February 18, 2018
Amanda Noll has created two awesome fun reads. In I Need My Monster, Ethan wonders how he will sleep without his monster. Substitute monsters arrive, but they don’t have all of the traits that Gabe, his monster, has. Hey, That’s My Monster, Ethan has a bigger dilemma – his sister won’t go to sleep and his monster plans to camp out in her room. Emma doesn’t seem to be rattled by the visiting monsters. She giggles. She plays. She is not sleeping. Howard McWilliam brings the monsters to life in a fun, not scary, delightful tale of childhood bedtimes.
View the book trailer:
Storyline graciously reads both books. Click on the title to show your students. I Need My Monster. Hey, That’s My Monster.
Savorings for both books:
- Kid perspective
- Vivid verbs
- Power of 3
- Story tension
- Every day happening
February 13, 2018
by Alisha Vimawala
Growing up, I learned about the nine planets in our solar system. Pluto was the farthest. In 2006, new discoveries changed this notion.
As you read All My Friends Are Planets, you are engaged in a conversations with Pluto. It explains how it changed from being a planet in the solar system to the classification of a dwarf planet in the Kuiper Belt. It feels alone, describing the other planets in the solar system. It is
I’m not a scientist at heart, but I love the wonderment of space. This lighthearted conversation explains the differences of Pluto for children to understand. It’s a great springboard into further research. The author nudges her readers to investigate more on the subject and lists possible sites to begin in the back of the book. Alisha Vimawala also has a drawing contest of a future planet. Genius!
Savorings for All My Friends are Planets:
- First Person Narrative – talks to the reader
- Informational Narrative
- Scientific Characteristics – same/ different
- Power of 3
Scholastic book order
November 10, 2017
I was perusing through my Thanksgiving books and came across Turk and Runt. The book is hilarious. Lots of play on words and voices. Lisa Wheeler did an incredible job of thinking like a turkey in pursuit. Just had to mention it. Click on this link for more mini-lesson ideas.
For a video of the book, click here.
October 20, 2014
Kids wonder what happens when teachers get together. They pass by the room with the sign Teachers’ Lounge and try to peek. Jerry Pallotta portrays adventurous activities for teacher relief in What I Saw in the Teachers’ Lounge. Wouldn’t it be fun to walk through the forest during lunch time? As I reread the book, I noticed Howard McWilliam gave some clues from the paintings on the wall. Several match the adventures the teachers have.
After reading the book, kids could draw and write what might be happening in the teachers’ lounge. It would be fun to hear what they think.
Below is a video of the book, narrated by a student. The quality is good. It definitely gives you a preview of the book.
Savorings for reading and in writing for What I Saw in the Teachers’ Lounge:
- Wonderment – what is happening?
- Interjection – Yikes
- Sentence Structure – simple text as well as complex sentences with clauses
- Plural possessive
- Magic of 3
August 22, 2011
The Bookshop Dog intrigues me. I found the book at a used bookstore. It’s not new (copyright 1996), but new to me. Cynthia Rylant is not only the author but also the illustrator. As I read the book, I kept wondering where she got the idea for the book. A dog-lover will relate to this book.
A young lady takes her dog everywhere, even to work. She owned a bookstore and name it after her dog, Martha Jane’s bookshop. Her customers loved the dog and business was flourishing.
A dilemma arises when the lady has to go to the hospital. Several customers wanted to keep Martha. It was Martha who chose her handler – one man who visited the bookshop weekly. I think this book is a great example of how a decision creates the problem in the story.
Savorings for reading and in writing for The Bookshop Dog:
- Play on words
- Magic of 3 – postman, policeman, band director
- Problem/ Solution
- Character traits
July 26, 2011
Today my children heard “Thank you” so many times they were humbled.
Today our family served an evening meal to a homeless shelter in our community. We cooked with fellow church friends and then delivered the meal to the home that serviced 25 people. We were created cheerfully and then set up the food line. My kids were not exactly excited about going. “What will the people be like? What are we to do?” They were nervous and felt uncomfortable. They changed.
Today my children learned homeless people are real, are normal, are like them. The clients interacted with us and asked the kids about school. They wanted to know if they were enjoying summer. The men and women shared about their work activities or family. They interacted.
Today we heard, “Oh thank you for the food.” We responded kindly and shared we were glad to do it. “We really appreciate your kindness.” We responded with letting them know others had helped us in our time of need. “Thank you so much.” My children smiled and offered more. They responded.
Today my children said “Thank you” to me as we headed home.