Thursday, January 31, 2013

Booklist: 2012's Most Destroyed Books for Kindergarteners

One way to measure the popularity of a book is the amount of destruction it has sustained.  I'm not talking about one-time acts of destruction, like dropping a book in a toilet, letting a dog chew on it, or using it as a coloring book.  I'm talking about the day-to-day wear and tear that comes from being loved by a kindergartener.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

An Ode to Honey I Love by Eloise Greenfield

Teaching poetry to kindergarteners has made me realize three things:

1. I don't know how to define "poetry."
2. Kindergarteners do not recognize the letters "g" or "a" when they are written in serif font.
3. There is no children's poetry collection that has ever rivaled the amazing power of Honey, I Love by Eloise Greenfield.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Review: Escape to Witch Mountain

Escape to Witch Mountain, by Alexander Key, is one of those books that's hard to slap a genre label on.  If you know the story, you know it's sci-fi.  But since the alien connection isn't revealed until close to the end, is it spoilery to call it sci-fi?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Online Tools: Biblionasium

Recently, the "social networking sites for kids" post on my site has been getting a lot of hits, so I wanted to talk about a newer site I've been using with my fourth graders.  It allows kids to record their reading, either by pages or by minute, and create bookshelves with their favorites.  If parents agree, it also allows them to recommend books to their friends or classmates.  So you could call it goodreads for kids.  Or shelfari for kids.  My students really like the site, but they have a little trouble using it.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Cover Style: Hand Drawn Covers

Look at the book I checked out from Warwick Public Library today!

I've heard of/thought of having kids design new book covers, but I worried it would hurt the circulation of the book.  Although I often disagree with the way publishers market books, I recognize that kids are attracted to current-looking covers.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Review: The White Mountains

You know what makes me feel old?  Trying to explain to my students what life was like before we had the Internet.  I was thinking about that as I read The White Mountains, because the aliens in it don't possess the kind of technology we would expect from a master race these days.  But the book was written in the 1960s, so can you blame them?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Fudging Dewey: Aliens

If you're a kid and you want books about aliens, wouldn't you look next to the books about planets and stars?  If you did, you probably wouldn't find any aliens. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Booklist: Grandparent Read Alouds

Unfortunately, I was not able to include one of my favorite Grandparent books on this list, Just a Minute, by Yuyi Morales.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Online Tools: ScootPad

There are a number of products out there that provide students with increasingly difficult math problems and generate lovely graphs and charts showing their progress.  But I don't know of many sites that do it for the price of zero dollars!  Which is the budget my school has allocated for technology!  However, there is ScootPad.  And it's pretty awesome.