Cycle 19 February 27-March 5

Sunset Terrace

5th:  The World Almanac –  The World Almania Game    (E day – Math MCA Tutorials)

4th:  Nonfiction – MCA Math Tutorial and Computer Terms

3rd:  The World Almanac for Kids – Animals in the Almanac

2nd:  Nonfiction Books:  Title Page, Table of Contents, Index, Scanning, Skimming, Flipping pages (Use State Books)

1st:  Dear Peter Rabbit by Ada  (Author’s Purpose of Letter)

K:  Q Song:  The Very Quiet Cricket


5th:  Sherlock Holmes Short Story:  “The Red-Headed League”

4th: Nonfiction – Dewey Decimal Book Hunt

3rd: Read Around the World:  Something to Tell the Grandcows (South Pole)

2nd:  Nonfiction Books:  Title Page, Table of Contents, Index, Scanning, Skimming, Flipping pages (Use State Books)

1st:  The House at Pooh Corner: “Chapter 1 – A House is Built at Pooh Corner for Eeyore”

March 1, 2012 at 5:46 pm Leave a comment

We Give Books – Read for My School Campaign

Have you every tried the website website?  When you read an online book you can donate books to organizations.  Right now you can donate to your school.  Go ahead and create an account and add your school.  You are not charged anything and you don’t get extra emails unless you request them.  Set up the school you want to donate to and then start reading!

February 16, 2012 at 12:48 pm Leave a comment

Cycle 18 – Feb. 16 – Feb. 24, 2012


Sunset Terrace

5th:  The World Almanac –  The World Almania Game

4th:  Nonfiction – 800’s & 900’s- Booktalks about the kinds of books found in the 800’s and 900’s

3rd:  World Almanac for Kids  – Animals in the Almanac worksheet

2nd:  Online Encyclopedias – World Book for Kids and Early World of Learning Animal Facts

1st:  The Tale of Peter Rabbit (DVD)

K:  P Song:  Penguin Pete and Pat  compared with nonfiction Emperor Penguin


5th:  Sherlock Holmes Short Story:  “The Red-Headed League”

4th: Nonfiction – 800’s & 900’s- Booktalks about the kinds of books found in the 800’s and 900’s

3rd: Meet in Computer Lab:  Destiny Online Catalog Scavenger Hunt

2nd: Snowflake Bentley

1st:  The Tale of Peter Rabbit (DVD)

February 15, 2012 at 8:21 pm Leave a comment

Cycle 17 – Feb. 8 – Feb. 15, 2012

  Go Wild for Reading, Buckaroos!

Sunset Terrace
All ST Classes 2-5:  Review Renaissance Home Connect

5th:  The World Almanac –  5B, 5H, 5Mervosh:  Practice answering trivia questions using indexes and keywords.  5Moreno, 5 Mehring:  Play World   Game

4th:  Nonfiction – 600’s and 700s – Booktalks about the kinds of books found in the 600’s and 700’s

3rd:  World Almanac for Kids “Presidential Puzzles”

2nd:  Call #’s in the Library mini lesson – cowboy or pirate story

1st:  Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire by Degroat (President’s Day story) – cowboy or pirate story

K:  O Song: An Octopus Followed Me Home by Yaccarino, If You’ll be My Valentine by Rylant, Song:  I’m Sending You a Valentine, Never Too Little To Love by Willis

5th:  Meet in the Computer Lab:  Language Arts on Media Page – Read Online Magazines or Practice Spelling

4th: Meet in the Computer Lab: Language Arts on Media Page – Read Online Magazines or Practice Spelling

3rd: Story Works Reader’s Play:  Dolphin Tale

2nd: Meet in the Computer Lab:  Online Encyclopedias – World Book for Kids and Early World of Learning Animal Facts – Work on insect research

1st:  Meet in the Computer Lab: Games on Media Page – Do Creative Games (Make a Flake, Virtual Snowman)

February 7, 2012 at 10:00 pm Leave a comment

Cycle 16 – Jan. 31- Feb. 7, 2012


Sunset Terrace
5th:  The World Almanac – Practice answering trivia questions using indexes and keywords.
4th:  Nonfiction – 400’s and 500’s – Booktalks about the kinds of books found in the 400’s and 500’s
3rd:  Introduction to the The World Almanac for Kids
2nd:  Online Catalog – logging in for personal information – searching by keyword, title, author, and series
1st:  Puss in Boots illustrated by Marcellino – Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink by  Degroat (Valentine’s day book)
K:  N Song – Swim, Number Nine Duckling, The Naughty Puppy, Whose Nose is This?

