Thursday, July 22, 2010

Poetry Friday: Round Up

So, I've been away, but I have the round-up for this week.  Please add your links...I am on the West Coast, and I will be updating in the early please check back to see the list!

Little Willow has posted a great (and well-known) monologue from Hamlet at Bildungsroman.

Laura at all things poetry continues her series of religious poems with a lovely poem by Vittoria Colonna

At Wistful Wanderings, Allison has posted a poem about the rush of the roller coaster, and she wants to remind us all to take a look at the side bar on her blog to find out about and participate in the current Creativity Challenge.

Tabatha Yeats has a historical piece about an Acadian Girl titled, Evangline: A Tale of Acadie at Tabatha Yeats: The Opposite of Indifference.

At Author Amok, Laura continues her 50 state tour of the Poet Laureates.  She is in Washington this week, where the position of poet laureate is 'temporarily suspended.  She shares a poem by Sam Green about the act of writing poetry.

Laura Salas has two poems for us today.  She has a poem written by her daughter Rebecca Kai Dotlich here, and Poems in 15 words or less here.

Ruth at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town has a beautiful translation of Izumi Shikibu's Although the Wind...

Live. Love. Explore with Irene Latham has One Art for us...which happens to be about 'The art of losing things," an art I know I have perfected...

Jama at Alphabet Soup has Word Tasting for us today here.

What do we need?  Mary Lee has a poem for us about just that at A Year of Reading.

The Poem Farm has the 9th poem in a series of poems about poems.  How very appropriate is it that this weeks post is simply titled: Poem.

Linda at Write Time has another object poem titled 'Miss Myrtle's Table for us this week here.

The Stenhouse Blog has a powerful poem - Cincinnati by Mitsuye Yamada here.

Sally of Paper Tigers blog has a book review of Canadian Poems for Canadian Kids here.  Being that I am a Canadian Teacher, I am particularly intrigued by this book...Sometimes good Canadian content is hard to find!

The Goose has two poem postings this week - one about RAIN for kids at the FATHER GOOSE blog and one about TIME for grownups at the BALD EGO blog.  Take a moment to take a look at both of them!

Wild Rose Reader has an original poem for us this week. (I always admire bloggers who post their original poems... I am still much to self-conscious to put my poems out on the Internet).  Check out Elaine's Things to Do if You Are a Mountain.

Ben has an intriguing E.E. Cummings poem for us today: [as freedom is a breakfast food].  This one is great, but be sure to give it the time it deserves...

Heidi M of My Juicy Little Universe has a gut-wrenching piece called "Prayer for the Man Who Mugged My Father, 72," here.

Janet S. offers us a review of Absolutely Wild written by Dennis Webster and illustrated by his daughter, Kim Webster Cunningham - it is a collection of 16 poems celebrating a variety of wild animals complemented by hand-colored linoleum prints.  The link is here.

Liz in Ink has a poem by Carrie Fountain from her National Poetry Prize winning book here.

Gregory K. has some Fib news for us and is Fibbing on a Poetry Friday.

Did I skip you?  Did I copy the link wrong?  Please let me know!  Have a Great Weekend!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Gone Gardening...

I should not be allowed in another plant nursery this year.  Seriously.  My gardens are full - but I keep finding plants that I to have.  I have seriously blown past my gardening budget.  But, I am getting close to having everything planted, and hopefully I will soon be eating some of my hard work.  My vegetable garden is looking delicious.

That is where I have been lately.  Spending my spare after school and weekend times gardening like crazy.  Oh, and I am training for a 10 km road race on June 6th.  So I have been running a lot too.  I will try to post a bit more regularly this month, and then my next courses start July 6th, so I should have lots to think and write about then.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Shaking with Anticipation...

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Book 5)My most recent scholastic orders came in today - a whole week earlier than expected.  In it was the copy of The Last Olympian I had purchased for my classroom.  Well...when my students saw the box, they knew exactly what it was and all of a sudden I had 6 kids at my desk, practically shaking, waiting for me to pull the books out of the box.  I got a bonus pack of three graphic novels and those were snagged out of my hands faster than I could get them out of the box.  More and more I am starting to see my class as a community of readers, ready and willing to share and discuss books with one another.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mother's Day Messages

Thanks to Mary Lee at A Year of Reading, I came up with a last minute Mother's Day idea.  She posted a "Wordle" of her class constitution.  I had never seen a Wordle word cloud before, but I played around with it last night after seeing one on her site, and decided they would make great Mother's Day cards.  I can actually think of a ton of ways I could use Wordle with class projects...but maybe more on that another time.

