Monday, October 22, 2012

Building a Future Architect

Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building by Christy Hale
Publisher: Lee and Low

Interest level: K-3
Read Aloud:  All grade levels for instructional purposes
Themes: Imagination, Poetry, Toys, Games, Learning through Play, Comparisons/Opposites, Architecture.

Dreaming Up! A Celebration of Building at first look appears to be a picture book but it hides so much more within its pages. Hale presents illustrations of children doing what they do best-using their imaginations through the process of play. Children taking simple objects and building skyscrapers, schools, and homes out of them. One girl's mud-pie houses compares remarkably to an ancient Egyptian domed dwelling while two children's Tinker toy connected structured bear resemblance to Montreal's Biosphere. Was play like this the inspiration for some of the world's greatest architects? Hale includes photographic images of world famous structures resembling the creations that spring from children's imaginations. The book concludes with images of world renown buildings and the architects who dreamed up their possibilities.

I am able to envision many ideas to integrate this visual delight into my lesson plans for all grade levels.

Curriculum Connection Activities:
Architecture-It's Elementary!
Design a House with Frank Lloyd Wright (grades 7-12)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Seven Scary Monsters 

There Was An Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything

Getting in the Spirit of Halloween with Great Books for kids.

Let's get in the spirit first with some singing Jack-O-Lanterns

Seven Scary Monsters by Mary Beth Lundgren

Get a sneak preview of many pages.

A young boy discovers seven scary monsters hiding in his room so he goes on the attack to be rid of them using purple felines, monster blasters, vacuums, boxes, and other clever devices. He uses a fun rhyming chant to scare the monsters away "Rick Rack Wrinkleshack, don't you dare come back!"

Seven Scary Monsters is a fun themed story-time read aloud.
Math concept: simple subtraction
Language concepts: onomatopoeia words
Halloween themed math lesson
Large number 7
·       Seven scary yet goofy colorful monsters-individually cut out and affixed with Velcro or strong tape on back.
·        Two-sided sign attached to a flat paint stick
      1st sign: “Rick! Rack! Wrinkleshack! Don’t You Dare Come Back”
·          2nd sign: “Rick! /Rack! Wrinkleshack! Monsters, please come back!”
      Onomatopoeia words: Eeeek! Boom! Rip! Thwomp! Splat! Zap! Yow! Plop! Ouch! Wow!
      Pre-book talk 

     One at a time hold up and sound out the onomatopoeia words. Onomatopoeia are words that sound like the objects they name or the sounds those objects make.

      Sound and acting them out each word. Read the word "rip" and then tell students to please listen for a sound you will make. Take a piece of long paper and slowly rip it. Ask "What sound did you hear?" Rip. So the word "rip" sounds just like the action of ripping a paper." Next say "boom" and follow up by dropping a book or flat object from a height. The word boom sounds like the sound made when you drop a book or heavy object from a height. Continue with other words on list.

Do you ever worry about monsters? This time of year we see commercials for monster costumes or maybe your friends are talking about dressing up as a scary monster for Halloween. Today, I will tell you how to get rid of any monsters that might be hiding in your room. First of all, monsters are just pretend. They are not real, but people have fun scaring themselves by pretending a monster is out to get them.

Question: Are monsters real or pretend? Pretend.

Question: Do monsters live in your closet or under your bed? No. They are not real.

Count the number of monsters on the display board. (7) Begin story.
As story is read, pause and have a student come up and select a monster to pull off the display board.
Say seven monsters take away one monster leaves how many monsters? Count the remaining monsters.
Six monsters take away one monster leaves how many monsters? Etc.-Five, four, three, two, one, zero.
Now to the part-Monsters please come back! Zero monsters plus seven monsters equals seven monsters.
Last page. Who do you think the monsters really were? His toys.

Pair up with: Skeleton hiccups by Margery Cuyler
The Bumpy Little Pumpkin by Margery Cuyler
Scarey-Cat , Splat by Rob Scotton
The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams

There Was An Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything

by Linda Williams
Illustrated by Megan Lloyd

First read the story or show this video read aloud.

Now try it again as an interactive experience. This song more fun the longer you sing it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Meeting Hedgie Hedgehog and a Great Big Check

The Joys of being a Librarian.

I have had so much excitement in my life as of late. The ECDC wrapped up another successful book fair thanks to our great volunteers from TAMU-CC and Coastal Community and Teachers Credit Union. We cashed in our profits for books, books, and MORE BOOKS! I ordered many special request titles for my Scholastic Book Fair and they sold like hot cakes! In fact, I had to make sure I was able to secure some for my library too. Of the new books I added to our library collection, the Texas Lone Star Reading List titles were quickly snatched up by fifth and sixth graders. It will take me a few more days to catalog the boxes of books we chose to purchase but that's okay-we will spread the joy out over time.

The highlight of the week was being awarded a Focus Grant from Coastal Community and Teachers Credit Union. The funds will be used to run our Bluebonnet Book Club, Guys Read Book Club, and pre-school early reading activities. I really love my big check!

The Mossy Tour brought the amazing author/illustrator Jan Brett to the Sparkling City by the Sea. I learned so much about turtles from her talk. She was a charming and entertaining speaker. Did you know she has a hidden name written on Mossy's shell which is shown on the back cover?

The wonderful thing about this Barnes and Noble author event was that I was reunited with many local librarian pals and we had a fun time chatting each other up.

Look at the new friend I made. It's Hedgie, the Hedgehog. Who could ask for a better week.

