Monday, November 30, 2009
We already have been making plans for next year so start saving now!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
My all time favorite story I read every year to second grade and above is titled The Widow's Broom, by Chris Van Allsburg.
My other favorites include:
Froggy's halloween by Jonathan London
Hallo-weiner by Dav Pilkey
My monster momma loves me so by Laura Leuck
Big pumpkin by Erica Silverman
The trip by Ezra Jack Keats
The Viper by Lisa Thiesing
Velcome by Kevin O'Malley
Dragon's Halloween by Dav Pilkey
Boo to you by Lois Ehlert
Shake dem Halloween bones by Lisa Nikola
Scary, scary Halloween by Eve Bunting
Harriet's Halloween candy by Nancy Carlson
Sam's first Halloween by Mary Labatt
Trick or treet, smell my feet by Diane De Groat
The ugly pumpkin by Dave Horowitz
Ghost's hour, spook's hour by Eve Bunting
Henry and Mudge Under the Yellow Moon by Cynthia Rylant
Nate the Great and the Halloween hunt by Marjorie Sharmat
The best Halloween ever by Barbara Robinson
The Scholastic Bookfair will arrive November 2 - 5th for Tracks 2 and 4. On Thursday Night (November 5) all tracks are invited to come out at 6:30 to Highcroft Drive Cafeteria for a special program to kick off our Family Night at the Bookfair. A park ranger with special guest will be there to share with students the joys of nature. S'more refreshments will be served so don't be left at home. Dress up in your "happy camper" attire and join the Highcroft families in supporting our biggest bookfair ever!
Tracks 1 and 3 will preview and purchase the week of November 9th.
The profit will go to purchase books and a few technology tools for our media center to help promote our 21st Century literacy program for students.
Since our bookfair is so close to the holidays, now is the time for you to stock up on stuffers, gifts, and reading material for the family.
Remember: Books are presents you can open again and again!
Fifth graders began using a lotus diagram to organize data about themselves. They should be able to apply this graphic organizer when they begin their biography report for their wax museum.
Fourth graders have been involved in a Box Research Project about Roald Dahl. Many questions about his life were generated and we were off to answer those questions using worldbookonline.
Third graders began their exploration of tall tale characters through the introduction of Johnny Appleseed.
Second graders are wrapping their unit up about Patricia Polacco with a video of Rashenka's Eggs. An interview with Patricia and her "how to" explanation of making pysanky eggs (a Ukraine tradition passed on to Patricia by her Babushka).
First graders learned facts about lizards through nonfiction books. We discussed the text features in Komodo Dragons and discussed the mythological "dragon."
Kindergarteners enjoyed the book Library Lion. We discussed the sequence of the story; what happened in the beginning, what happened next, then what happened, and of course...finally the story ended...how???? Never a dull moment with the kinders.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Right now we are on a fact finding journey:) We have also read many of the Rotten Ralph books by Jack Gantos and discussed how Ralph's behavior can really be rotten at times. Students share how Ralph could act differently.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
See you next year! (That would be July 7th)
The kindergarten will continue to read books about dogs and view episode one of The Ugly Duckling. This is not the fairy tale. It is about bullying and takes place in a farmyard.
Second Grade will begin The Pagemaster, based on the book about a timid boy who is afraid of everything....until he ends up in a library and explores Adventure, Horror and Fantasy. Through experiencing these three genrea, he becomes brave and overcomes many of his fears. His library card allows him to experience and explore life through the pages of a book...hence the term "pagemaster."
Third grade will be shown the movie based on Louis Sachar's Wayside School is Falling Down. This animated film reinforces the chapters the students find so funny through his play on words and wacky school architecture.
Fourth grade will be watching Pippi Longstocking. This is also a musical about an adventurous girl and the antics she encounters as she is orphaned through a shipwreck. However, this movie has a happy ending.
