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I know that my kiddos are as ready as they can be. I have gone on and on about how sweet and hard working this group of kiddos is. I am very proud of them, and now that it is crunch time, I have no doubts that they will step up to perform at their VERY BEST.
I am excited for them to get it over as well. I am sure they are ready to get back to the fun of school as much as I am. Our next units of study are bright and exciting with a bit more independent learning, and I am sure the kiddos will have a blast with them.
In our writing this week, we have continued looking at stretching. We all did an awesome job with our snapshots, and yes, I am still working on getting some examples out to you. Some of my most reluctant writers had a great time with snapshots, and I was just as proud of their exploded moments!
OK....in case you have missed it, I am a huge fan of Mr. Barry Lane! I just LOVE, LOVE his Hooked on Meaning! He has such a simple way of reaching kiddos and an even better way of teaching teachers, LOL...
As we prepared to "explode" our own moments, I read one of the most famous exploded moments I could think of at the time. Ernest Lawrence Thayer's, Casey at the Bat. I have a copy illustrated by the great Patricia Polacco. So fun! Now I didn't read the whole book....just that moment he stepped up to bat and the entire moment that was exploded into all of its slow motion glory!
I know that I mentioned in my last post that we finished our last read aloud, The One and Only Ivan. I miss that sweet story! Well....as hard as it is to leave new books and characters when we finish reading them, we had to move onto our latest read aloud.
Of course the kids were clambering around me, wanting to know what we would read next. Secretly, I just love that excitement they have as we continue on in our reading journey...
Well, I picked up one of my all time faves! We began reading the book that turned me into the reader that I am today, in fourth grade as a matter of fact. :)
I mean...I loved Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume as a young reader...lots of realistic and humorous fiction, but it wasn't until I read A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle that I truly, truly fell in love with reading. There are parts of that book that even as I read it today, I remember the wonder and excitement I had as a fourth grader. Each year I have kiddos revisit me, and always they ask if I have read it to my new class. I hope that means they loved it half as much as I did.
Of course...I have a few wonderful picture books to share with you today.
Hmmm....let's see where I should start...how about Testing Miss Malarkey! Judy Finchler has hit the nail on the head with this one. (Are you seeing a pattern in my thoughts here...LOL)....Poor Miss Malarkey has to give her sweet kiddos the I.P.T.U. standardized test, and boy is she a mess! I love the characters in this book. Mrs. Slopdown, the cafeteria lady, starts feeding them fish because it's brain food ~ "Some of you need to eat a whale," she says! hehehe Besides, you can't go wrong with illustrations from Kevin O'Malley!
The next book to pop into my mind was A Fine, Fine School by Sharon Creech. Hahaha....I know I am being facetious here...but I just can't help myself! We read this one a while back, but how appropriately fitting when I think of all that school should be and all that we try to make it be. Well, NOT me...those lovely legislators that have never stepped foot in a classroom try to make it be. So we giggled and discussed just what Sharon Creech might be trying to say in this thoughtful story. Boy do the kiddos ever get it!
OK...now one without such a not-so-subtle hidden meaning behind it and one that we read for the fun of it...I love Chameleon's Colors by Chisato Tashiro. This story reminds me a lot of Elmer by David McKee. I shared that colorful story in a previous post. Both stories are wonderful examples of why it is so important to be ourselves! This is a great read for looking at the theme of a story. It is easy to find as we follow Chameleon's efforts to first be noticed and finally to be himself. So sweet and powerful!