Sunday, February 28, 2016

Mercy Watson Fights Crime!

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In her unending quest for toast with a great deal of butter Mercy Watson discovers Leroy Ninker as he is robbing the Watsons. Leroy is a small man with a big dream. Leroy wants to be a cowboy but he is unfortunately a thief! "Yippie-i-o, everything must go!" says Leroy as he puts all of the Watsons appliances in his sack. We start by discussing why Mercy is purple on the cover - "the illustrator [Chris Van Dusen] uses color to show us that this story takes place at night." I encourage you to read and re-read these stories with your child. You can do that online through our Tumblebook site here.  Listening and reading along as the text is highlighted is excellent practice for beginning readers and it's really fun too!

Words, Words, Words!

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In second grade we continue our discussion of collections and our journey about those who LOVE collecting words. Two fantastic picture books that feature word gatherers allow us to compare the stories and discuss how authors can write different stories using the same ideas. We start with Max's Words by Kate Banks, followed by The Boy Who Loved Words by Roni Shotter. We are also working on our own Word Jars inspired by Donavan's Word Jar. Students cut words they know and want to learn from magazines and fill their jars. Each week several students present their completed jars to the class by describing their favorite word in the jar. We are enjoying learning many new words together!

Baby Bird's First Nest by Frank Asch

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My students LOVE this read aloud where we celebrate the Letter N. Baby Bird tumbles out of her nest while Momma sleeps. Baby Bird gains independence and a new friend.

We also talk about real birds and bird nests and I share my collection of real bird nests that have fallen out of trees. This is a great read aloud as well as a book that beginning readers can also practice reading.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Little Friends May Prove to be GREAT Friends!

For letters L & M we read Jerry Pinkney's Caldecott Award Winning book The Lion & The Mouse, a retelling of the famous Aesop Fable. The Caldecott Medal is awarded to books based on their illustrations. Selecting to read Caldecott Medal Books is one way to start selecting books to read with your child. The entire list can be found here as well as lists of other award winners.
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I ask my Kindergarten students, does anyone every tell you that you can't do something because you're little? All hands go up to share some of the things they are not allowed to do yet because someone says they are too little. Then you will love this story where we learn  that size does not matter. Other themes of friendship and caring often come up during our discussion.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Lost Library Books = $5.00

If your child has lost a school library book we ask that you send them in with $5.00 to clear their account and get them checking books out again.

The $5.00 rarely replaces the book, but with some smart shopping Ms. M can get USED books. We can replace 3 books for every 4 or 5 lost.

Pictured are two books that were recently replaced; The Colors of Us and Miss Nelson is Missing. Ideally we'd love it if a book never gets lost, but if it does your child can still continue to check out library books. Questions; email Ms. M at

Friday, February 5, 2016

Storyboarding Social Issues

With a brief but super cool interruption of running the school book fair, my Media Class Students have not missed a beat and T'nysha is ready to shoot her Public Service Announcement on self worth. After getting experience with visually laying out a story, the students create storyboards on a social issue or public service announcement using In addition to creating their storyboards students research their topic and learn to restate three facts in their own words as they write their scripts. A few sample storyboards follow; practice makes perfect by Dejon, Concussion by Joel and Self Worth by T'nysha.

Reserve Your 2015-2016 OG Yearbook Today!

The 8th Grade Media Elective students are working hard on their designs for our school yearbook. The cover has been selected and every student is responsible for designing their pages, selecting photos and writing captions. We go over thousands of photos to select the most yearbook worthy shots and we will continue to accept all photos right up to the deadline of April 15th. Yearbooks are 80 pages of full color with a hard cover. This is the 6th year our 8th graders have been responsible for creating a school wide yearbook. Reserve your copy by emailing Ms. M at Go Lion's!

Kitten's First Full Moon

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Letter K brought lots of discussion in the classroom! That tricky "K" that sounds like "C" you don't fool us. C is for cat and cookie, but kitten starts with K! And our story of Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes was "PURRFect" to discuss learning new things and that it's ok to be confused or make a mistake when you are learning new things. In the end, Kitten is a lucky kitten! Check out Kevin Henkes Website here. And take a look at the two videos below.