Tarshis
Ivy + Bean: What's the Big Idea by Annie Barrows
Miss Mary Is Scary! by Dan Gutman
Miss Child Has Gone Wild! by Dan Gutman
Darth Paper Strikes Back! by Tom Angleberger
If You Give a Dog a Donut by Laura Numeroff
More of Less by Stuart Murphy
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
Happy Birthday, Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel
Lunch Lady and the Schoolwide Scuffle by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Flat Stanley and the Haunted House by Jeff Brown
Judy Moody and the Bad Luck Charm by Megan McDonald
Biscuit's First Beach Day, Plays Ball, Day at the Farm, Meets the Class Pet, and In the Garden by Alyssa Satin CapuciIlli
Hooray for Fly Guy!, Buzz Boy and Fly Guy, and Fly Guy Meets Fly Girl! by Tedd Arnold
Fancy Nancy's Spectacular Spectacles, My Family History, and Hair Dos and Hair Don'ts by Jane O'Conner

 It looks like a huge stack but most of them were really short. Not too bad for Week One of Summer Vacation!

Keep Reading!!! You know I will. Time to start stack 2!

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