Fifth grade will watch a biography about Sterling North when he was a boy in the early 1900's. It ties in the states, historical fiction, a biography, and life during the "good ole days." The movie is titled, Rascal. After Sterling's last day of school, his father takes him to the countryside where he encounters a racoon who is left behind by it's mother. Sterling adopts the racoon and learns the responsiblity and heartache of owning a wild animal
Friday, May 15, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Fourth Graders have learned about primary sources which give us insight as to the events that have happened in history. We have learned through journaling, diaries, photographs and artifacts history comes alive. After reading Polar, the Titanic Bear we listed many of the primary sources that were used to document the Spedden's life in New York, their travels around the world, and the terrible tragedy when they were passengers on the Titanic. The entire story was told through the eyes of a stuffed animal named Polar, who was Douglas Spedden's toy that traveled with him where ever they went.
Third graders (depending on their track) have been doing research on their famous person, or learning about alliteration through reading Bob McLeod's, Superhero ABC. Many students completing their research learned about their famous person through creating timelines, learning how to summarize, and to culminate their research......HOW TO DO A BIBLIOGRAPHY! Well we have to start somewhere and the library is a great place to begin. Students were hesitant at first, but once they saw how to find the copyright date, they were pros! Good job Third Graders. (Two more classes will begin next week)
Second graders have continued to read selections written and illustrated by Bill Peet. We learned what a Whingdingdilly was in the story titled the same...A whingdingdilly is where several animal features are used to make one complete animal. (Camel legs, elephant legs, moose head, lion tail, etc). Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for, it may come true! The lesson, be happy by being yourself!
First graders have been introduced to the characteristics between frogs and toads. We had no idea they were very different. How do we know? We used books through simple research techniques. We also followed up with a fiction
story written by Arnold Lobel titled, Frog and Toad are Friends. We read the chapter titled, Spring. As a class we retold the story in sequence and explored how each event led to the next event in a logical progression.
Kindergarten classes learned a little about rabbits, Beatrix Potter and of course....The tale of Peter Rabbit. Many students did not know this story began as a letter to a small boy who was hospitalized. After a few years Beatrix Potter published the letter in the form of a small book (for small hands) which became extremely popular. Peter, we learned, was very mischieveous and did not listen to his mother. This led to an interesting discussion about why we follow rules at home, school, and other places.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Happy Good Friday!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
2. Citation Machine: A site that will help you generate bibliographic entries
3. Mrs. Wetherell’s Blog (Weekly update to media specials)
4. Kevin O’Malley’s Home Page (Author and Illustrator)
5. World Book Online Encyclopedia
6. Christmas Time
7. The Solar System
8. Ben Carson, M.D.
9. My Hero Project
10. Historical Fiction Site/Resources
11. Annotated list of historical fiction for children and teens
12. Historical Fiction Booklist
13. Historical Fiction Definition/Explanation
14. Questions to think about while reading Historical Fiction
15. Historical Fiction Reflection Questions to consider
16. PRINTING PRESS: Create your own brochure, newspaper, booklet or flyer online
17. Civil War Booklist
18. Civil War Information/Portraits
19. National Geographic Underground Railroad Information Website
20. Spy Letters of the American Revolution
21 American Revolutionary Webquest
22. Famous Men in the American Revolution
23. Amazing Women in War and Peace (different times in history)
24.American Revolutionary War Quiz
26.. Dr. Seuss Sites:
http://www.seussville.com/ (Play games and learn)
http://www.iditarod.com/ (Official Website)
http://www.randomhouse.com/features/garypaulsen/ (Gary Paulson, Author)
http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/Iditarod/ (Great site for everything Iditarod)
http://themes.pppst.com/iditarod.html (Many PowerPoint presentations)
http://mrstedeschi.tripod.com/id3.html (PowerPoint as short example)
http://www.dogsled.com/iditarod-2007/lance-wins.html (Lance with lead dog winner 2007)
http://www.ultimateiditarod.com/about.html (To learn about food and equipment that mushers use in the race)
www.ultimateiditarod.com/DogsledF.htm (anatomy of a dogsled)
Monday, March 23, 2009
Fifth grade continued to work on their Iditarod PowerPoint presentation. I showed the students how to access the mushers and find some information about them along with the mushers' picture. I also showed a podcast of Lance Mackey, now a three time winner of the Iditarod races, who is a cancer survivor. His father was also a winner of the 1978 Iditarod by ONE SECOND!!!! for more info go to
scroll to the middle of the page and click on the podcast. Watch his lead dog. He must know he is a champion.
