Sunday, September 23, 2012

My shelf runneth over

Here is the question of the day...If a person knows they may very well need an intervention, then do they really need an intervention? Probably, but I'll just keep closing my eyes and pretending I am perfectly normal. Everyone thinks exactly like me, and everyone thinks this is heaven right here! I had lunch with my wonderful hubby yesterday. When I headed out to stop back by the school to finish up planning for the week, it seemed like a complete sin not to stop by one of my favorite places in the world, Books-A-Million. You know - just for a moment, just to look around, I will be in and out in a flash! Well, a minute turned into an hour. I mean - just look at all those sales tags! Whoo Hoo! Couldn't pass that up...found so many great titles that have me picturing some very specific kiddos in my class. Cannot wait to see their smiling faces when I share a great book talk (or two, or three, or...) Monday morning!

Just loving my great new additions to our library!

So here is where the whole intervention question comes to
play ~ these are all of the selections from our book order that
I had not  yet put away! Hmmm...No I think that's just fine! ;)

This is why I do what I do when it comes to buying new book selections for my class each year and then making such a fuss when the box comes in, genuinely showing them how excited I am to put my hands on the new books and share them. These kiddos couldn't get the books from me fast enough after our book talk, and they walked all the way out of the building reading! What a great billboard for the love of reading! LOVE it! On the flip side of all this book buying, where do I put all the books? Goodness, I have done some very creative shelf arranging and rearranging this week. Hence, my shelf runneth over! Somehow though, I know I could never have it any other way. I think my kiddos are already with me in secretly hoping our district hears our plea and valiantly offers to build onto our classroom. 

One of the great activities we did first thing this week was a sensory detail and simile writing with donuts. We shared examples of simile and reviewed all of the delicious sensory details for taste and smell. Students had to write about "the day Mrs. Dunn brought donuts to school." They each enjoyed their sticky pastry (you should have seen the pencils by the time we were finished :) and wrote using as many similes and sensory details as possible. Some of my favorite: my mouth watered like a waterfall, the golden brown pastry was calling my name, she cracked open the box with a pop and the class went wild, it melted in my mouth like cotton candy. What a great success this activity was!
All in all we had a very busy week, and I have shared many titles with you. We have read many more since and have some great selections coming up.

This first one does not count as one of my "picture book a day selections" because it is a graphic novel, but I am dying to share because of the author's note. You know how I love a good author's note!

What a shining example of why writers write! This will definitely be moved up to the launch of my writing workshop next year! For me, this is an amazing example that we all have a story to share! We all have the potential to be great writers!

In honor of National Talk Like a Pirate Day, we celebrated by reading Tough Boris by Mem Fox and then greeting each other as pirates. So fun! Arrgghh matey, I have surprisingly great pirates in my room. This book is also an amusing look at how the illustrations can play a critical role in carrying the story. Kathryn Browns illustrations really show a deeper side to Tough Boris.
We had such a blast looking at figurative language last week, and we have just a bit more to go! 


More Parts by Tedd Arnold and Who Let the Cat Out of the Bag? by the Fourth grade students of Newcastle Ave. Elementary are both an amusing look into idioms! We giggled and giggled, and then we had fun creating our own idiom masterpieces. Here are a few:




We giggled even more looking up the origin of some of the very common figures of speech we all use every day.  Here is a fun song with everyday idioms in it. :)                                                                                                                          

Zero is the Leaves on the Tree by Betsy Franco is another quick look at metaphor for us - such beautiful illustrations by Shino Arihara. We were singing fools as we looked at all the great metaphor and simile used in music. Students of course loved the Katy Perry song Firework shared in an earlier post. I just couldn't make them fall in love with this old school use of metaphor in this song. Hmmm...wonder why? It was a very catchy tune back in the day! I love Bette Midler's version, but they were NOT having that. I wanted to play it over and over just to see the looks of confusion and anguish on their faces, but I guess that would not have been very nice of me, hehehe.

That pretty much wraps up the figurative language focused on last week. We have even more ahead of us though!

Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant, The Snow Speaks by Nancy White Carlstrom,  The Lonely Scarecrow by Tim Preston, and The Perfect Bear by Gillean Shields are great and perfectly seasonal examples of personification (Well, maybe all but The Snow Speaks). Because I have already read two of the four, we will be able to go back and look more closely at these texts without taking up too much time. We won't forget to revisit Red Sings from the Treetops.

The next books are a promise of outrageously fun and loud reading. I love hyperbole! You can always find tons of hyperbole in most any tall tale, but these are some of my faves!


Just look at that title: Steamboat Annie and the Thousand-Pound Catfish by Catherine Wright. I mean if that doesn't scream hyperbole, then I don't know what does! Library Lil by Suzanne Williams is another great example, and I will be excited to share my autographed copy! Yes, insert nerd giggles here! And oh how I love to pull out my country cowpoke accent for the Widdermaker by Pattie Schnetzler. Although I am not an official cowpoke of any sort, I do feel that being a southern Arkansas girl qualifies me as somewhat the expert of cowpoke accents. How loud and crazy we can be when reading hyperbole!


All of these great titles and the practice in sensory detail and figurative language are still leading us to our first narrative of the year. We will wrap up these studies soon to really start digging deep and getting ready to publish something personal to each of us. As we go through this process, I will write a personal narrative of my own to share and model. There are so very many amazing mentors in writing personal narratives. I will try to fit in a few each week that we work on our own. I will be starting with The Orange Shoes by Trinka Hakes Nobel, but I will also be using another wonderful title The Silver Swan by Michael Morpurgo. I love that this is from a young boys point of view and that it ties in so nicely to our study of The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White.
I feel as if I am rambling on and on about books, but of course, those of you that know me well, know that this is not a new trait. I have a few more to share to be caught up on some of last week's read alouds, and then I will wrap up this impossibly long post.

From our last book order, we had a few sweet little picture books that my kiddos could just not wait for me to read. Say Hello to Zorro! by Carter Goodrich is beyond adorable! Zorro cracks me up in his crankiness, but what a happy little ending. Great little text to revisit theme ~ acceptance is a wonderful thing!

Now I have professed my love of Melanie Watt and Scaredy Squirrel with you. You just cannot imagine how excited my kiddos were for me to share our new Melanie Watt book. You're Finally Here! played perfectly into our use of idioms and similes this week. Don't you just love it when it works out that way. That's when I wink and say I planned it. 
Alright, I think that is enough picture books to have me caught up for a bit. Now just to share a few personal things and then I am off to grade some papers.  I am loving my new welcome flag outside my room. It fits quite nicely with the one already at my door ~ now more than ever, we have Flamingos and Butterflies!
Friday Night Lights ~ without rain this week! Whoo hoo!

Fuzzy pics of my boys playing! First is Justin finally being taken down after running the ball for a first down, and the next is Joshua coming up with a recovered fumble giving the ball to the Eagles! This time just goes by so quickly.

So not only did Ms. Shewmaker, Katie Bird, and I conquer the climb in our latest 5K, Katie one first place in her age group! Love spending my time with these great girls; even if they do make me feel older than dirt sometimes.
That's it for me friends! I am off to get ready for another awesome week of learning!

Happy Reading!

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  1. Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful mentor books! There were several that I must have now! I'd love for you to stop by my blog and link up to my linky party called Fun Friday. It is a place to share the fun things that we do in our classrooms!

    Teaching Fourth

  2. When I played Rose for my mom she started singing it right off the bat.Can't wait till 4h camp ,and I hope your in the room next to mine! I wish you play All I Won't To Be in class tomorow.YOUR THE BEST TEACHER EVER!!!!!!!!!


  3. Bubbly Bailey, of course your mom sang it right away! We are cool like that :) I can't wait for 4H camp either! It is one of my favorite places to go! You're the best student ever! Love you sweet girl, but be sure to study the homophones your and you're before tomorrow's test ;)

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