Sunday, October 27, 2013

Week of October 21

Kindergarten- I read a fall favorite of mine called Little Goblins 10, by Pamela Jane.  The students enjoy both making all the sounds and motions that go with the story, and they enjoy counting up to ten.  After, I use pictures of the characters to test student memory of what sounds and motions went with that character.  Then we spent a little extra time getting books out because it was our first time picking books from the shelves!  Students were very excited!

Extra Kindergarten- We started with a Halloween classic- Scary, Scary Halloween, by Eve Bunting.  This is a perfect “scare” level for this age- and the students are so pleasantly surprised at the end!  Then I shared with them the app Go Away Big, Green Monster, read by the author Ed Emberly.  I think this is such a great message for students at this time of year- breaking the monster down into it’s parts and demanding that it not come back until I say so!

First Grade- I love this time of year- such great books to share!  I shared with first graders another classic for this time of year- Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson.  I was excited to show them the stuffed witch from the book that I picked up at Barnes and Nobles!  Students and I then talked about how the spine of a book holds the book together just like our spine holds us up.  We looked at and felt where the spine is on us and on a book.  Then we decorated a book as if the student was the author making a correct spine label and colored a skeleton that was sitting on top of the book.

Extra First Grade- Continuing my skeleton theme to go with learning about books spines, I read the book Dem Bones, by Bob Barner.  Then we went on Book Flix, a database purchased by our district and watched a video version of Dem Bones.  The students had so much fun dancing along to it.  I am glad that I read it first so they understood the idea that the bones are connected, but I am also glad that they enjoyed the musical portion of it too!  We also had time to read the nonfiction book that BookFlix aligns with Dem Bones, called You Have Healthy Bones.

Second Grade- For second grade, we read the first half of Orange You Glad It’s Halloween, Amber Brown? (Paula Danziger).  This is one of the “younger” Amber Brown books, where her parents are still married but not getting along this Halloween morning.  Students then spent time writing and illustrating a prediction about what will happen in the second half of the book. Lots of predictions about what Amber Brown’s secret costume will be, but there were some more serious ones that dealt with Amber Brown’s parents.  All in all, great work!

Extra second grade- Earlier in the year, I had read Who Stole the Mona Lisa (Ruthie Knapp).  Students were really intrigued about it, and we ran out of time.  So this week, I read Leonardo’s Horses, a very different aspect of the life and works of Leonardo da Vinci.  Students were also very interested in this story.  We wrapped it up with looking at the biography of Leonardo da Vinci on PebbleGO.  

Third Grade- Another fall favorite of mine- Haunted Hamburger (David LaRochelle).  This is just a really fun, silly twist on what is “scary.”  Students always seem to enjoy it!  I then talked to students about how we have been organizing picture and fiction books in ABC order by author’s last name.  We then talked about how nonfiction books have a number instead, and that is not by author’s last name.  We watched the video ASF Library Dewey Decimal System (found at and discovered that nonfiction books are arranged by subject. 

Extra Third Grade- I read a book that I recently discovered at Barnes and Nobles, called How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara.  Not only does it focus on counting by twos, fives and tens, it has a great ending line about how big things can be happening in little packages!  We then (finally!) had a chance to try the colAR app that we made pictures for a few weeks ago!  I loved hearing all the oohs and aahs going around the room!

Fourth Grade- This week, my fourth graders heard the first two chapters of The Monster’s Ring, by Bruce Coville, which has a setting of Halloween time.  I was disappointed that our local paper is not sponsoring a contest this year, which Coville does every Halloween where students compete to finish one of his stories.  I usually introduce the contest and the book at the same time.  So this year, it is just the book. I read the first two chapters of The Monster’s Ring, and students were asked to make three predictions with illustrations about what they thought might happen.  I encourage the students to use their imagination and have fun!

Extra Fourth Grade- This group had a chance to do last week’s lesson with Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, as I did not see this group last week.

Fifth Grade- I continued with our exploration of mysteries.  We reviewed some mystery vocabulary words and then I introduced the students to a website, called, by Patrick Carman.  This author believes in mixing traditional print and online videos to help engage children.  Each story on 315stories is one short story, told in three formats, that takes about 15 minutes.  You can download an app, and purchase episodes, but the first episode is free. I showed the first episode to the fifth grade and they loved it!  It was a great spooky story for this time of year!

Sixth Grade- Some classes finished Mongoose, from Library Card, by Jerry Spinelli, and watched Private I.Guana, on storyline online, to kick things off.  The class that was already done began working on the mystery genre webquest, exploring their choice of Eric Berlin, Carl Hiaasen, or Wendelin Van Draanen.  Students are finding they must get used to browsing a website to find the required inform