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Monday, July 28, 2014

Bookworm Buzz

I have read 70 books for #bookaday. Number 70 was an ebook, my first one! My new goal is 75 books by the end of summer vacation. Glad to hear from those of you who are sharing your summer reading progress. Read on!

Absolutely AlmostAbsolutely Almost by Lisa Graff
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An interesting story that would be great for many talk worthy discussions. I think readers will constantly be asking questions and wanting to read more to find out what happens next. I was left with a few unanswered questions which is a reflection of the type of reader I am and how I enjoy talking about the books I read with others. I enjoyed the characters but was disappointed in the behavior of several of the adults. I felt the same way after reading We Were Liars, but not to the same degree. Let me know what you think.

View all my reviews

The ebook that I read was The Adventures of Ai, by Craig Bouchard. It isn't on Goodreads just yet, so I will review it for you myself with the appropriate links. This book is just right for my middle school and high school friends. The story is a combination of memoir and legend told in unique time shifts, including concepts of math, poetry, history and art. There are some interesting elements of the legend that made me want to learn more about Japanese culture and mythology. The lesson to "never be afraid to try your best," and to "follow your dreams," comes through in a unique way. Readers will enjoy the photographs and the epilogue. I was left with some questions that I would want to ask the author, and wonder if there are more Adventures of Ai on the horizon. I think readers would want to learn more about Ai and what happens AFTER the story ends. There is a free game to download for iTunes or on Google play . If you read the book, or play the game, let me know what you think. Perhaps playing the game will make you want to read the book! Post a comment and let me know what you think!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Where's Williams

I think this is becoming a habit. Two blue tickets to the first correct guess as to where I am tonight! #selfiesaturday!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bookworm Buzz

Well, I've done it! 68 books read so far this summer, which was my goal for book-a-day. It has been 33 days, less than half of the days in summer. I am going to read more chapter books, and maybe some books just for me, and try to get to 75. I think that this will be a good goal. Remember, once you reach your summer reading goal, DON'T STOP!! Set a new goal and keep reading. :) Pigsticks and Harold and the Incredible JourneyPigsticks and Harold and the Incredible Journey by Alex Milway
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really loved this book and recommended it to my niece who will be entering 3rd grade this fall.  It is a good introduction to the graphic novel genre and the story is HILARIOUS!  I can see us including it in a text set or book groups about fictional hamsters.  I imagine that there will be many more tales of Pigsticks and Harold in the future.  Mrs. Richards needs to add this one to her list!


View all my reviews
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book will make a nice addition to the Patricia MacLachlanauthor study book group.  If you liked some of her recent chapter books, you will like this one. 

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A great introduction to the science fiction genre for 3rd and 4th graders, and cat lovers won't be disappointed.  I imagine that there will be many adventures for these characters in the future.


Eerie Elementary #1: The School Is Alive! (A Branches Book)Eerie Elementary #1: The School Is Alive! by Jack Chabert
My rating: 3 of 5 stars



View all my reviews Snowy OwlsSnowy Owls by Jennifer Zeiger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another great non fiction book which many 5th graders will enjoy for the Birds of Prey research project. 4th graders will love the information and the photos. It would be a great non fiction companion read to the Patrick Jennings Book Odd, Weird & Little. Mrs. Richards will have to add this one to her list!

View all my reviews Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew PeasGregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas by Cheryl Bardoe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An oldie but a goodie. This book will make a great read aloud for when we study heredity. I can't believe it has taken me so long to find it and you guessed it, Mrs. Richards will have to get this one too!

View all my reviews Rosie Revere, EngineerRosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I can see so many lesson possibilities with this book; we can use it in reader's workshop, writer's workshop, poetry workshop, math, science and during open circle. My Liv wants to be an engineer and she LOVED this book. The lesson is key; it's not about making mistakes, it's about how you celebrate and learn from them. :)

View all my reviews A Boy Called DickensA Boy Called Dickens by Deborah Hopkinson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am a self admitted Charles Dickens freak, so naturally I was drawn to this book. I will use this book as part of my reader's workshop launching unit to show you all how I vary my reading diet. I love to learn about the lives of authors and this book does not disappoint. I will have to remember my Charles Dickens action figure when I share this book with students. I wonder if Deborah Hopkinsonwill be writing a book called "A girl called Austen." I have that action figure too! Perhaps I will ask her a question on her Goodreads page! :)

View all my reviews Allegiant (Divergent, #3)Allegiant by Veronica Roth
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Not quite what I was hoping for DESPITE the ending.  I wanted a bit more from the characters.


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My rating: 3 of 5 stars
An interesting read, not quite sure how we could use it, perhaps in poetry workshop.  The illustrations were lovely.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
We are going to have a lot of fun using this book in poetry workshop!  We will have to get Mrs. Mac involved and see if she can play the Helen Reddy version for you!

