Dino – Basketball

April 13, 2013

Dear Basketball Lovers,

Dino-BasketballBasketball Madness has finally settled, so I wish I would have shared this book in March. The author, Lisa Wheeler and illustrator, Barry Gott, created an energetic book for any month of the year. Dino-Basketball (pub. Carolrhoda Books Minn. 2011) will capture the children in the intense action, being an edge-of-the-seat spectator while turning the pages. I think this book is a great mentor text to show how to integrate topic vocabulary such as dunk, pivot, and dribble.

Lisa Wheeler is also very creative playing of lyrical words of “We will, we will, Chomp you!” You can almost hear the chant. Too cute! Boys will love this book.¬† Even the colors match – green for the Grass Clippers and red for the Meat. They of course have their basketball match up at Mastadon Square Garden.

Thought of you and hope you will enjoy reading this book to any primary classroom. Go to the author and illustrator websites that are linked. I found some interesting helps. (And, I found out they wrote a Dino-Baseball book. Can’t wait to read it!)

MaryHelen

Savorings for reading and in writing for Dino-Basketball:

  • Hyphen and Dash usage
  • Vocabulary – specific topic words
  • Everyday Happening – basketball as viewed on TV using dinosaurs as characters
  • Action
  • Boy Read

PES book


A Rainy Day Book

April 11, 2013

Hello, It’s spring!

I’m loving the spring green I am seeing on my drives. Sunshine and warm temps jump started the week. It was wonderful. And now rain. Rain and thunderstorms and cold temps. It’s spring and the green will need the moisture. I just want warm temps again.

The rain made me think of a book I read called My Side of the Car by Kate Feiffer.

A little girl is heading to the zoo with her dad. The sunny day has changed to the reality of rain. Dad informs his daughter sitting in the back seat that they can’t go. Yet, the daughter looks outside her window and announces that there is no rain on her side. Her perception is illustrated splendidly as she visualizes others going to the zoo too. Father continues driving and comments about the continual precipitation.

The inspiration for the book is shared through a conversation between daughter, Kate, and father, Jules. I love the debate-able voices. It reminds me of my kids when they were little.

Rainy day sunshine,

Mary Helen

Savorings for reading and in writing for My Side of the Car:

  • Everyday happening – rain, conversation with parent, car ride
  • Perspective – reality vs. imaginative
  • One day story – excellent text to illustrate conversation with action
  • Anticipation of the event – feelings of the character
  • Illustrations – reminds me of child-like drawings

SOL: BONS, I Appreciate You!

April 9, 2013

sols_6The BONS writing group began over two years ago and has been a powerful agent in each of our lives. I’m proud of each of us slicing all 31 days in March!! Whoop Whoop! ūüôā

Today, I have been thinking of each of you, BONS. Maybe it’s because we are setting dates to meet. Maybe it’s because I’m writing my supportive thesis for my teaching evaluation. Maybe it’s just because thoughts of you brings sunshine to my day.

Ruth, you are exemplifying, real, supportive. Your leadership shines through and lifts me up. I love reflecting with you about school, about writing, about kids. The thousands of words you write inspires me to keep going.

Tam, you are endorsing, loyal, helpful. Your quiet reflection rings powerful through your masterpiece of of memories. I love your sketches, your bits of ideas sculpted into possibilities. Your perseverance and charm nudges new thoughts and makes me smile.

Ruth M (aka: the other Ruth), you are encouraging, insightful, reflective. Your poetic craft spell bounds me – every time. I love the richness of your words, savoring them over and over and over. Your calm perspective ignites ideas and sparks persistence.

Tammy, you are energizing, creative, heartful. Your stories bring out laughter and emotion. I love your adventurous spirit and welcoming friendship has taught me to stretch beyond myself. Your enthusiasm spreads and your conversations are the best!

We all bring laughter and stories. It’s contagious. Our BONd keeps us fueled for the daily writing or idea-mulling treadmill. The celebration is the key. It’s in celebrating the bits of nothing and somethings that’s at the heart of the BONS.

 


Mouse Views: a Mapquest

April 5, 2013

Dear Tam,

I thought of you when I spotted this book by Bruce McMillan. I guess the photo of a pet mouse made me think of your book character. I also thought your grand kids would like this book. The pictures are photographs, magnifying articles found in a classroom. The name of the book is Mouse Views: What the Class Pet Saw. Each picture gives you a visual clue where the pet mouse is. Eventually, the mouse returns to the children.

In the back of the book, the author explains he thought of the idea after having lunch with some teachers. Map skills is hard to teach when introducing the concept in first and second grades. A map of the school is in the back, diagramming each place the mouse went. I could visualize classes doing this. Your grand kids to map out your house, backyard, or their home even.

My friend, Michelle, has a class guinea pig, and the door of its cage was left open just like the first page of this book. It made me think that classrooms could make up their own stories of a pet traveling around the school and make a fun map for new kids who come to school. Kids love taking pictures, so that could be added in as well. Just an idea.

Happy map making,

Mary Helen

Savorings for reading and in writing for Mouse Views: What the Class Pet Saw:

  • Map Skills
  • Prediction
  • Story prompt
  • Visual perception

Mysteries in Nature Concealed and Revealed

April 3, 2013

Dear Reader,

This book, What is in the Wild? Mysteries of Nature Concealed and Revealed, caught my eye just reading the introduction of the author and illustrator.

ear-tickling poems by David M. Schwartz and Yael Schy

eye-tricking photos by Dwight Kuhn

How cool is that? Each living organism introduced encourages you to investigate. I’m not crazy about science, but they are very creative. Kids will love this book. Formations, patterns on the ground and in plants are zoomed in for examination. A full page close-up photograph reveals a mystery. A companion poem shares clues of its creatures.

It gets better. The photo page folds out to reveal another zoomed-in picture of an animal or insect accompanied by its adjacent information page. I really don’t like to get up-close and personal with any small, insect-like creature. It sends shivers down my spine. But, I am thinking of some kids right now who would have their nose buried in this book, reading and discovering. They’ll be tricked into learning something new.

Have fun with this one. I can visualize using this book as a great read aloud. I’m always looking for short texts that can be sandwiched into short time frames, like waiting in line for a specials class, a few minutes before leaving. How about an attention grabber in the middle of the day? You could read just one of the pages and it would hook them in. Think of the many possibilities there is.

Happy science sleuthing!

MHG

Savorings for reading and in writing for What is in the Wild?

  • Hybrid text
  • Riddle and word choice
  • Grabber Leads
  • Shape poems
  • Informational text – great for close reading

PES new book

(Side note: Tammy, I think I want to share this book at Summer Institute. It’s a keeper.)