Fourth grade enjoyed one of my favorite lessons about decoding words. We listened to the book Baloney by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. We used context clues and picture support to decode the words we did not understand. After listening to the book we guessed what the words meant based on the strategies we reviewed and checked for accuracy. Those strategies really worked! We then read the story with the "real words" ...it was hilarious!
Third grade listened to a book titled Personal and Confidential. The story is about a girl who writes to a pen pal, Malcolm, who turns out to be blind and uses a brailling machine to communicate by mail. When Malcolm writes back in braille, we used the braille alphabet to decode his letter. It was much harder than it looked.
Second grade enjoyed the story about a pig....no not Charlottes Web, Babe, or Olivia....It was Chester! The Worldly Pig by Bill Peet. Chester wants to run away and become a star, in a circus. He gets his wish but finds the circus is no place for him. He returns to life on a farm until he is bought by a traveling side show...because of his appearance. He is a worldly pig but not because of his travels. You'll have to read the book to find out why he is called "worldly"...You really didn't think I would give the story away did you?
First graders enjoyed a fiction and nonfiction book about St. Patrick's Day. Our fiction book consisted of Tomie dePaola's, Jamie O'Roarke and the Big Potato. It is an Irish folktale and Jamie is the laziest man in Ireland. You would think he learns a lesson...and he does. We all enjoyed this selection of gold, leprechauns, and praties...(potatoes).
Kindergarteners also enjoyed a fiction book about St. Patrick's Day. It was a tail-waggin tail of friendship with a leprechaun and a dog named Lucky as the main characters. As the story ends, we learn that real friends are better than gold! The Luckiest Leprechaun by Justine Korman.
Fourth grade completed their video, Danny the Champion of the World. Many events in the video were different than the actual events that took place in the book. We discussed the differences and why the movie and book differed. Roald Dahl sure was a great storyteller. Don't forget to check out his other favorites like the BFG! Ask your children what the BFG stands for...
Third grade students have been listening to stories about Helen Keller and how she became blind and deaf when she was just a toddler. We also learned about diseases and how lucky we are to live when so many vaccinations are available to keep us safe. Helen was also very fortunate to have Anne Sullivan live with her for so long to help Helen throughout her life. The obstacles she overcame was so miraculous.
Second grade students have been enjoying the stories which were illustrated and written by Bill Peet. He worked as Walt Disney's head animator for over 27 years until he wanted to write and illustrate children's books. His autobiography (written by himself about himself) won a Caldecott Medal and shows many of his sketches while he worked at Disney. He worked on movies such as Alice in Wonderland, Song of the South, Sword in the Stone, 101 Dalmations, Dumbo and others. We heard Big Bad Bruce this week. It was hilarious!
First graders continue their Tomie dePaola unit with Strega Nona goes on vacation and Strega Nona, her story. There is so much action when Big Anthony does not listen! Hopefully we can all learn from Big Anthony, even though he does such funny things.