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I enjoyed this story and can imagine more tales of Extraordinary chicken to follow.  A good introduction to the graphic novel genre for 2nd and 3rd grade readers.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Love the illustrations! Predictable text will make younger readers feel independent and will help them build confidence and stamina.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Juicy Nibble

Can you guess where I am today? Leave a comment....blue ticket to the first correct guess. Two blue tickets if you can guess the name and number on the back!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Bookworm buzz

The book-a-day challenge continues and I have read 55 books over the past 27 days.  My goal is to reach 68 books to mark the 68 days of summer AND to review them all on Goodreads and here, on the blog.  How is your summer reading going so far?  Leave me a comment and let me know what you are  reading.  Let me know if you have read any of my reviews and have been motivated to read a specific book.  Don't forget to use the local library, that is where I have been getting all of my books this summer.  Make friends with a librarian, they are cool people!
GastonGaston by Kelly DiPucchio
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I LOVED this book.  So many great messages, themes and mini lesson possibilities.  my friend Donna, at the library, recommended it to me and she was right!  One of my favorites all year!


View all my reviews
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Some of you will think this book is HILARIOUS!  There are some great mini lesson possibilities with this picture book.  

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A great book for the first week of school and it would be fun to pair it with Planet Kindergarten.  A great message and some interesting talking points.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book will make for some great mini lessons and some very interesting discussions.  I can see adding this to our yoga book set.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I absolutely LOVED this book.  It reminded me of a the Langston Hughes story "Thank you, Ma'am," which is always one of my favorite stories to read with students. We can make some GREAT text to text comparisons with these two stories and then find some non fiction books about gardening to make some connections across genres.  The lesson possibilities are endless!

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A fun book with some interesting characters.  I especially like the creativity of the fourth monster chef and the way she solved the problem. Enjoy!

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A collection of short stories from several of our favorite authors and all of them are about recess!  Students will love this book and Mrs. Richards will have to buy several copies for us.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed this series and I know that 4th graders will too!  They are a great introduction to sci-fi/fantasy in graphic novel format.  Fans of Amulet will love Zita.  Ben Hatke has an awesome website too, check it out!

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I love Patrick Jenningsand this book is no exception!  I can imagine an author study with this book and several other Patrick Jennings books that can be paired with non fiction books about animals which can lead to some great research writing.  There are many talk worthy points in this book for 4th graders and the cross curricular possibilities are endless.  I think Mrs. Richards is going to have to get us some copies of this book as well!

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is one of my favorite books of the year!  Every year, 4th graders LOVE to read about Galapagos George and this picture book will make a great addition to this text set.  I loved the structure of the book and the illustrations were amazing!  Mrs. Richards will DEFINITELY need to get us this book!

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is another one of my favorite non fiction picture books of the year and 4th graders will love this book too!  I didn't know there was SO much to learn about dung beetles.  This book will make a great addition to a text set about biology and heredity.  It was just plain fun and had me laughing out loud!  Imagine that, non fiction that makes you laugh.  Try it, you will like it, I promise! :)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It has been a great summer for non fiction reading.I learned so much about sea slime, I didn't know there was this much to learn about sea slime.  The pictures were very interesting as well.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The summer of non fiction continues with this great book about bears. There are some great mini lesson possibilities with this book, especially in writer's workshop.  It will make a great addition to the biology/heredity text set as well.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I love when adult books that are adapted for children are written well and with the target audience in mind.  This is the true story of a service dog and his soldier.  Dog lovers and non dog lovers will enjoy this story of Tuesday and Luis.  The photographs are beautiful.  This is a great book for asking questions and starting discussions about current events and history.  


Poetry Please

My Aunt and Uncle
An unexpected surprise
Important to me

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Juicy Nibble

The summer of cousins continues as I float in the pool with my niece. Where do you like to go to swim? Leave a comment & let me know.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Bookworm Buzz

Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue: An Origami Yoda Book (Origami Yoda #5)Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue: An Origami Yoda Book by Tom Angleberger
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked this installment in the The Strange Case of Origami Yoda series.  It was interesting to see Principal Raabbski take a lead role in the story and the ending was PERFECT!!!  It is important to read all of the books in this series in order for the story to make sense.  Fans of this series will enjoy this book.


