Well, the students voted back in January and chose Number the Stars as our next read aloud. It was a very mature choice as it deals with events of WWII. Today we will read the very last chapter in this suspenseful, emotional book. The students have all been so engaged in this text. They have been inquisitive about the events of WWII. We have had many powerful discussions. I am very proud of the way they have handled this mature and difficult text. We will be so sorry to say goodbye to these characters, but of course we are always looking forward to a new book (Just in time for reading month!)
What should we read next? make an educated decision...
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick. He's never worn a Cloak of Invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon. All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Harry's room is a tiny cupboard under the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in ten years.
But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him... if Harry can survive the encounter.
"As a read-aloud book, it was fun to read the giant's peculiar vocabulary. Human beings are "human beans," dreams are "bogthumpers," "grobswitchers" or "trogglehumpers," and he eats snozzcumbers while drinking frobscottle."
Captured by a giant! The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It's lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, the Fleshlumpeater, the Bonecruncher, or any of the other giants-rather than the BFG-she would have soon become breakfast.
When Sophie hears that they are flush-bunking off in England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her!
Number the Stars
"The whole book is seamless, compelling, and memorable -- impossible to put down; difficult to forget."
Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think of life before the war. It's now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching through town. When the Jews of Denmark are "relocated," Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be one of the family. Soon Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission to save Ellen's life.
Tales of Despereaux
Forgiveness, light, love, and soup. These essential ingredients combine into a tale that is as soul-stirring as it is delicious."
— BOOKLIST (starred review)
Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each others lives. What happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out.
From the master storyteller who brought us BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE comes another classic, a fairy tale full of quirky, unforgettable characters, with twenty-four stunning black-and-white illustrations by Timothy Basil Ering.
We finished reading Because of Winn Dixie last Friday and I don't think our hearts will ever be the same. This story brought us close to tears several times and pulled on all our heart strings. We shared our thoughts on sadness and how we deal with it when it comes into our lives. We were also faced with dealing with a happy, but not perfect, ending. This led to some great discussion about what happiness is all about. This story was simply magical for us and we didn't want it to end! We will be diving into a new chapter book in the new year. I thought everyone might enjoy checking out the movie trailer for Because of Winn Dixie. See if you can spot some out favorite characters and events! Leave a comment about what you notice!
Today we read a BEAUTIFUL book called Stranger in the Woods. It was written by a husband and wife right from the state of Michigan. This couple not only wrote this enchanting story, but also took all of the stunning photos. This book was one of the highlights of our day today and many kids mentioned it in appreciation circle at the end of the day. watch the video below to learn more about these AMAZING authors!!!
Here is one more video treat! It is a sneak peak of The Stranger in the Woods. You will have to go check it out from the library or find it at your local bookstore to enjoy the whole thing :)
Since we spent the day before Thanksgiving break making pumpkin pudding, (its looks and tastes like mini pumpkin pie!!) we were in the mood for a tasty story!! We enjoyed reading I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie. The book is obviously inspired by the famous story I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, so the pattern was fun and easy for us to read along. I hope you and your family will enjoy this silly book!
We enjoyed some silly and spooky tales during the month of October! We particularity enjoyed The Hallo-Weiner. The students felt it taught the readers a valuable lesson about bullying and they were able to make connections to other texts we have read such as Chrysanthemum. Enjoy this hot dog themed story on Youtube!
We also had a blast singing along to Shake Dem Halloween Bones! It was a hoot seeing some of our favorite fairy tale characters at a hip-hop Halloween ball! Click the button below to sing along!
Our class had a wonderful time traveling across the Atlantic Ocean on a giant peach with James and his enormous insect friends. To celebrate our completion of the book, we viewed the movie during one of our half days for conferences. We compared and contrasted the novel and the film. There were so many differences!! We wished the film had included the scene with the cloud men and the part where the peach crashed through a chocolate factory. However, we still enjoyed some of the funny additions in the film. Now we have begun a new adventure...this time with a girl named Opal and her beloved dog Winn Dixie! We already can't get enough!
James and the Giant Peach continues to thrill and excite us! During today's reading we learned about the journey James and his new insect friends had as the peach rolled through the village and down to the sea. It sounded like a crazy roller coaster ride!! We are practicing the skill of visualizing as we read. We listen for descriptive details from the author which help us to create a strong picture in our minds. Each day I assign one student a special project to illustrate their mental image at home and bring it in to share with us the next day. The projects have been FANTASTIC!! I love that family members are collaborating with their kids to make them extra special. Keep up the Superstar work!
We have also been working on this BEAUTIFUL story...The Quiltmaker's Gift. This is an absolutely delightful book with glorious, patchwork illustrations. It also teaches us a valuable lesson. We still have a couple pages to read (I don't want to spoil the ending). We are working on writing fables that teach a lesson, so this book is a great inspiration for our young authors!
We have been learning about what it takes to be a TRUE SUPERSTAR. Last week we talked about teamwork and respect. Today we read this classic story by Kevin Henkes to learn about individuality and the importance of trying something new (which also magically tied to our question of the week!) This book is a wonderful example of accepting others for who they are and appreciating what makes them unique....which is SO important in a classroom with 24 different personalities!
Last week, we read a different Kevin Henkes selection to discuss the ever-important Superstar trait... R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Students designed their own personal heart to represent things that are important to them. During the text, if Chrysanthemum was shown disrespect, they crumpled up their heart. When someone showed respect to Chrysanthemum, the students tried to straighten out the heart the best that they could. At the end of the story, we were left with a heart that was still a little wrinkled. I used this opportunity to discuss the marks we leave on someone's heart when we are disrespectful. Our class also designed and wrote out very first book about what respect looks like and sounds like. Come in and read it! It's in our classroom library!
Somehow during my move, I lost this darling book. However, I was able to find a video version to share with the students to discuss TEAMWORK. After hearing the text, students worked in teams of 4 and were only given 4 markers. Students were given the challenge of thinking of an image they could make with only those 4 colors. The projects turned out great! They worked amazingly well together and came up with creative titles for their pieces. Check out our gallery below. Also, click on the button to view the video.
Today was a magical day in the Superstar Classroom. I experienced my first "goosebump moment." A goosebump moment refers to an overwhelmingly exciting or inspiring moment that literally sets your heart on fire and gives you goosebumps! Today...I opened up the first chapter book we would share as a class. While this might not seem like that big of a deal, I assure you, IT IS! Our class is about to embark on a journey together..a journey through an AMAZING book! A journey we will all share and bond over. We will laugh, cry, and oooh and ahhh together through the many pages of James and the Giant Peach! I absolutely adore starting the year with this imaginative, hysterical, magical and adventure-packed story! It is filled with so many great details for students to imagine. As I read the first chapter today, the Superstars were enchanted!!! They didn't realize it, but some were slowly inching closer and closer to me as I read. They have not been this quiet all week!! :) Students were asking to hear more as I picked them up from Gym class today. I can tell already that we are going to have fun with this one!!! I will keep everyone posted about our continued adventures with James!
The first book we shared as a class! A great first day of school read aloud! The kids LOVED the surprise ending! (I will admit, I was totally surprised the first time I read this gem!) Click on the button below to hear it read aloud on youtube. ENJOY! :)