Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Love Books, Read Series

In class we talked about how all readers seem to be created by falling in love with series books. For me it was Nancy Drew. Here are some series books that keep readers turning the page... and buying more books.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan
Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Warriors by Erin Hunter
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Harry Potter by JK Rowling
The Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon
Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene
Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Maximum Ride by James Patterson
A Boy at War by Harry Mazer
Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell
Dear America by various authors
The 39 Clues by various authors
Big Nate by Lincoln Pierce
Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson
Dear Dumb Diary by Jim Benson
Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
Swindle by Gordon Korman
Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Capture the Flag by Kate Messner
Cold Cereal by Adam Rex
Ninja Weenies by David Lubar
NERDS by Michael  Buckley
Spaceheadz by Jon Scieszka
Theodore Boone by John Grisham
The Doll People by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin
The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
Elephant and Piggie by Mo Willems
Babymouse by Jennifer and Matt Holm
Squish by Jennifer and Matt Holm
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Bad Kitty by Nick Bruell
The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Babysitter’s Club by Ann M. Martin
Superfudge by Judy Blume
Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park
Michigan and American Chillers by Jonathan Rand
Clementine by Sarah Pennypecker
Matched by Ally Condie
Goosebumps by RL Stine
Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
Ramona and Beezus by Beverly Cleary
Judy Moody by Megan O’Donald
Magic Treehouse by Mary Pope Osborne
The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
Bunnicula by James Howe
A-Z Mysteries by Ron Roy
Ready Freddie by Earl Hicks
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Tunnels by Roderick Gordon
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Franny K. Stein by Jim Benton
The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas
4 for 4 by John Coy
The Lorien Legacies by Pittacus Lore
Michael Vey by Richard Paul Evans
Origami Yoda by Tom Angelberger
Final Four Mysteries by John Feinstein
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Coelfer
The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
The Brixton Brothers by Mac Barnett
Poison Apple by Ruth Ames
Ruby Red by Kerstin Geir
Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown
Witch and Wizard by James Patterson
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
The Name of This Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
Silverwing by Kenneth Oppel
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

"Joyriding" study guide

Know the following characters from the story:
  • Peter
  • Kevin
  • Peter's mother
  • Mickey Ray
  • Mr. Brettone

You also need to know:
  • How Peter feels about piano and Kevin feels about running
  • Why were people making a big deal about Kevin's finish in the race if he didn't win?
  • Are Peter and Kevin 1-dimensional or 3-dimensional characters?
  • Do you think Peter believed what he said when he told Kevin his current piano teacher is better than Mickey Ray?
  • Whose attitude toward competition do you think is healthier, Kevin or Peter?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

8th grade: Marcel the Shell Essay revisions

Revise your Marcel the Shell essay. You will be graded on the following:

  1. Does it have proper essay structure? (intro, body, conclusion)
  2. Does it address the question: how do you think Marcel the Shell became so popular that it got its own picture book?
  3.  Do you support your points with examples?

Remember: it’s OK to have an opinion about the video but that can’t be your entire paper. You need to answer the question and back up your reasons with evidence.

It is due tomorrow.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

What was I doing while in Las Vagas?

...meeting and hanging out with amazing authors and teachers!

This is just a small sampling of the amazing authors I met and hung out with while at the NCTE convention in Las Vegas:

Jennifer Holm, author of Babymouse, Squish, and Turtle in Paradise
RJ Palacio, author of Wonder
Ruta Sepetys, author of Between Shades of Gray
Shannon Hale, author of Princess Academy, et al
Blue Balliett, Rebecca Stead, Jo Knowles, Kate Messner, and Jody Feldman
Graphic novelists extraordinaire, Raina Telgemeier and Dave Roman

Jonathan Auxier, author of Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, who not only gave the greatest book talk/yo-yo show ever but he also drew a very special picture for our class after his very special offer:

Check out his amazing yo-yo-show/book talk here.

So yeah, my time in Vegas was pretty awesome!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Interview with Katherine Applegate

As we finished The One and Only Ivan, many of you had questions about how Katherine Applegate was inspired to write the story. Here is a video that will hopefully answer some of those questions.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

"Still Me" study guide

Here are the things you need to know for your "Still Me" test:

Literary Terms:

  • autobiography
  • point of view
  • first person point of view
  • third person point of view

Short answer questions:
  • What is now parked next to the barn instead of a horse trailer?
  • What did Reeve imagine when he looked at the picture of the Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl?
  • What has Reeve not done for his son in over three years?
  • What might have been different if Reeve had fallen with his head turned a little to the left or right?