5th:  Jabberwocky / Book Fair Video
4th: Nonfiction – 400’s and 500’s – Booktalks about the kinds of books found in the 400’s and 500’s / Book Fair Video
3rd: The Online World Book Encyclopedia – Discover (Surfing the Encyclopedia questions) Meet in the Computer Lab!
2nd: Book Fair Video – Understanding Call Numbers
1st: Puss in Boots / Book Fair Video

January 31, 2012 at 1:05 pm Leave a comment

Rochester Reads Book Review: The River Between Us


The River Between Us by Richard Peck

I am a big fan of Richard Peck’s middle grade fiction. He has great sense of humor and usually writes about the days gone by.  I think his books are great read alouds or literature circle choices.  Getting students to flock to Peck’s books on their own isn’t so easy.  The titles and the covers don’t always attract students.  So, lead students to Peck books through book talks or read alouds. You need to talk these books up for students to check them out and read them.

The River Between Us is the Rochester Reads choice this winter.  The interest level is 7th grade and up.  I also checked they tagged this book as 11 years and up.  The following is my summary and review of the book.  SPOILER ALERT:  Please don’t read it if you don’t want to spoil any of the surprises! 

The story is about the Civil War and how it affects a family when their only son volunteers for the Union Army. It is told in the beginning through the point of view of a 15 year old boy as his father takes his boys to visit his parents and aunt and uncle. When they arrive, the grandmother takes this grandson aside and tells him the Civil War story that we read about in the book.  It is full of adventure, mystery, racism, growing up, and the agony of war.  The majority of the story is told through the point of view of Grandmother Tilly when she was 15 years old. 

Two young women have fled New Orleans because of the impending war. They arrive in Illinois in the town of Grand Tower.  Tilly’s mother takes the women in and offers them room and board.  They are mysterious and are a curiosity to both family and townspeople.  Delphine is a fancy city girl who is 15 years  old and the other woman appears to be her black servant.  Eventually, Delphine begins to fall in love with Noah, the only son in the household.  Noah joins the war effort and his mother falls apart and sends Tilly and Delphine to find him and bring him home.  This is where you have a front row seat to how miserable the war is.  There is much description about the unsanitary conditions and lack of help and supplies as well as disorganization.  The wounds are great and eventually Noah, after only serving a few short months, is sent back home minus an arm. 

Richard Peck did research on women who lived in New Orleans who were black or partially black and were mistresses of wealthy men who kept them.  Delphine was the child of one of these women.  They were free black people who are often quite wealthy and owned quite a bit of property in New Orleans.  After the war, these women lost everything and fled the city and the lifestyle vanished in New Orleans.

I thought this book was so interesting that I woke this morning at three o’clock and decided to just finish the book.  I would recommend this book to adults and young adults.  As for 5th and 6th grade, it may depend on the reading values and interest of the students. There is gross talk about sanitation and wounds, descriptions of war and killing, scenes of racism, and some minor talk about mistresses.  The reading isn’t light-hearted.  You do get some sweet scenes and funny moments and Richard Peck is a master story teller of Historical Fiction.  If you want to do this book as a read aloud to 5th grade students, as always, read it ahead of time and see if it is a book you can be comfortable with.

January 24, 2012 at 7:27 pm Leave a comment

2012 Newbery and Caldecott Winners

Click for more information on this title
Dead End  in Norvelt by Jack Gantos is the new Newbery!  
I actually have this book at one of my schools.  The catalog summary is:  After being “grounded for life” by his parents, Jack Gantos is loaned out by his mother to help an old neighbor with the unusual task or writing obituaries. As Jack completes his task, he discovers the strange stories contained within the obituaries and stumbles upon what he believes may be a murder case. Sounds a little like the theme of the yesterday’s book I reviewed (With a Name Like Love).
Honor Books:

Click for more information on this title
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Score! I have this one too!  Here is the summary:    Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama.

Breaking Stalin’s Nose by Eugene Velchin
I haven’t heard about this book. Looks interesting.  I quickly placed my order at Amazon and it won’t be ready for a few weeks.   Here is the catalog description:  In the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union, ten-year-old Sasha idolizes his father, a devoted Communist, but when police take his father away and leave Sasha homeless, he is forced to examine his own perceptions, values, and beliefs.

New Caldecott!
A ball for Daisy
A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka
This book is a preschool book but since it is wordless, will also be fun for students who are practicing the art of reading pictures as well as words.  Here is the catalog summary:  A wordless picture book showing the fun a dog has with her ball, and what happens when it is lost.

The Honor books are:

“Blackout,” illustrated and written by John Rocco
When a busy family’s activities come to a halt because of a blackout, they find they enjoy spending time together and not being too busy for once.

“Grandpa Green” illustrated and written by Lane Smith
A child explores the ordinary life of his extraordinary great-grandfather, as expressed in his topiary garden.

“Me … Jane,” illustrated and written by Patrick McDonnell
Holding her stuffed toy chimpanzee, young Jane Goodall observes nature, reads Tarzan books, and dreams of living in Africa and helping animals. Includes biographical information on the prominent zoologist.

January 23, 2012 at 6:10 pm Leave a comment

Older Posts


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.