Tuesday, January 29, 2013

3rd quarter extra credit: Newbery/Caldecott Challenge

For those of you looking for a challenge in your reading, for extra credit, you can do one of the following:

1. Read one of the 2013 Newbery honor books and write a review of it in your literature journal, explaining why you think it is worthy of a Newbery honor.

The 2013 Newbery honors are:

2. Read the 2012 Newbery winner, Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos and then write a review of it in your literature journal, explaining why you think it is worthy of a Newbery award.

3. Read ALL of the 2013 Caldecott honor books and write a review of them in your literature journal, explaining why you think they are worthy of a Caldecott honor.

The 2013 Caldecott honors are:
  • Creepy Carrots! illustrated by Peter Brown, written by Aaron Reynolds
  • Extra Yarn, illustrated by Jon Klassen, written by Mac Barnett
  • Green, illustrated and written by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
  • One Cool Friend, illustrated by David Small, written by Toni Buzzeo
  • Sleep Like a Tiger, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, written by Mary Logue

The responsibility falls on you to get a hold of these books if my library or the school library does not have some of them. 

To help you with this assignment, here are the criteria for selecting a Newbery and Caldecott award:
Newbery Criteria
Caldecott Criteria

Congratulations Katherine Applegate, winner of the 2013 Newbery Award for The One and Only Ivan!

Photo courtesy of Mr. Schu. I like how the Ivan on the book cover seems to be admiring his new sticker. :)
Dear 6th graders, as much as I am relieved and happy that we had a snow day yesterday, a part of me wishes we could have been together when Ivan was announced as the 2013 Newbery Award winner. Many shrieks and screams and tears poured forth from the people in that room in Seattle where the awards ceremony was held, along with the people watching at home or at school. It tugged at my heart just a little that I wasn't in a room full of joyous 6th graders when the award was announced.

What a wonderful tribute to Ivan for his book to win the Newbery Award only a few months after he died. Too bad he couldn't have been alive to see it. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Thank You Jennifer Holm! Order Babymouse stuff

Jennifer Holm Skyped with us today and talked about her awesome books, including Babymouse and Squish. For those of you who are interested, you can order some awesome Babymouse and Squish gear at her Babymouse store.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Let's talk about what we read over break

Welcome back 6th graders!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a blessed New Year!  Now that we’re back in school, it’s time to talk about all the great books we read over break.  So here’s what I want you to do:
In the comments section tell us in two concise paragraphs about your reading experiences over break. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Did you read a really great book you couldn’t put down?  If so,  share with us!
  • Did you struggle with certain books?  Getting reading done at all?
  • Any cool reading-related gifts?
  • Did you try a new reading experience for the first time? (Listening to an audiobook?  Reading an e-book? )
  • How far did you progress in your twenty book goal? (or just how many books did you read in general?)
To make sure this doesn’t just become an assignment that you all come on here to complete without actually reading others’ thoughts, you will also be required to refer to a previous classmate’s post. You can always come back and comment later if you’re one of the first commenters and you don’t have anything to respond to.
This assignment will be worth 30 points.  Twenty points for your two paragraphs and ten points for adding to the discussion by mentioning something from another classmate’s post (and it should be more than just, “Hey _____,   that sounds really cool!”)

What did I read over break? Well I'm glad you asked!

I know a lot of you will be jealous to hear that I am currently reading the ARC of The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle, the sequel to The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom. It is just as funny as the first book, and since I listened to the audio of the first book, I keep hearing Bronson Pinchot's voices for all the characters in my head as I'm reading. It's a pretty awesome experience actually. 

I finished an incredibly spooky audiobook called The Diviners by Libba Bray. For those of you who like Mary Downing Hahn and want to move into a more young adult book, The Diviners would be a great choice, though it's 578 pages so it is quite a time commitment. But it is so good! It takes place in 1920s New York, during the Prohibition and Flapper era and the main character, Evie, has special powers that she's trying to use to help stop a serial killer.

I also finished reading a book called You Tell Your Dog First by Alison Pace. It's a series of personal essays about why dogs have been so important in her life and writing career. I loved everything about it because it was funny, endearing, and helped me find a kindred spirit in knowing there are other people out there just as crazy about her dogs as I am. :)

I read a ton more books but I'll leave you with that. I could actually write like ten more paragraphs about the books I read but I doubt you'd read it all. I'm just happy that two weeks of no grading or lesson planning got me out of my reading funk. I was having a really hard time finishing books for quite a while and my lazy days of doing nothing helped me get quite a bit accomplished. My final book tally for 2012 was 93 books. Granted, those are novel-length books and when you take picture books into account I read over 300.