I had my students type a paragraph about their moms straight into the wordle text box.  I emphasized (against my better judgement) for them to use repetitive, bad writing in the text box, as the words used the most frequently show up the largest and most prominent in the word cloud. A lot of them figured it out pretty fast and wrote "I love you mom, I love you mom," over and over.  Anyways, we printed the resulting word clouds and made them into cards.  Take a look at how they turned out:

Not bad for a last minute idea... This afternoon I took my class outside and we took pictures for our Mother's Day gifts.  Each student had to write a message in black marker on white paper and pose holding their message.  I had the photos printed in black and white - which was a good thing, since I dropped my camera and it now is taking pictures that are very pink.  I think it may be broken for good.  The messages were very honest, and I am hoping the moms will appreciate the sincerity.  (I'm not a mom - so sometimes I miss the boat on things that are important to parents.)  And, the project only cost about $10.00 - total - much less than what a lot of the other classes at school have spent.

Any other simple Mother's Day ideas out there?  I am not known for elaborate holiday celebrations in my classroom.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Top 100 Children's Books...

Thanks to The Reading Zone and Teacherninja for this fun tidbit.  How often does one of these have to do with literacy?  I have read 54 of the top 100.  It looks like I have some work to do.  But I must admit, I have three of them sitting on my coffee table right now - they were already next on the list, and I have about 10 more unread books from this list on the bookshelf in my classroom.


Which of Betsy Bird’s Top 100 Children’s Novels have you read? Bold the titles of any books you have read.  Post your number in the comments and/or add a link to your own post.

100. The Egypt Game – Snyder (1967)
99. The Indian in the Cupboard - Banks (1980)
98. Children of Green Knowe – Boston (1954)
97. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane – DiCamillo (2006)
96. The Witches - Dahl (1983)
95. Pippi Longstocking - Lindgren (1950)
94. Swallows and Amazons – Ransome (1930)
93. Caddie Woodlawn – Brink (1935)
92. Ella Enchanted – Levine (1997)
91. Sideways Stories from Wayside School – Sachar (1978)
90. Sarah, Plain and Tall – MacLachlan (1985)

89. Ramona and Her Father - Cleary (1977)
88. The High King – Alexander (1968)
87. The View from Saturday – Konigsburg (1996)
86. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Rowling (1999)
85. On the Banks of Plum Creek - Wilder (1937)
84. The Little White Horse – Goudge (1946)
83. The Thief – Turner (1997)
82. The Book of Three – Alexander (1964)
81. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon – Lin (2009)
80. The Graveyard Book – Gaiman (2008)

79. All-of-a-Kind-Family – Taylor (1951)
78. Johnny Tremain – Forbes (1943)

77. The City of Ember - DuPrau (2003)
76. Out of the Dust – Hesse (1997)
75. Love That Dog - Creech (2001)
74. The Borrowers - Norton (1953)
73. My Side of the Mountain - George (1959)
72. My Father’s Dragon – Gannett (1948)
71. The Bad Beginning – Snicket (1999)
70. Betsy-Tacy – Lovelae (1940)
69. The Mysterious Benedict Society – Stewart ( 2007) 
68. Walk Two Moons - Creech (1994)
67. Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher – Coville (1991)
66. Henry Huggins – Cleary (1950)
65. Ballet Shoes – Stratfeild (1936)
64. A Long Way from Chicago – Peck (1998)
63. Gone-Away Lake – Enright (1957)
62. The Secret of the Old Clock – Keene (1959)
61. Stargirl – Spinelli (2000)
60. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle – Avi (1990)
59. Inkheart – Funke (2003)
58. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase – Aiken (1962)
57. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 – Cleary (1981)
56. Number the Stars – Lowry (1989)
55. The Great Gilly Hopkins – Paterson (1978)
54. The BFG - Dahl (1982)
53. Wind in the Willows – Grahame (1908)
52. The Invention of Hugo Cabret (2007)
51. The Saturdays – Enright (1941)
50. Island of the Blue Dolphins – O’Dell (1960)
49. Frindle – Clements (1996)
48. The Penderwicks – Birdsall (2005)
47. Bud, Not Buddy – Curtis (1999)
46. Where the Red Fern Grows – Rawls (1961)
45. The Golden Compass – Pullman (1995)
44. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing – Blume (1972)
43. Ramona the Pest – Cleary (1968)
42. Little House on the Prairie – Wilder (1935)
41. The Witch of Blackbird Pond – Speare (1958)
40. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – Baum (1900)
39. When You Reach Me – Stead (2009)
38. HP and the Order of the Phoenix – Rowling (2003)
37. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry – Taylor (1976)
36. Are You there, God? It’s Me, Margaret – Blume (1970)
35. HP and the Goblet of Fire – Rowling (2000)
34. The Watson’s Go to Birmingham – Curtis (1995)
33. James and the Giant Peach – Dahl (1961)
32. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH – O’Brian (1971)

