Sometime this week there be a sweet treat,

A cool character for you all to meet

Let’s see if we can figure out

Who it is without a doubt

So let us explore,

Let us learn more

 

Clue number one

The character is from a book, isn’t that fun?

Clue number two

The lobby is something this girl cuts through.

Clue number three

She’s a little crazy maybe.

Clue number four

The Park Plaza is hers to explore.

Harold and the “Terribly Frightening Dragon”

Character 2


Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

Book Synopsis: A boy creates a world using just a purple crayon and imagination.

Instructional Focus: (Numbers are for the Virginia Standards of Learning, generally Reading/English)

Predicting, (K9C, 1.9D, 2.8A, 3.5C, 4.5I, 5.5K) Problem and Solution,(2.8F, 3.5H, 4.5E) Visualizing

Creating the Costume: Take one white shirt and purple fabric paint and you can create the “Terribly Frightening Dragon” on the front and the window and moon from Harold’s room on the back.  Add a baby doll and a purple crayon created from a purple sock and you’ve got the costume.

Delivery: I usually am able to easily get my students to make logical predictions, but this year I wanted to also help them see that making and confirming predictions is a metacognitive skill and that they need to do more than just make a prediction, but be asking themselves as they read and listen to stories to see if their predictions are coming true.  This book works well for this type of lesson.

ReadWriteThink.org

Screenshot 2015-02-17 at 8.38.10 PM

What is it?

This is the official website of the International Reading Association and has reading and writing lesson plans, resources as well as information regarding professional development.

Who is it for?

This website is primarily for teachers who teach reading and writing. They have a parent/afterschool section to the website as well.

Why use it?

There are lots of lesson plans, student interactives, resources for the classroom and “strategy guides” to help teachers better understand methods of teaching.  They are all vetted by the IRA and have research to back them up.  Also, they are organized by grade level and strategy.  There’s even a new video section.

Favorite Aspect

The lesson plans are posted in the same format on the website, so it is clear right away exactly what is needed for the lesson. (I hate finding what looks like a great lesson and then realizing 3/4ths of the way through reading it that it needs some book I don’t have.)  It also links you the resources you need and is very printer friendly.  Each lesson has an estimated time limit so you know what you are looking at.


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Battle of the Books 2015: Part 2: The Slaughter

The monster spent a snow day youtubing old Pardon the Interruption episodes.  It was looking for fodder to fuel the scripts for Book Battle Broadcast.  Authenticity and tone are important.  Gone are the days of relaxing or getting work like grading or lesson plans done. The monster has consumed what once was me and now Battle of the Books occupies my every moment.  The monster has invaded my dreams and waking moments. Before I completely succumb, let me account for my actions so that a record exists of my demise from a reasonable teacher into a crazed fanatic.

  1. Found “Tournament of Books” online, monster awakens (see Part 1)
  2. Recruited (monster thrives on company).  Monster posted on Facebook and tags the Reading Specialist from work.  Issued an ultimatum: THIS. NEEDS. TO. HAPPEN.  Went into work, met with Reading Specialist.  Infected her.  Scheduled meeting to infect others.
  3. Met and infected others, determined which sixteen books would enter the competition.
  4. Forced others to stay late on a Friday after school to construct a book bracket in the cafeteria.  Sent out messages for books.  Started collecting books.
  5. Convinced another to build a website to host the Google Forms we will be using to vote as well as videos of the books.  Conceived Book Battle Broadcast, a web series featuring two of our teachers debating the pros and cons of each book and postulating which books would make it.  Started filming.  Started editing. Started posting. Started sharing. Started voting.Battle of the Books


The monster has taken over. I feel the need to talk about Battle of the Books with complete strangers.

Sometime this week there be a sweet treat,

A cool character for you all to meet

Let’s see if we can figure out

Who it is without a doubt

So let us explore,

Let us learn more

 

Clue number one

The character is from a book, isn’t that fun?

Clue number two

This boy’s pictures grew and grew.

Clue number three

If he drew something, then there it would be!

Clue number four

More purple things are in store.

Baby Love!

J SS2

M is 3 months old now.  I had to go back to work eventually.  I am still paying for that degree that got me here after all!  Finding the right place for her was a challenge but I finally found a wonderful friend staying home with her own young son willing to keep her with them while I’m with my students.

The first day going there I took a notebook asking for when she ate, how much she ate, when she slept, and all kinds of other things a Mamma needs to know.  M’s wonderful sitter immediately used the notebook I made but at the end of the day asked if I would mind if she used Google Sheet to keep me updated.  I said of course I did not mind.  Little did I know how much more incredible using a Google Sheets would be.

This has been a life changer.  I am able to comment to the sitter immediately, see what is happening and when it is happening.  I don’t have to wait until I pick her up at the end of the day to see what she has been up to.  I can’t tell you the relief it has made me feel and it is so special to me to be able to see her moving around on the spreadsheet.  I feel like I am right there with her.  Google Sheets has my vote!  It’s free, easy, and quite the super sanity sustainer!

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Viola Swamp

Character 1


Miss  Nelson is Missing by James Marshall, Harry Allard

Book Synopsis: Miss Nelson’s misbehaving class gets a rude awakening when their kind teacher goes missing and is replaced with Ms. Viola Swamp.

Instructional Focus: (Numbers are for the Virginia Standards of Learning, generally Reading/English)

Reading: Predicting, (K9C, 1.9D, 2.8A, 3.5C, 4.5I, 5.5K) Compare and Contrast(1.9F, 2.8E, 3.5D,4.5K,5.5l 5.5B) , Infer (3.5G, 4.5H, 5.5I)

Creating the Costume: All it takes to transform into Ms. Viola Swamp are striped socks, black heels, a black dress, black nails and a wig. (Next time I won’t forget the black lipstick and faux mole!)  I made the wig with ribbon and black yarn (I finally put my weighted exercise ball to good use by using it as a model for my head as I made the wig.)

Delivery: I chose Viola Swamp as my first character of the year as a way to help spark a conversation about behavior and our class community (in addition to the instructional focus areas listed earlier.)  It also is one of the easier costumes to wear but still has “impact.”  The best part of it all was watching the debate between students about who Viola Swamp really was. (The evidence is clear that Ms. Swamp and Miss Nelson are the same person, but my students were able to use other details to come to a different conclusion.  It involved measuring height and using a magnifying glass to help analyze the final picture in the book.)