Mock Newbery 2014 Club Summer #1 Meeting

Mock Newbery 2014 Club Summer #1 Meeting

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

More Videos

Boy + Bot

Mo Willems:

Nighttime Ninja:

Picture Book Videos

I got a request for the Chloe and the Lion video:

Here are some other videos you might want to see from the picture books we've read:

Amy Krouse Rosenthal (author of Chopsticks) talks about kindness:

Matthew Cordell book trailers:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Capture the Flag

We just defined simile and metaphor.  Have you noticed any similes and metaphors in your poems?  What about songs?  Books?  Post them here!

Do you like Capture the Flag?  Here are some other books by Kate Messner:

Eye of the Storm
In the not-too-distant future, huge tornadoes and monster storms are a part of everyday life. Sent to spend the summer in the heart of storm country with her father in the special StormSafe community his company has developed, Jaden Meggs is excited to reconnect with her dad after he spent years researching storm technology in Russia. She’ll also be attending the exclusive summer science camp, Eye On Tomorrow, that her dad founded. There, Jaden meets Alex, a boy whose passion for science matches hers, and together they discover a horrible truth about her dad’s research that is putting countless lives at risk. As a massive tornado approaches, threatening to destroy everything in its path, Jaden is torn between loyalty to her dad and revealing his secret. Can she find the courage to confront her dad and save everyone from the biggest storm yet?

The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z.
Gianna Z has less than one week to collect, identify, and creatively display 25 leaves for her science project—or else she won’t be able to compete in the upcoming cross-country race. As the deadline for her leaf project draws near, life keeps getting in the way. Some things are within Gee’s control, like her own procrastination, but others aren’t, like Biana Rinaldi’s attempts at sabotage and Nonna’s declining health. If it weren’t for her best friend Zig, Gee wouldn’t have a chance at finishing. His knowledge of trees and leaves in their rural Vermont town comes in very handy, as does his loyalty to Gee. But when Nonna disappears one afternoon, things like leaves and cross-country meets suddenly seem less important.

I have one of her nonfiction picture books in my classroom library:
Over and Under the Snow

If you like Capture the Flag, you'll be glad to know the sequel will be coming out in the spring of 2013!
Hide and Seek

We are all at the part where Anna is alone and just heard Sinan and Hammurabi possibly getting caught by whomever was in that baggage area!  Who do you think it is?  Why do you think that?  What are your predictions about what is going to happen next?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Capture the Flag, Poetry, and Word Play

We are trying to figure out, along with Anna, Jose, and Henry, who stole the Star Spangled Banner flag!  What are your thoughts far?  Which of the kids do you like best so far and why?  What are the best clues we have?  Any red herrings?  Do you think the kids make good detectives?  Does one make a better detective than others?  What do you think about each kid's parent(s)?
We're also starting poetry anthologies!  I LOVED starting my day today at J.F. Burns and the enthusiasm you showed for your poems!  What are your favorite poems so far?  Why are they your favorite?  Are you coming across any great words or word play?
We defined symbolism today.  Keep an eye out for symbolism in your reading.  If you find symbolism in your books or poems, post it here!!!
We've shared A LOT of 2012 picture books.  Which ones do you hope win the Caldecott or an Honor medal so far?  Why?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fantastic Friday!

We're continuing to summarize and evaluate picture books for our Mock Caldecott 2013 Club.  Here are books I read aloud:

A Strange Place to Call Home: The World's Most Dangerous Habitats & the Animals That Call Them Home
Z Is for Moose
And Then It's Spring
Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs
Mo Willems's book gave us the opportunity to talk about allusion and parody. 
We finished our mysteries/adventures/action books:
  The Templeton Twins Have an Idea Three Times Lucky Chasing The Falconers (On The Run, #1) The Westing Game
We're also enjoying the read aloud:
Capture the Flag
SLE is finishing up the multigenre Titanic project.  They read:
S.O.S. Titanic

Looking forward to seeing everyone's projects on Monday!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mock Caldecott 2013 Book Club Day 8

