Sunday, January 29, 2017

We LOVE words!

Buy me here!
Buy me here!
My second graders continue their Word Jar Projects as we read two more books about "word gatherers" and "word lovers." We are reading The Boy Who Loved Words by Roni Shotter and Max's Words by Kate Banks. Both books focus on the importance of collecting and the magic of collecting words. I love focusing on collecting with my second graders. They are the perfect age for the responsibility and excitement that being a collector brings. For more information on why collecting is important for kids see Smithsonian's Kids.

"ZAAbaza, BOOzaba, ZEEzah, ROni!"

For Letter J we read Matthew Golub's The Jazz Fly. We had tons of fun learning to speak "JAZZ!" The fly is lost and tries to find his way to the club. He asks several animals which way to go, "ZAAbaza, BOOzaba, ZEEzah, ROni!" What!?!?! See other books by Matthew Golub at his his official website and check out this excerpt of The Jazz Fly on Youtube.

Mercy Watson Fights Crime!

Buy me here!
We continue our journey with books in a series. In our second book Mercy Watson Fights Crime. Most nights the Watsons sing Mercy to sleep. One night after going to sleep Mercy hears the toaster screeching across the counter and she wonders who is making toast. She hears Mr. and Mrs. Watson snoring and decides to go to the kitchen to check things out. Mercy discovers Leroy Ninker in the kitchen, but he's not making toast. Leroy is a small man with a big dream - he wants to be a cowboy, unfortunately, he is a thief and he is robbing the Watsons! Join your child by reading the story online at Tumblebooks. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Inch by Inch, We're Measuring!

Buy me here!
For letter "I" we read Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni. As a little inch worm measures different parts of birds to keep from getting gobbled up the students respond "inch by inch." The inch worm measures the robin's tail, the flamingo's neck, the heron's leg, the peasant's tail and the entire hummingbird! When a nightingale asks the inch worm to measure her song the inch worm comes up with a clever idea. I also introduce rulers and students have fun measuring things around the library. Inch by Inch is a Caldecott Honor Book. The Caldecott Award is given to books for their illustrations to honor children's picture book artists. Click here for a comprehensive list of the winners since 1938!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Hooper is a Party Pooper!

Buy me here!
We're throwing a party for Letter H but were not inviting Hooper Humperdink, not him! A Dr. Seuss alphabet book is a great way to start the new year and get back to our alphabet journey. We're inviting all our good friends from A to Z! We talk about including everyone and in the end we do invite Hooper to our party. He really isn't a "party pooper," someone who doesn't like to have fun.

Students love to talk about what they would have at their super party; Sebastian is going to have a disco ball, Jothaniel is going to have a bouncy house that has water in it - "you have to wear a bathing suit," and Niely is going to have a cake that reaches the ceiling and some cup cakes too!

Book Fair Update

Tuesday, January 17th will be the LAST day of our Annual Book Fair. Thank you to everyone who has supported our Book Fair; excited students, supportive parents and patient OG teachers that help our students organize their orders and send them to the Library.

I love this photo of two of our students sharing their purchases with each other. Many thanks again to all for your support. All proceeds go to purchasing NEW library books for all OG students to share in our Library.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

First Graders Think Like a Pig?

Buy me here!
Buy me here!
We returned from winter break and started reading the Mercy Watson Series. First up, Mercy Watson Thinks Like a Pig by Kate DiCamillo. To introduce the Unit I asked students what they thought pigs think about. Students said, "playing in mud," "eating lots of food," and "sleeping in grass." I used the nonfiction text, Life on a Pig Farm by Judy Wolfman to reinforce background knowledge about real pigs. We then wondered what a pretend pig might do that lived in a person's house as we enjoyed reading the first four chapters of our first Mercy Watson book. Starting next week, students will also "read" the book along with me on computer. We will read the book together first and then they will go to computers and practice reading the same chapters online. If you have computer access at home, please join us in reading the series together through Tumblebooks. Go to my website at, select Grade 1 and then Tumblebooks. Your child will be able to show you how to get to the site. Enjoy!!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Book Fair is Here!

Our Annual Book Fair will run from January 9th through January 17th. My Media Class Students did an amazing job setting up the Fair this year. They made special sections for shoppers including a "Shopkins," animals, graphic novels and heroes and history areas. The Book Fair is open to all Orchard Gardens students and their families. Students generally purchase books during their regularly scheduled Library Class or after school. The Fair will be open until 5:00pm every day. ALL proceeds from the Fair go to purchasing more BOOKS for our library. Your child should have a flyer for the fair. You can also preview titles and purchase books online CLICK HERE PLEASE. If you have any questions email Ms. M at

Our New Giving Tree!

As promised, the 2016 Giving Tree made by the students and staff at Orchard Gardens from recycled damaged book pages! Hundreds of "leaves" with messages of peace, love, happiness and understanding create the canopy. Watching my younger students' excitement as the tree blooms and "hugging" the tree before they get to our "reading rug" never gets old. My wish for the entire Orchard Gardens Family is that you have peace, love, happiness and understanding each and every day of 2017 and beyond!