Wednesday, March 25, 2009

These are a few of my favorite sites...

1. Storyline: A site that will read stories to you!

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: (Play games and learn)

27. Iditarod (Official Website) (Gary Paulson, Author) (Great site for everything Iditarod) (Many PowerPoint presentations) (PowerPoint as short example) (Lance with lead dog winner 2007) (To learn about food and equipment that mushers use in the race) (anatomy of a dogsled)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Happy St. Pat's Day! March 16-20, 2009

I love St. Patrick's Day. It reminds me of when I lived in New Jersey on the Jersey Shore and attended the Belmar St. Patty's Day Parade. (I believe everyone in New Jersey was in the parade...not really, then no one would be watching...anyway it lasted about 2.5 hours)

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" 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 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.

The Iditarod Begins! March 9 - 13, 2009

And their off! The 2009 Iditarod begins in Anchorage, Alaska and will end in Nome. Students in the fifth grade have been researching the Iditarod to develop a PowerPoint presentation to incorporate researching skills with technology. We will spend the next four class sessions learning about the vocuabulary, types of dogs used for the Iditarod, rules of the trail, routes traveled, the history behind the Idiatrod, as well as some information about Alaska. Students will also choose one musher to complete a biographical sketch to add to their project. Students decided on the types of slides and how many slides to include. Reference should include one print source and at least one other nonprint source. Good luck fifth grade!
Fourth graders completed their Danny the champion of the world video.
Third grade read about Louis Braille. He accidently hurt his eye when he was three years old. It became infected and spread to the other eye. Within a short period of time, Louis was totally blind. He became a great teacher and musician. His gift was perfecting the dashes and dots used prior to "Braille."
Students observed a book written in braille for second grade pupils. We also learned had Louis lived today he probably would not have lost his sight.
Second grade continued with their unit on Bill Peet. Selections included Buford the Bighorn Sheep who learns to accept his special horns and finds friendship at last. We paired this story with Scaredy Squirrel finds a friend. This was a winning combination.
First Grade continued with Big Anthony and the Magic Ring written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola. Sometimes we have to be careful what we wish could come true!
Kindergarteners listened to Patrick and the dinosaurs. We used our imagination like Patrick to imagine how a dinosaur would look if we were to become the illustrator of the book. Some were way too scary! We also discussed what veggie eaters teeth looked like and what meat eaters teeth looked like....ooohhhhh!!!!!!

March 2 - 6, 2009

Fifth Graders completed a Dr. Seuss questionnaire using specific sites. We learned one lesson from Dr. Seuss... to never give up! His first children's book was rejected 27 times before being published. I don't know about you, but I might not have been as motivated after the first 10 rejections. If you are wondering which book was his first...go to and look for the answer.

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.