Monday, May 07, 2007

Testing 1, 2, 3......

This week students in grades 2 through 6 had STAR testing. In honor (?) of that event, I read Testing Miss Malarkey by Judy Finchler to the 3rd graders. They thoroughly enjoyed the story of how the adults at the school seemed way more stressed out than the students. This was my way of injecting a little humor in this most serious of weeks.

Also in the Library....

Kindergarten--Mrs. Sickafoose's class head The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer and they loved the story of the boy and his attempt to convince his mother that he should let his newly found pet salamander sleep in his room. With a little remodeling of course..... The beautiful illustrations are an equal part of the story and make this book one of our much so that both copies were checked out! So Mrs. Campbell's class heard another favorite, Mrs. Morgan's Lawn by Barney Saltzberg. Some people are just strange, thinks the narrator, especially since all his favorite balls end up on Mrs. Morgan's lawn and since she doesn't like anything to mar her perfect lawn, she keeps them. He finds out that in the end, one good deed deserves another and that some people, while strange, may also be wonderfully surprising!

First Grade--What does that word "Meanwhile...." mean? You know, the one with the three little dots after it? Raymond finds out in Jules Feiffer's award winning book by the same title and first graders loved all of Raymond's adventures as he "meanwhiled" from a pirate ship, to a wild west chase, to outer space and back again.

Second Grade--One of my favorite fairy tales in The Fisherman and His Wife and in this version by Rosemary Wells, the fisherman is a cat and he and his wife go through all the tribulations of wanting more, more, more, until they find that what they had in the beginning was really the best. Next week, we're reading a Russian version of the same tale, Luba and the Wren, and we'll compare the two.

Third Grade--see opening post.

Fourth Grade--We finished our illustrations for our tall tales and they are truly remarkable. Next week, we'll do our final proofing and then send the books off for publication. Mr. Orr's Class wrote "Harold the Hardware Hero" and Mrs. Edwards Class wrote "Carlitos the Colossal Cook."

Fifth Grade--Fifth graders squeezed in a half hour in the library and by the time the came, I had lost my voice (allergies? the wind? too much talking?)! So I used my laptop and projector to communicate with them about some new books we had just received and they had a relaxing time just reading in the Library for half and hour. One of the books I talked/wrote about was A Drowned Maiden's Hair by Laura Amy Schlitz and I would highly recommend it. The story of an orphan adopted by three elderly women, it keeps you on the edge of your seat as the girl is kept in hiding by the women who are spiritualists. They plan to use Maud to play the ghosts of children in their seances but her plucky spirit makes her begin to doubt what she's doing and after a shocking betrayal she escapes. The book is filled with details of early 20th Century life in New England and has a predictable but very satisfying ending.

Sixth Grade--Sixth graders followed all my silent directions and finished they posting of comments on the Research Blog. Please take a look at the great job they did. This lesson was about research, writing, blogging, commenting, but mostly it was about how to use this technology in an ethical way. We discussed the reasons for using good grammar, punctuation, and spelling and how to make a comment using constructive criticism. My hope is that by showing them how to blog correctly, they will remember these skills when they make their own blogs. One sixth grader already started a wonderful blog of his own and posts his remarkable photographs on it.

We are "heading for the finish line" as classes in the Library will end on May 31. I will be in the Library the last two weeks of school doing my yearly inventory. Please check those backpacks, under the seats of the car, under the bed, etc. for those missing library books. Thanks!

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