Sunday, October 25, 2015

Third Grade Travels to Ohio as a Double Mystery Unfolds

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It's the first day of summer vacation for Ziggy and his friends Rico, Jerome and Rashawn. They can't wait to play basketball all morning and then they discover that someone has vandalized their hopes for a summer of fun...but wait a double mystery soon unfolds and the Black Dinosaurs are on the case! Who cut down the basketball hoops with a chain saw? Who buried the bones near the boys clubhouse? And who is singing those strange songs and writing weird notes? Ask your third grader what's new with Ziggy and the gang and you'll want to read along too!

Second Grade Travels to the World of Collecting

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Donavan is just like all the other third grader's in his class; he wears the same clothes, he runs for the bus when the bell rings and he collects things. Unlike his classmates who collect things like marbles, buttons and stamps,  Donavan collects WORDS. Inspired by the word NUTRITION on his morning cereal box, Donavan begins his journey of collecting words. In this unit, your child will increase their vocabulary and begin basic research techniques as they share and discover the world of collecting. Visit the Smithsonian Kids Collecting site with your student to learn more about the value of collecting.

Reading Takes Us to the Planet Mars!

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Ms. Reardon and Ms. Miranda's Class are traveling to the planet Mars with Ms. M! We started our journey as we met Horus who had a horrible first day in first grade. Horus was so excited about first grade and then he found out that there were no slime tables, no snooze mats and no snacks! Horus misses Martiangarten (kindergarten) an experience that some of our first graders share in the beginning of the year.  During this unit, your child will be introduced to the solar system, the planet Mars, the Mars Space Rover Curiosity, character traits and comparing fiction with non-fiction books.

The Berenstains’ B Book

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Using 33 words that begin with the letter B the Berenstain's have made a silly story that your children love. The repetition and bumps make each page more and more engaging until we meet baby bird...ask you child what happened to baby bird's balloon! Enjoy this story with your child over and over again.

Letter A Fun with Ten Apples Up On Top!

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Dr. Seuss writing as Theo.LeSieg provides a wonderful introduction to counting and reading together. The students are captivated as they count, read and watch the lion, tiger and dog balance apples on their heads. The conflict of the story comes when the bear discovers the trio in her kitchen taking her apples!  I've attached a piece found on YouTube where the beginning of the book is put to song...enjoy it with your child.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Our Alphabet Journey Through Picture Books

In library my Kindergarten students (K0, K1 and K2) take a journey through the alphabet as they explore a variety of picture books from A-Z. Picture books are unique in that they combine art with stories and are an introduction to reading. Every picture tells a story and children get excited when they make connections with their world through the stories we read. I start our journey with a silly Dr. Seuss book, Dr. Seuss's ABC, to assess where the students are in their ability to sit and listen during a read aloud and their understanding of letters. Our last book of this project is The Alphabet Tree where students discover that “letters make words, words make sentences and sentences make stories.” During the school year your child will be introduced to over 26 books many of which they will cherish for years to come. Their culminating project is a book that captures all the books we’ve read during the year and other activities they’ve done in the library. The book is yours to keep! Check back on my blog to see what your child has been reading and read it with them. A great book can be read over and over again. Surprise your child by watching and singing this with them!

The Reading Journey Continues with Quest!

Mariana in grade 3 raised her hand to explain to her classmates that "the difference between a journey and a quest is that in a quest you are still on a journey but you have a problem to solve." I could not have said it better myself and it is in these moments that I think I am one of the luckiest people at Orchard Gardens. I have known Mariana since Kindergarten and have watched her grow and our school become a place where amazing learning is happening. Most of my students were able to grasp the difference between a journey and a quest especially after reading Aaron Becker's Quest. See the book trailer that follows and talk to your child about the books we read in library and you will also be impressed.