Today's Picture Book Month theme is READING.  I blogged about The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce before, but it was a perfect time to share it with my classes again.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Some of you wanted to see the film again, but we didn't have time in class.  Here it is! :-) 
I LOVE this book, and we had so much fun today discussing it.  The story is full of metaphors, symbolism, whimsy, depth, and theme.  This is the second time I've shared it with you this year, and I'm so glad I did because we noticed new things - especially since we were concentrating on the illustrations and evaluating them for the Caldecott 2013 Book Club.  During our discussion, a student remarked, "So much more goes into picture books than you would think!"  I love that he has realized this during our study of picture books this month.
Here are some comments students wrote in their notebooks:

"Toward the end, the pictures show sadness because it's winter and dark."
"I like the pictures because they show the seasons and sometimes seasons represent happiness or sadness."
"The illustrations are good because he shows that some peple are black and white since they are unhappy, but when they get a book they turn in color which means they are happy.  By the seasons he shows the stages of his life (example - winter is death)."
"I loved this book because of the use of color.  When people are sad, they are gray, and when they are happy, they are in color."
"I love these illustrations.  They show black and white for a lonely life and color for a full life."
"This book has such creativity in the illustrations.  The outside wall of the library was made of books!  I loved this book."
"I like how Mr. Joyce uses colors to show feelings and gives signs like an hour glass and seasons to tell when he will pass away."
"Soon (Morris Lessmore) goes somewhere special and leaves a legacy to a little girl."
"The circle of life!"

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Parent/Student Book Club over WONDER

Thank you to my students and their parents for coming to a  book club over Wonder by R.J. Palacio! Twenty-nine people came! Here is the video of R.J. Palacio reading "How I Came to Life:"

I also showed the beginning of an interview with R.J. Palacio.  Here is the whole thing in case you want to watch it:

It was fun breaking up into two groups and discussing a list of questions I had put together - some from R.J. Palacio's websit For Teachers and some I added.  I enjoyed hearing what you all had to say about this book!  Thanks to Mrs. Phillips and Mrs. Thompson for joining us!
Here are some pictures from the event:

Must have cookies at a book club!

Watching R.J. Palacio read "How I Came To Life"

The group!

Watching the interview

What a great night of readers and books!!

THANK YOU, R.J. Palacio, for writing such an amazing book! CHOOSE KIND!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fantastic Friday!

We're continuing Picture Book Month and evaluating books for our Mock Caldecott 2013 Club. Here are two more books I shared:
Imagination Theme
The Cloud Spinner

Music Theme


We discussed the theme of both and how Nightsong can be looked at as a metaphor for life - you can go out on your own and fulfill your dreams, but you can always come home.  It would make a great graduation gift! The Cloud Spinner taught us to only use what we need.  Don't be greedy!  Neily said, "Take only memories, leave only footprints."  Reece said, "It's like the Boy Scout motto, Leave no trace."

Since I met Loren Long recently at The Blue Manatee, I leave you with some video and pictures that I took at the event:


We're also enjoying Capture the Flag and our book group mysteries.  Here are spin cams of the JF Burns groups:

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Picture Book Month and Caldecott 2013 Club

I LOVE picture books, and it's so fun to share them with my classes!  We're using the Picture Book Month calendar to choose a book that follows the theme, then we're summarizing and evaluating them.  Here are the books we've read so far:

This is Not My Hat

Extra Yarn
A Strange Place to Call Home: The World's Most Dangerous Habitats & the Animals That Call Them Home
Here is Marilyn Singer's website: and Ed Young's website:
Bear Has a Story to Tell
I found a video of Erin Stead explaining how she creates her illustrations.  Very cool!

