Mock Newbery 2014 Club Summer #1 Meeting

Mock Newbery 2014 Club Summer #1 Meeting

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Aaron Becker's Video

Hi class! Aaron Becker sent a video via Dropbox, so I'm hoping you can click on this link, and it will be there! Let me know if you have trouble. Then, you need to write a 1/2 page to full page Quick Write in your Writer's Notebook about your passion, what you care about, or what you're sensitive to. You'll know what I mean by that after you watch the video. Enjoy! Click here to watch: Aaron Becker's Video  Also, feel free to comment below on anything he says.  I thought his video was awesome!


Monday, September 9, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This is a meme started by Teach Mentor Texts, and I participate every week on my personal/professional blog, along with many other bloggers, so I thought I'd share them with you, too!  In the comments section below, I want to hear what you're reading!  Parents, if you'd like to share what you're reading, that would be great!
Inside Outside
Inside Outside by Lizi Boyd
I was lucky enough to win this book from Margie Myers-Culver when she gave away wordless picture books for Mr. Schu's birthday on Twitter. I loved all four that she gave away, but I already owned the other three (Bluebird, Journey, and The Boy and the Airplane), so I tried for this one. I was so glad to receive and read it! Fans of Laura Vaccaro's GREEN will enjoy this celebration of nature and childhood. Die cuts throughout enhance this book about a child's creative and curious life inside his home and outside in his yard throughout the seasons. I love the feel and weight of the pages and the adorable dog and cat. Be sure to notice the mice! Thanks, Margie ( and Mr. Schu for having a birthday)!
Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan

Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan by
Mary Williams, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

I read this book aloud to the sixth graders about the Lost Boys of Sudan to build some background knowledge for their read aloud, A LONG WALK TO WATER by Linda Sue Park. It's an excellent picture book about Garang, a young boy who has to flee his village in Sudan after it is attacked. He befriends a younger boy and takes care of him during their walk to Ethiopia. This picture book parallels A LONG WALK TO WATER closely, so it makes a great introduction.

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp

I LOVED the audio of this book, narrated by Lyle Lovett. It's so charming, poignant, and funny. Lyle Lovett's voice was just perfect for the story.  Katie, in one of my 5th grade classes, is reading it right now, and I can't wait to hear what she thinks. I don't know if the actual reading of it will be as good as the audio, but I hope so! Twelve-year-old Chap is missing his grandpa something awful, and he loves the swamp. Bingo and J'miah are raccoon brothers and new scouts of the Sugar Man Swamp, keeping watch from Chap's grandpa's missing Desoto, reporting Intel. Alligator wrestler Jaeger Stitch is trying to turn the swamp into an Alligator World Wrestling Arena and Theme Park, and if that's not enough to worry you, there is a gang of wild hogs on the way, intent on destroying everything! It's up to the Sugar Man to save the day, but no one has seen him in decades, and he's awfully hard to wake up. The characters and setting are unforgettable; I'm looking forward to recommending this to my Mock Newbery Club! A good pairing for this book would be Carl Hiassen's CHOMP.
The Moon and More
This is a young adult book.
The Raven Boys
This is also a young adult book.
Comment below to tell us about books you just finished this week or that you're currently reading.  If you're listening to any audio books, let us know!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Welcome to a New Year!

The 2013-2014 school year is underway!  I'm still getting to know my sixth grade students and several fifth grade students who are new to the program.  I love continuing with last year's fourth grade group.  It's fun to see how much they remember from last year and all the connections they're making with the books I shared with them last year and the new books I'm sharing this year. Most students have already added at least one book to the 50 Book Challenge chart.  Information on the 50 Book Challenge is in your student's ELA binder.

 I started with both groups by reading Journey by Aaron Becker, a gorgeous wordless book that was published recently. 

"Journey(s)" is the theme topic for fifth grade in September.  We made a concept map about it, brainstorming everything we could about journeys.  Both groups wrote a Quick Write about what they want their journey this year to be like.
"Crusader" is the theme topic for sixth grade.  We also made a concept map for that word.  We will be reading about crusaders throughout the month, and plans are starting to be made to BECOME crusaders in an important world cause, inspired by our upcoming read aloud.
Short nonfiction articles will be read to enhance each theme topic.  We will be adding to these concept maps throughout the month.  Fifth grade is starting to read an article on the Underground Railroad, a journey to freedom.
Sixth grade read an article on Malala Yousafzai, a strong and brave crusader for the right to go to school in Pakistan.
Fifth grade will start a unit on traditional literature.  A literacy contract will be coming home this this week, outlining upcoming requirements.  I'm waiting for all the small group books to come in to the Cincinnati Library.  Their read aloud is Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff.

Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin
The sixth grade's read aloud is  A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park.  A literacy contract will also be coming home soon for sixth grade.  They will be reading mythology this month.  We will read about crusaders in both fiction and nonfiction.

I also assigned and went over requirements/rubric for weekly summary response letters.  Look for these handouts in your student's ELA binder.  The first weekly summary response letter is due by September 6th.  We are practicing a summary response letter over the nonfiction articles we read. I will go over requirements/rubrics for book talks and book reviews this week or next.  One book talk and one book review are due each quarter.
Word study will begin shortly.  We will be studying prefixes, suffixes, and root words.
Parents, don't hesitate to call or e-mail me with questions and concerns.  My goal is to update this blog with classroom information once a week. 
Feel free to comment below.  Just click on "comments," and if you have a Google account, you can choose that option.  If you don't, it's easiest to comment using the "Name/URL" option.  Then just put in your first name.  I moderate all comments before they are published.  You may comment by asking questions, reacting to the blog post, letting us know what you're reading, etc.  The comment section can sometimes start great conversations!
I hope you are having a wonderful holiday weekend!