Link up with Teach Mentor Texts
Today is a big day for me. Not only is it my dog Charlie’s birthday (and Labor Day), I am the featured blogger on The Nerdy Book Club. I was excited to be invited to write a post about my reading life. Follow the link: Friend Request an Author.
I am not a reader who believes that every book is made for every one. I have students who adore fantasy fiction. I appreciate this, but I much prefer realistic fiction. I have tried and liked many historical fiction books as well. This week I finished reading Keeping Safe the Stars by Sheila O’Connor. The Stars (Pride, Nightingale, and Baby) are orphans living with their grandfather in the year of the Watergate scandal. For students to fully understand some of the underlying themes, they would need some knowledge of this event. As I recall being a teenager during this time, the whole thing was confusing. Was Nixon a bad guy? Nobody really said so, but he did bad things. Pride is the oldest and is left in charge of the family while her grandfather is ill. She struggles with taking on this huge responsibility, and like Nixon, finds herself telling a few lies. She is only 13. The burden is huge for her. Over and over I wanted to pull her aside and give her my advice. The storyline went on too long for me. I wanted a resolution sooner than it came. Eventually, the people Pride has entrusted rally to care for them, and there is hope for Old Finn’s recovery. This is a story of resilience and independence.
Frank by Connah Brecon will be on sale at the end of September. Frank is a cute little bear dressed in a blue scarf and red vest. He has a problem. He is always late for school, but he has good excuses, such as helping a cat stuck in a tree. When I turned the page, the tree was running off with Frank in it. This does not teach Frank a lesson about being late. He is late again. This time he is challenged to a charity dance-off. His reasons for being late get wackier and wackier. The illustrations are as crazy as the text. In the end, a zombie threatens the school, but Frank saves the day when he challenges the zombie to a dance off. Connah Brecon is a talented artist. The drawings are busy and full of quirky characters. The text lacks a cohesive logic, and the lesson of taking time to make friends is lost in the exaggeration of events.
What are you reading this week? Don’t forget to check out The Nerdy Book Club.
Posted in Books | Tagged Connah Brecon, Frank, historical fiction, Keeping Safe the Stars, Nerdy Book Club, picture books | 3 Comments »
Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts
Join the Chalk-a-bration at Betsy Hubbard’s site Teaching Young Writers.
My students love Chalkabration Day. (Thanks to Betsy Hubbard for inventing this special way to spread poetry love.) My students chalked the sidewalks on Friday despite the threat of rain. Excited about a long weekend, many of the poems have TGIF as a theme. Kielan wrote a cinquain for her birthday weekend.
I loaded the pictures onto Haiku Deck. I am disappointed that some of the pictures were cut off. I also wish that WordPress would support the embedded deck, but you’ll have to follow the link. https://www.haikudeck.com/p/OsZPY37VPe I welcome any other digital ideas for publishing our Chalkabration.
Link up your Digital Literacy post here:
Posted in Chalk-a-bration, Digital Learning, Writing | Tagged chalk poetry, DigiLit Sunday, Haiku Deck | 3 Comments »
Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.
What a wonderful week with students! It’s our second week together, and we worked hard. I am requiring three blog posts each week: It’s Monday: What are you Reading?, Tuesday Slice of Life, and Poetry Friday. I thought it might be too much, but so far, my students are meeting the challenge. I am more and more convinced that blogging is the way to get students writing. You can read their writing here. I want to share one of the fingerprint poems. I posted the lesson on Poetry Friday.
I am the expert: you are the rookie.
You will never see my treasure,
Invisible to you but
Everything to me.
My print shines bright like a diamond,
As beautiful as a bow.
My treasure is one thing I love more than gold.
Maybe one day you will see my unique design,
But for now you have to classify your own.
by Kielan, all rights reserved
I love to celebrate birthdays with my students. For her birthday celebration, Kielan wanted me to bring the apple peeler and apples. She remembered how much fun it was from last year. The kids loved it!
Kim Douillard’s photo challenge this week was action. I did a video of the apple peeler in action. At the very end of the video, you can hear Emily say, “You’re about the best teacher in the universe.”
We also celebrated Andrew’s birthday. Look at the lovely cupcake his talented mother made!
Emily brought me a special gift this week, a happiness box. She gave it to me on Monday which segued perfectly into a discussion of tone. She had turned my irritable mood into joy!
Come back tomorrow for DigiLit Sunday and our first Chalkabration. What are you celebrating this week?