Here is her website: 
One class also read The Beetle Book by Steve Jenkins:
The Beetle Book
Tomorrow the theme is IMAGINATION!  I have just the book to read! :-)
We also started Capture the Flag by Kate Messner in 3 classes.  Don't worry, KME, we'll start tomorrow!  Here is a cool website to learn about the flag that inspired the "Star Spangled Banner."
Comment to let me know what picture book you like best so far and why!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Walk Home

Wow!  We finished Wonder!  Goodbye Auggie.  I don't think I've ever had classes stand up and cheer at the end of a book, but today two classes gave the book a standing ovation!  It's been a really special experience these last weeks sharing Wonder with you all.  I'll never forget it!  I really believe books can change lives, and this is definitely one that changed me.  How has it changed you?  Whose point of view do you wish we had heard from?  Who was your favorite character besides Auggie and why?  Who do you think changed the most and how?  Any last thoughts?

We'll do a few more things with Wonder, so keep checking back.  We'll start our next read aloud soon, so we'll be blogging about that one, too.  The next read aloud is (drumroll please)......

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Kinder Than Is Necessary


All classes are at the same point in Wonder  now, and we will be finishing it tomorrow!  I'm excited to finish it, but I'm also sad.  What an experience this read aloud has been!  I just finished my favorite chapter with my favorite sentences from Mr. Tushman:  "If every single person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary - the world really would be a better place.  And if you do this, if you act just a little kinder than is necessary, someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize in you, in every single one of you, the face of God."


Friday, October 26, 2012

Fantastic Friday

This month students started reading mysteries, adventures, or action books.  Here are our group books:

The Templeton Twins Have an IdeaThe Westing GameThree Times Lucky

Chasing The Falconers (On The Run, #1)

Some books students picked as their independent books during this unit:

 The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #1) The Secret Tree Dying to Meet You (43 Old Cemetery Road, #1)
Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms: Magic, Mystery, & a Very Strange Adventure Chasing Vermeer Dead End in Norvelt

The Maze of Bones  (The 39 Clues, #1)


Spin Cams  of independent books and small group books:

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Wow!  These camp chapters are intense!  Auggie's encounter with the 7th graders is really scary.  What a surprise that Amos, Miles, and Henry showed up to help Auggie and Jack!  What are some of your predictions about what will happen when they all get back to school?  Will everything go back to normal?  How will Julian react when he find out what happened?  What will Amos, Miles, and Henry do when they get back?  Do have connections with the overnight camp story?  Have you ever been to an overnight camp?  What was it like?  How do your experiences help you understand Auggie better?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

40 Book Invitation Update

 Each class's 40 Book Invitation total (we count 100 pages as a book, but students have to complete the book to count it as more than one book):

JFB 1 (13 students): 116 books - an average of almost 9 books per student!
JFB 2 (9 students): 77 books - an average of 8.5 books per student!
SLE (4 students): 72 books - an average of 18 books per student!
KME (17 students): 191 books - an average of 11 books per student!

Grand total books read in 1st quarter:  456!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You all are doing an amazing job reading lots of books!  I'm so proud of you!  There are so many AWESOME books for kids out there, so I'm so glad you're discovering them.  I love reading through your First Quarter Reflection papers, too, to see how you've grown as readers.  Keep up the good work! 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Marvelous Monday Readers!

Because of an evacuation of one of our schools Friday, I couldn't take a picture of one of my classes - interesting day!! So instead of Fantastic Friday, I'm renaming it Marvelous Monday.

SLE Readers:
The Candymakers

Abbi is reading The Candymakers. I told her Wendy Mass is coming out with a new book, and the cover is illustrated by the same illustrator. Unfortunately, we have to wait until June 2013 until it comes out.

The Maze of Bones  (The 39 Clues, #1)

Jenna is reading The Maze of Bones.

The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus, #1)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)
Alec is reading The Lost Hero.

Carter is reading The Prisoner of Azkaban.

Here are some Spin Cam captures of my other readers:

JFB Readers:

More JFB Readers:

KME Readers:

Thanks to David Etkin for Spin Cam inspiration and giving me the idea to post what my classes are reading each week!

Come back tomorrow to read my blog post on our first quarter 40 BOOK INVITATION progress