Kindergarteners have been treated to several books about Dinosaurs. Our favorite so far has been I'm Bad by Kate and Jim McMullan. It's all in the voice if you are going to read this one! We followed up with a nonfiction book on dinosaurs and how big they were. Our game consisted of musical books. While we sang "this is the way we choose a book" we walked around the tables. I would finish by saying fiction or nonfiction and the students would choose the correct type of book.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
A Valentine for Ms. Vanilla by Fred Ehrlich
Falling for Rapunzel by Leah Wilcox
I Like You by Sandol Stoddard
If You'll Be My Valentine by Cynthia Rylant
Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink by Diane deGroat
Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli
The Best Thing About Valentines by Eleanor Hudson
The Day it Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
The Night Before Valentine's Day by Natasha Wing
The Very Special Valentine by Maggie Kneen
Today is Valentine's Day by P. K. Hallinan
Valentine's Day Is by Gail Gibbons
You and Me by Martine Kindermans
You Are My I Love You by Maryann Cusimano Love
Valentine School Parties by Wilhelminia Ripple
Fourth grade continued with the Danny the Champion of the World video. We compared several of the events of the movie we have seen so far with the text. There were many changes when the book became the movie. We used a venn diagram to plot our discoveries.
Third grade continued to learn what it means to have courage. This week we watched a short video about Helen Keller who became blind and deaf from having a fever for so long when she was only 18 months old. We discussed different diseases and how we are protected against several of them now with the discovery of antibiotics and different vaccinations. Helen was most couragous and had a wonderful companion to help her throughout her life. Her name was Anne Sullivan. She also attended college and lived a very full life.
Second graders continued to delve into Bill Peet's books. We read a short humorous book titled Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watts. Scaredy is afraid to venture out of his comfort zone and is prepared for anything...almost. We applied this knowledge to the book written by Bill Peet titled Merle the High Flying Squirrel who never leaves his oak tree in the city. He wants to venture out west and does so in a most unusual way. We compared the similarities of the squirrels within the two books and discussed how connections are made.
First grade enjoyed Tomie DePaola's most famous book, Strega Nona. Poor Big Anthony does not pay attention! This gets him into a most unusual situation...until Strega Nona comes to the rescue. We discussed how stories have a beginning, middle and end...so we retold the story in our own words...the beginning...the middle....the end. Ciao~
Kindergarten classes are learning the differences between fiction and non-fiction. We looked at non-fiction books about dinosaur digs with fossils. then we enjoyed our fiction story titled, Can I have a stegasaurus mom? Please! We followed up with a game of musical books. While I sang the students walked around tables with both fiction and non-fiction books. When I stopped, I shouted either "fiction" or "non-fiction"...the students were to choose the correct type of book. They are brilliant!
First Graders were introduced to the wonderful author and illustrator Tomie DePaola. We began by reading a small biography about his life. We learned his favorite holiday is Christmas, he loves to cook, and he began early in his career by designing Christmas cards. We followed up with a book he wrote and illustrated titled Tom. Tom was Tomie's grandfather who owned a grocery store where he worked as a butcher. Tomie plays a trick on his best friend in the book. It's hilarious until he finds himself in the principal's office.
Second graders learned that true people are behind the animated movies produced by Walt Disney. Bill Peet worked with Walt Disney for more than 27 years where he served as head animator. He has worked on Song of the South, 101 Dalmations, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland and Dumbo...just to name a few. We followed up with a story titled Big Bad Bruce, which was written and illustrated by Bill Peet. Big Bad Bruce was hilarious!
Third Grade found Wilma Unlimited to be inspirational! Not only was she stricken with polio and told she would never walk again, but she overcame her illness and became the fastest women in the world...in 1960. Wilma's life growing up was unbelieveable.... What an exciting book. Our biography section is really being explored.
Fourth grade is beginning to finish Danny the Champion of the World, by Roald Dahl. We have found that Danny really does have an exciting life even though he lives in a small caravan with his father that owns a gas station. Of course, Roald Dahl is a master storyteller....we will follow up with the video I was lucky enough to find which was only released in the UK.
Fifth grade students are learning about key words and are using google this week to look up questions relating to fine arts. This supports assignments which are ongoing in the classroom. We are learning to be efficient and evaluating web sites in the process.
