Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Bud, Not Buddy Chapter 14

Early in the novel, Bud talks about how much he’s been through over the years, and he tells the reader that “his eyes don’t cry no more”.  However, at the end of Chapter 14, Bud starts to cry despite his best efforts to control it and hide his emotions.  Why do you think Bud cried after so long with having “eyes that don’t cry no more”?  What about this particular moment brought him to tears when nothing else would?

Remember what makes a good comment.  It should be thoughtful and reflective, and it should explain your opinion.  Don’t just tell us what you think, tell me why you came to the conclusion you did.  You can also respond to your classmates’ opinions if you would like to add your thoughts to one of their comments.  A thoughtful comment should be more than a sentence or two. I’m excited to hear your thoughts!

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Current Events

Title: Underwater “Indiana Jones” trying to save the oceans

Source: BBC News, October 16, 2011, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15330457

Who: Enric Sala, a Spanish marine biologist

What: Sala is trying to study the behavior of ocean animals and save many of them from extinction.  He says only 1% of the world’s oceans are protected, and he thinks at least 20% should be protected. Right now, there are several species of large fish that are in danger because of overfishing and lack of protection.

When: Currently – Sala is the newest explorer in the National Geographic Society

Where: The world’s oceans

Why do we care: It is important for us to protect our oceans and ocean species because they play an important role in our ecosystem.  We need to learn to enjoy nature simply for the beauty of it.

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Student Reading Suggestions

I asked my students today to write down a book they recommend I read over Spring Break.  It looks like I’ve got a lot of good reading to do over the next week!  Take a look at what each student recommended:

The Hunger Games – Sellers, Kate , William, Lele, Sasha, Matthew

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants – Ellie

Children of the Lamp series – Nathalie

James Patterson’s Maximum Ride – Drew

39 Clues – Will

The Red Pyramid – Wyatt

The Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning – Mikaela

Beautiful Stories – Audrey

Lionboy – Charlie

The Lost Hero

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Melissa

Gregor the Overlander – Meg

The Sisters Grimm – Anna Kate

I’ll have to start checking these off my list!

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Homeless Bird Ch. 1 and 2

In Homeless Bird, by Gloria Whelen, we follow the main character, Koly, as she enters an arranged marriage at the age of 13.  This is a very unfamiliar practice to most American children because it is not part of our everyday culture.  After reading the first two chapters of Homeless Bird, what cultural differences have you noticed between our culture in America and Koly’s culture in India?  What similarities do you see between our cultures?  What do these differences and similarities tell you about what Koly’s life must be like? Write in complete sentences and use examples from the book to support your thoughts.

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Hollis Woods Book Club #4

Throughout the novel, Hollis longs for a home and a family.  She does things she doesn’t want to do, like go to school, to help protect Josie, and she constantly thinks back on her time with the Regans as the closest she’s ever gotten to being part of a family.  How do you think Hollis would define “home”?  What is it exactly that she’s looking for in a home?  Hollis always acts so tough and prides herself on her toughness, but we see her more vulnerable side when she thinks about family.  What do you think she needs or wants so badly from a family?

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Bridge to Terabithia: Book Club #4

Over the course of the novel, Jess and Leslie bond over their secret world, Terabithia.  Why do you think they created Terabithia in the first place?  What does it represent for them?  Why is it such an appealing place for Jess and Leslie to go?  Do you have a place, secret or not, where you like to go?  What is so appealing to you about a place like Terabithia?

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Bridge to Terabithia

In the first three chapters of Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Paterson introduces us to Jess and his family.  As the only boy sandwiched between 4 sisters, Jess  seems to feel his family treats him differently than they treat the girls. On the contrary, Jess seems to find peace when running or spending time with Miss Edmunds.   Do you think Jess’s family treats him differently? Why or why not?  Why do you think running and Miss Edmunds’s appreciation for his art are important to Jess?  Use specific examples from the book to support your thoughts.

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Pictures of Hollis Woods

In Pictures of Hollis Woods, Patricia Reilly Giff alternates between the present time in Hollis’s life and memories from her past.  In her flashbacks, or “pictures”, we start to learn more about where Hollis came from and how she has become the person she is presently.  What have you been able to learn about Hollis from her flashbacks?  How have her past experiences influenced who she is today?  Give specific examples from the book to support your thoughts.


Monday, October 24th, 2011

Current Events Guidelines


Kid friendly news sites:

Additional tips:

  • Before you start reading the first article you come across, check the length.  Is it something you can handle or will the amount of information be overwhelming?
  • Make sure the article is on your reading level. Read the first paragraph – do you understand the article so far?  Are there several vocabulary words you don’t know? If you’re already confused, it might be a good idea to move on and pick something else.
  • Use my blog as a model for what your current events post should look like.  You need to have enough detail in your “What” and “Why Do We Care” sections for your reader to understand the basics of the event.
  • ALWAYS CITE YOUR SOURCE! If you publish your current events without a source, I won’t grade it until you add the source. If it’s an online article, copy and paste the link.  If it’s from another source, list as much information as you can (the name of the source, the title of the article, the author, the section of the newspaper, and the day you found it).

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

First World Problems

Miss Walker shared the video below with the 5th grade teachers, and I wanted to pass it along to you.  It’s a funny video made by a teenager not too much older than you.  Take a look at the video and share your reaction.

What do you think he means by “first world problems”?  A third world country is one that is underdeveloped and usually has widespread poverty.  Does this help you understand what he means by a “first world problem”?

Why do you think this boy decided to write this rap?  What message do you think he’s trying to get across to his audience?  Do you think his point is valid?  Why or why not?  What lessons can we learn from this video?

We’re currently studying poetry and writing our Slice of Life piece.  Think about what we’ve learned about writing so far this year.  What techniques did he use to try to get his point across?  How did he capture his audience?  Do you think rap is a type of poetry?  Why or why not?


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