But---it got even better because I also received my yearly school book order. It was like Christmas in October! I laughed and keep yelling out-"Wow! I really love this book!" I immediately got down to creating book talks and promotions. I went on our morning announcements and shared the great news. A line of kids were waiting for me by the time I got back to the library clamoring for the books I had presented just five minutes before. This is a librarian's joy.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Looking for an electrifying thriller!

Getting in the spirit of Halloween with Great Books for Kids

Victor Godwin's orderly life is upended when he discovers that Benjamin Franklin never actually died–he was put in suspended animation and hidden away for more than 200 years in Victor's basement!
After an accident awakens Ben, Victor must not only help him adjust to the modern world but also help him overcome a slight flaw–when Ben runs low on energy, he turns into a rampaging monster desperately hungry for electricity. All this, while Victor tries to take first place in the school science fair. With one of history's preeminent scientists helping out, what could possibly go wrong? (source: Matthew McElligott)

Read Chapter 1 and 2: Benjamin Franklinstein Lives!

There are three titles in this series. I wonder if there will be any more?
B F header-books.png

The REAL Benjamin Franklin

Ben Franklin Fun Facts:
Benjamin Franklin is the only founding father in the Swimming Hall of Fame
as a youth, he didn't have much extra money. Franklin decided to become a vegetarian. He believed that eating a vegetarian diet was healthier than a diet filled with meat. In addition, meat was much more expensive, so by becoming a vegetarian, Franklin could save money to spend on books.

Benjamin Franklin loved to read, but he when he was young, he was very poor and could not afford books. What did he do? He gave up meat which was expensive and became a vegetarian. By saving money, Ben was able to save money to purchase books. He also felt it was a much healthier lifestyle.

The Quotable Ben Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was a gifted speaker. In fact, he LOVED to talk and talk and talk. He was so good saying things that people began to "quote" him. This means they repeated what he said because they felt his words were important and had meaning for their lives. Plus, B.F, was a pretty funny guy.
Here are websites with some of Benjamin Franklin's best quotes:

The Electric Ben Franklin 

Notable Quotes

Brainy Quotes-Benjamin Franklin

The Quotations Page-Benjamin Franklin

Social Studies for Kids-Franklin Quotes

What is a Pen Name?
Cartoon by ben.jpg

A pen name is a fictitious, or made up name, that an author uses when writing. Many authors use pen names for many different reasons.

Ben Franklin was a writer. In fact, he wrote several articles and letter to the editor of his newspaper using made up names, or a pen name. Why? He knew the importance of getting people to talk about important topics just like people use Twitter today. In fact, Ben would have made a great Tweeter.

He also drew cartoons like the snake cut into pieces that represent the American Colonies. He encouraged them to join together to become an independent country away from English rule.

Other words that have the same meaning as the term "pen name "are: Nom de plume, Nom de guerre, alias, moniker or pseudonym.

Set up a science demonstration in the Library Science Center. This will count for a Bluebonnet Project.

  1. Your project must include the following:
  2. A title name for your science demo. Ex: Crack the Code (a demonstration using invisible ink to send spy messages).
  3. Your name and grade level (Be proud, shout it out)
  4. Clearly explain what you are demonstrating. Make sure to clearly label the parts used in the demonstration.
  5. Your observations and comments.
  6. Sources: Where did you get your idea from and how did you research the information.
Ms. Murphy will help you with all these details.

Create a Jux book, video, or Wordle based on an inventor that interests you. This will count for a Bluebonnet Project.

ben_franklin cartoonized.jpg
Experimental Fun with Franklin


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Getting in the Spirit of Halloween with Great Books For Kids

Come to the Graveyard for a Thrilling Read

It takes a graveyard to raise a child

Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place-he's the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians' time as well as their timely ghostly teachings-like the ability to Fade. Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead? And then there are things like ghouls that aren't really one thing or the other. (source: publisher)

Watch The Graveyard Book book trailer

Hear Neil Gaiman read from The Graveyard Book
Be warned-it may scare you!

The Graveyard book is a wonderfully scary book that kids and grownups will both enjoy. Try checking out the audio version from your library for some extra fun bits like dancing to the Macabre "la la la boom!"

This tale begins with a grisly murder of an entire family-save one. A little toddler steps out of his diaper and wonders from the scene of the crime and into a graveyard before the killer has the opportunity to finish his job. The inhabitants of the graveyard are faced with a difficult decision as to what will become of the young child and they decide to raise him as one of their own. But Nobody Owens, known affectionately as Bod, is still not safe with a killer still out to find and kill Bod.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Getting in the Spirit of Halloween with Great Books for Kids

Jitterbug Jam

A Monster Tale
by Barbara Jean Hicks
Illustrated by Alexis Deacon

Listen to Jitterbug Jam read aloud by author, Barbara Jean Hicks.
Author's website: Barbara Jean Hicks

Literacy themes: Friendship, Overcoming fears, Courage, Family Relationships

Have you ever been afraid of what lurks beneath your bed? Bobo is a little monster who is convinced a boy is hiding under his bed- a boy with “pink skin and orange fur on his head where his horns should be.” Bobo doesn’t want to be a “fraidy-cat” but nobody will believe him until his loving, yet scary looking grandpa big Boo-Dad comes for a visit. Boo-Dad listens to Bobo and shares a story explaining what to do to scare a boy away. Does Bobo have the courage to face his fear? Read this monstrous tale for a fun bed-time thriller.