Sunday, October 23, 2016

When the Wonderful Happens

As part of our writing workshop this past week, we read the story The Wonderful Happens by Cynthia Rylant.

What I like about this book is it makes us think about the importance of everyday things. For example, she writes about the purpose of a spoon, Thinking about those small details is, I believe, challenging for the little ones. Why do we use a spoon? How can we describe the details of the spoon. So I asked them to write about something they thought was "wonderful" that happened every day but that we might not notice or appreciate. I made it our class book for October because I thought they did a really good job coming up with creative responses.

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Pink Warriors

So as many of you know I went through treatment for breast cancer last year. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but I survived! Today was our wear pink for breast cancer awareness. Our upper grade teachers had the kids write notes for me again this year. They were posted outside my classroom this morning.

My favorite one!

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Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Important Book

I read my students the Important Book:

It talks about the important thing about objects. The important part of a spoon is that you eat with it. The important part of a daisy is that it's white. I think it's sometimes hard to define what makes something important.

I asked students to then consider what an important part of themselves was, what made them different from other kids. I took the pics this time, if we were further along in the year I would have let them take pictures of one another, but I wanted to make sure they were getting pictures of what they wanted to write about. Here's what they came up with.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Recent Reads

I am not a fast reader. I aim to finish a book a week during the school year, but it doesn't always happen. And of course, all the books I put on hold at the library come in at the same time! I know #bookworm problems. :)

I have read a few good ones recently though and wanted to share.

This was a pretty deep story. It follows a family through several generations trying to survive in the Caribbean through some turbulent times. The characters are very well developed and I thought it was very well-written. It made the waiting part of jury duty go much faster!

This is an amazing story. Siobhan Dowd had the idea for this book and then died from breast cancer. So her friend Patrick Ness decided to write it in her honor. It's a powerful story about a little boy dealing with his mother's illness. He conjures up this monster to help him work through all his anger and emotions. It looks like a scary book but it really isn't-it's very poignant and moving. I read that they are making a movie of this-I can't imagine how that would work-like making a movie of Where the Wild Things Are, but we'll see.

I listened to this book read by Lin-Manuel Miranda. I'm still not sure how I feel about it. There were parts that I liked, and then parts that I'm not sure why they were included. It's a story about friendship and teens trying to be themselves.

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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Max and the Wild Things

I LOVE sharing the book Where the Wild Things Are with the kiddos!

I read it to them and then let them hear it once again another day from the video on Discovery Education. So many rigorous activities and discussions to that can accompany this story!

The one I wanted to share with you today involves ethics. I asked the students whether it was right or wrong for Max to leave the Wild Things-after all, they did not want him to go. 

right because he was homeless, foodless and momless.

Right because he was missing his house.

Right because his dinner was waiting.

Wrong because he wanted to be safe.

Wrong because the monsters said good-bye.

(Now this student told me she meant it was wrong to stay because it was dangerous).

Wrong because his room turned into a jungle.

Wrong because the monsters were mad at him.

Right because he was too scared.

Right because he wanted to go home for his soup.

Wrong because the Wild Things didn't want him to go.

Wrong because the Wild Things loved him.

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