What is Reeve's definition of a hero today and do you agree?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

6th grade and BYOD

Hello Parents, Guardians, and Students!

As you already know, St. Paul is establishing a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) program in the junior high. Mrs. Popielarz and I will be slowly implementing this policy with the 6th grade once students turn in their permission slips. Students across the world are now using electronic devices to enhance their education so it is very exciting St. Paul is becoming involved in the global trend. In our 6th grade language arts and social studies classes, students will have the opportunity to use their own device to do the following activities:

  • Planner/Assignment notebook
  • Note taking
  • Research tool for reports and projects
  • E-reader
  • Current Events
  • Creating and listening to Podcasts
  • Student response (exit tool, comprehension check, class polls)
  • Google Docs
  • The Cloud
  • Multimedia tool (video, photos, etc)

At St. Paul, we already have an electronic device policy in place and these rules will still apply with BYOD. The device a student brings into the classroom may only be used when given permission or instructed. Student devices will only be used for educational purposes and it will be a goal to learn how to use these electronic devices responsibly in the classroom. When students are not using their device class, it needs to be locked in their own locker. It is not the responsibility of anyone but the student and they need to understand that these devices must be secured in their locker when not in use.

It is important to note that if students do not have an electronic device of their own, they will have access to St. Paul's netbooks and iPads.

Please contact me or Mrs. Popielarz with any questions, comments, or concerns.

Mrs. Shaum

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Author Carrie Harris visits St. Paul 6th Graders

On October 25th, Carrie Harris, author of the epically funny zombie novel Bad Taste in Boys, visited St. Paul to do a writing workshop with the 6th graders. She did a great job getting them thinking about character and plot and even had them write their very own Monster Prom scene.

And since Carrie loves monsters so much (particularly zombies), the 6th graders made sure she was greeted in monsterly fashion:

Fun was had by all:

Monday, October 29, 2012

6th grade BYOD Survey

Please fill out the following survey and click "submit" when completed.

If you don't have an email address, put "no email".

8th grade: My Personal Michigan Hero essay

For this essay, you will be asked to write about a person you consider to be a hero.

The essay must be:

  • double-spaced
  • no more than 500 words
  • conventionally correct (grammar, spelling, capitalization, punctuation)
  • organized in an essay format (intro, body, conclusion)

I am really going to focus on conventions this time around. The last essay many of you turned in did not appear to be proofread. Please use your editing checklist to look for spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and usage issues before turning in your final draft. Final drafts will be due Monday, November 5th.

8th grade: BYOD survery

8th graders:

Please answer the following survey questions and click "submit" when completed.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

2nd Quarter English Extra Credit: Participate in NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo, short for National Novel Writing month, is an entire month dedicated to writing your very own novel. November begins this month long endeavor and adults around the world participate in this program for the thrill of attempting to write a novel in only one month. But kids can participate in the Young Writer’s Program of NaNoWriMo and also write their own novels, too. For kids the word count is lower than the adult version, but there is still huge satisfaction in setting a goal and acheiving it. For kids who want to sign up and parents who want to know more, go to the following website:

NaNoWriMo's Young Writers Program

Remember, this is a huge opportunity for extra credit in English for 2nd quarter.

If you're interested in doing this, please sign up on the website and then respond to this post with your user name.

Everyone's word count should be at least 10,000 words or more.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Leads from our group assignment

For those of you who were intrigued to read one or more of the books from the leads assignment we did the other day, here are the books:

1. Flush by Carl Hiaasen
2. The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
3. Rules of the Road by Joan Bauer
4. A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly
5. Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm
6. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
7. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
8. The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
9. Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris
10. Airborn by Kenneth Oppel

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

8th grade: Life defining moment essay requirements

Think about a moment in your life that has shaped the person you are today: the birth of a sibling, the death of a grandparent, a disappointing loss at a championship sports game. Write about what caused that moment to be ingrained in the person that you are today.

Your rough draft is due Thursday, October 4th and your final draft is due Monday, October 8th.

Here is what you essay must include:

  •  A proper heading – 5 points
  •  An intriguing title– 5 points
  •  Intro paragraph with a grabbing lead – 10 points
  •  At least 3 body paragraphs – 30 points
  • Concluding paragraph that resonates – 10 points
  •  A genuine attempt to explore one moment in your life that has shaped the person you are today – 30 points
  • Typed with an inviting font of no larger than 12 (preferably double-spaced) – 10 points
  •  EXTRA CREDIT: Find a way to seamlessly incorporate a line from Robert Frost’s “The Road Not taken” into your essay – 10 points