View all my reviews
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The letter of introduction from Cokie Roberts sets the author's purpose for this historical picture book about women during the revolution.  The illustrator did much research to get the pictures/signatures just right.  This book will be helpful when looking for short texts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I LOVED this book.  There are many reading, word study, and writing mini lessons possible with this book and it is FUNNY!  The pictures are pretty cool too!  I think everyone will be ab;e to connect with this book on some level!  :)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This French folktale will make a nice addition to our text set when we study Canada.  Students will be able to use technology to research the original tale and then make text to text connections between the two versions.  I anticipate many questions with this book so it would be a good book to use with the launching unit.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Bookworm Buzz

Get ready for it-here they come!  I have many reviews for you based on my summer reading.  How are you doing with your reading?  Remember to share books with friends (Mrs.Merten has some of my favorites) and to use the library!  Ask the librarian how you can put a book on hold, (I put books on hold all of the time!) if you can't find what you want on the shelves.  Read lots, and lots and lots!  Leave me a comment or send me an email to let me know about what you are reading, I would love to hear from you. :)

Zita the Spacegirl (Zita the Spacegirl, #1)Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fans of Amulet will love this series and it is a nice introduction to the science fiction genre.  It will make the Amulet series, which I LOVE, more accessible to 4th graders.  Mrs. Richards will have to get us a few of these, and the other books in this series. :)


View all my reviews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The story continues and of course the plot thickens!  Waiting for the third one to arrive from the library!  Give this series a try, I know you will like it!

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved this version of the Three Little Pigs, I am a karate mom afterall!  I loved that it was told in rhyme and that the third little pig was a girl!  Dan Santat is one of my favorite illustrators EVER, remeber Carnivores and Sidekicks!  Mrs. Richards will need to get me this one too!

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A wonderful story about friendship, how friendships change and accepting life as it comes.  Themes of friendship, loss, and overcoming challenges are present.  Very cute illustrations as well.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A wonderful story from India, it will make a nice addition to the myth text set.  Amazing illustrations!

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
 Based on Mark Kurlansky's critically acclaimed bestseller Salt: A World History which is for adults, this picture book will interest many 4th graders.  I learned so much from this book, I didn't realize there was so much to know about salt.  Try it, not just on your food, make it part of your reading diet!

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Although this is the third book in this series, it was the first book that I have read.  I think 4th graders will like the characters and will be able to relate to their problems.  This would make a fun book group!


Summerhouse TimeSummerhouse Time by Eileen Spinelli
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An oldie but a goodie. I could relate to the setting as I love to go to our beach house. There are many talk worthy points in this story which could lead to some pretty interesting persuasive essays.

View all my reviews My rating: 3 of 5 stars
There are some interesting themes in this book, hope, homelessness, anger, change; much to talk about and lots of writing lessons here!  A great story of how characters change over time.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
An oldie but a goodie and will make a nice addition to the baseball basket.  I love a good historical fiction book and this one does not disappoint!  Mrs. Mac will love this one too because of the history of the song "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."  I can't wait to share it with her!

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This will make a great non fiction addition to the text set for The One and Only Ivan.  It will help readers understand Ruby and Stella and why they had the relationship that they did based on facts.  I loved the photos, the  "Did you know,"page and the author's note.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
What a great way to focus thinking and to write about one small seed idea, and the ending was fun too!  Mrs. Hess will be able to find many ways to use this book in Art class, too.  The illustrations are amazing and I loved the artist's note at the end of the book.  Hoping that there will be more books like this one, maybe the The Great Big Red?


Bookworm Buzz

  There have been 22 days of summer vacation and I have read  37 books* so far (I will be posting some new reviews shortly so see above post).  I am trying to do the Book-A-Day Challenge . Here is a summary of the rules posted by Donalyn Miller on May 18th, 2014 via Nerdy Book Club:

The yearly Book-a-Day challenge invites readers to reconnect with daily reading, discover new books and new reading friends, and celebrate our reading lives. During Book-a-Day, readers strive to read one book for every day of their summer vacations.
This challenge began as a public commitment to read all summer and share books with other readers.  I’ve met many treasured friends during our yearly Book-a-Day events—including my dear friend, Colby Sharp. Mini Book-a-Day events pop up during spring and winter breaks, and literacy gurus like Teri Lesesne post book titles under the #bookaday hashtag all year.
That series you never finished? Those novels you borrowed from a friend two months ago? That sliding stack of picture books you need to read? Don’t you have books that are calling you, too? Please join me for the 6th annual Book-a-Day challenge.
The rules (more guidelines, really) are simple:
  • You set your own start date and end date.
  • Read one book per day for each day of summer vacation. This is an average, so if you read three books in one day (I know you’ve done this!) and none the next two, it still counts.
  • Any book qualifies including picture books, nonfiction, professional books, audio books, graphic novels, poetry anthologies, or fiction—children’s, youth, or adult titles.
  • Keep a list of the books you read and share them often via a social networking site like goodreads or Twitter (post using the #bookaday hashtag), a blog, or Facebook page. You do not have to post reviews, but you can if you wish. Titles will do.
Don't forget to take advantage of your local library!  I have and am having a great time finding books, ordering books and sharing books.  Keep up and you'll be kept up!
* 2 of my the 35 books were comic books for adults and I did not add them to my Goodreads list, but they count and I loved them!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Poetry Please


Haiku

Taking a nice jog
Breezes flowing in your face
You see lots of trees

By Manal


Great job, Manal-I love it!  
Mrs. W