This wonderful story by Abby Levine captivates children with the story of Gretchen Groundhog's first time predicting the weather on Groundhog Day. Kids especially like the support emails that Gretchen receives from other shy groundhogs throughout history.
Author Don Freeman, best known as the ingenious creator of Corduroy, weaves a charming tale of the separation of shy Gregory and his faithful pal Shadow just prior to their Groundhog Day appearance. A great read-aloud book!
The storyline of Punxsutawney Phyllis is endearing, and especially encouraging for girls -- telling them that it's OK to be different and they are capable of doing anything they want to do. But the exquisite illustrations of Jeffrey Ebbeler are what really make this book stand out from the pack
It’s Groundhog Day!
Whimsical characters and an action-packed plot keep young readers entertained in this hilarious story about the kidnapping of Godfrey Groundhog and his ultimate escape in time to predict the weather on Groundhog Day
Punxsutawney Phil and his Weather Wisdom
A delightful introduction to the famous Pennsylvania groundhog Punxsutawney Phil and the science of weather and weather predictions. Lots of neat weather facts plus a great story on self-esteem
The secret of the first one up
Dare to question the standard Groundhog Day weather predicting shadow ritual with this charming book by Iris Hiskey Arno. The captivating character of Lila groundhog introduces children to hibernation and Groundhog Day, and the story is accompanyed by beautiful illustrations
Geoffrey Groundhog predicts the weather
Kids are sure to laugh at Geoffrey Groundhog's creative solution when he finds himself unable to see his own shadow one Groundhog Day due to all of the lights, reporters and cameras. A hilarious look at the commercialization and media-hype surrounding Groundhog Day.
Fluffy meets the Groundhog
Looking for a Groundhog Day book for your young beginning reader? This book in the Hello Reader series tells the tale of a classroom guinea pig who takes the place of a shy, but real-life groundhog for the Groundhog Day festivities. Perfect for 1st and 2nd grade readers.
Andrew Groundhog meets his Shady Shadow
Author Peter J. Welling shares a story of how Groundhog Day came about with the help of a Scottish groundhog and his amusing shadow. Children will even learn a few Gaelic words!
Just before Groundhog Day, Groundhog day comes up with the flu! This whimsical story details his search for a substitute, as he thinks about the qualities that make a groundhog perfect for the job. Kathi Ember's illustrations are equally as charming as this well-written book.
Taken from About.com at http://pittsburgh.about.com/od/groundhog_day/tp/books.htm?p=1
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
week Tracks 1, 2, and 3 returned from track out and a holiday break. Classes continued to read about Kevin O'Malley to prepare for his upcoming visit. News of his arrival went home in the Paw Print and order forms to purchase a select few of his books were enclosed. Orders will be taken through January 19th (school is closed this day in observance of Martin Luther King Jr.) We will hold the books until Kevin autographs them for students. The books will be handed out after their scheduled time with him. Several students have expressed how excited they are to have Kevin O'Malley visit Highcroft. Students listened to Velcome, Little Buggy, Little Buggy Runs Away, Lucky Leaf and Once Upon a Motorcycle Dude. We also noted that Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude has two other illustrators besides Kevin O'Malley.
Tracks 1, 3 students will meet with Kevin O'Malley on January 26th.
Tracks 2, 4 students will meet with Kevin O'Malley on January 29th.
Kindergarten classes were introduced to a snowy, winter theme. We read Snowballs by Lois Ehlert and Thomas' Snowsuit by Robert Munsch. You can view the Robert Munsch author site at http://www.robertmunsch.com/ We followed up with a listening activity through using a snowman glyph. All kindergarten classes did an exceptional job! Good listening! Kindergarten classes that are tracked in received library passes this week to begin coming to morning circulation since they have been introduced to the entire media center.
I also began my last three classes to complete my MLS Degree from ECU. This blog will also support indicators required for my internship (LIBS 6991).
(The flowers shown above were given to me by my husband of 23 years. Today is our anniversary)