31. Half Magic – Eager (1954)
30. Winnie-the-Pooh – Milne (1926)
29. The Dark Is Rising – Cooper (1973)
28. A Little Princess – Burnett (1905)
27. Alice I and II – Carroll (1865/72)
26. Hatchet – Paulsen (1989)
25. Little Women – Alcott (1868/9)
24. HP and the Deathly Hallows – Rowling (2007)
23. Little House in the Big Woods – Wilder (1932)
22. The Tale of Despereaux – DiCamillo (2003)
21. The Lightening Thief – Riordan (2005)
20. Tuck Everlasting – Babbitt (1975)
19. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Dahl (1964)
18. Matilda – Dahl (1988)
17. Maniac Magee – Spinelli (1990)

16. Harriet the Spy – Fitzhugh (1964)
15. Because of Winn-Dixie – DiCamillo (2000)
14. HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban – Rowling (1999)

13. Bridge to Terabithia – Paterson (1977)
12. The Hobbit – Tolkien (1938)
11. The Westing Game - Raskin (1978)
10. The Phantom Tollbooth – Juster (1961)
9. Anne of Green Gables – Montgomery (1908)
8. The Secret Garden – Burnett (1911)
7. The Giver -Lowry (1993)
6. Holes – Sachar (1998)
5. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – Koningsburg (1967)
4. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – Lewis (1950)
3. Harry Potter #1 – Rowling (1997)
2. A Wrinkle in Time – L’Engle (1962)
1. Charlotte’s Web – White (1952)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Non-Fiction Monday: Fiction vs. Non-fiction

A quick idea for getting kids to recognize the difference between fiction and non-fiction books.  My older students will be helping their Kindergarten buddies with this task on Thursday.

Students receive a copy of a Scholastic book order pamphet.  With a partner (or their little buddy), students discuss each book, and decide whether it is fiction or non-fiction and how they know.  Students then cut out the book picture and glue it onto a chart - one side being labeled fiction, the other non-fiction.  My students will be a big help in the cutting and gluing department, and I hope they will be able to coach their little buddy in deciding which category each book belongs in.

This idea would fit into the lessons for teaching the Reading Power strategy 'Zoom In.'

This week's round-up is hosted by Shelf-Employed.  Check out this week's posts here.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Poetry Friday: If I Were In Charge of the World

So, I know this is a popular poem, but it's one of my favourites, and it seems to always be one of the class favourites every year.  It is a fun one to copy and have students keep the format but change the ideas.  I've always thought that it would make a good beginning of the year bulletin board.

If I were in charge of the world...all work weeks would be four days long and McDonald's cheeseburgers would be a health food.

If I Were In Charge of the World
If I were in charge of the world
I'd cancel oatmeal,
Monday mornings,
Allergy shots, and also Sara Steinberg.

If I were in charge of the world
There'd be brighter nights lights,
Healthier hamsters, and
Basketball baskets forty eight inches lower.

If I were in charge of the world
You wouldn't have lonely.
You wouldn't have clean.
You wouldn't have bedtimes.
Or "Don't punch your sister."
You wouldn't even have sisters.

If I were in charge of the world
A chocolate sundae with whipped cream and nuts would be a vegetable
All 007 movies would be G,
And a person who sometimes forgot to brush,
And sometimes forgot to flush,
Would still be allowed to be
In charge of the world.

by Judith Viorst 

This week's round up is hosted by Marjorie at Paper Tigers.