Thursday, April 30, 2015

Kangaroos in Trees?!?

Maybe you are as surprsised as we were to find out that there are some kangaroos that actually live in trees!  

These kangaroos are quite different from the ground kangaroos that everyone typically thinks of, but they're still related, just like a Chihuahua is related to a St. Bernard!

Three fourth graders read to find out what adaptations these tree kangaroos have that makes it possible for them to live in trees.  Watch their presentation to learn a little bit about these interesting animals.

If you want to learn more, check out this site!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Knucklehead Review

Here's a book talk for Jon Scieszka's Knucklehead, created by Chris L. in sixth grade.

Monday, April 27, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Looking for great book ideas?  Search #IMWAYR on social media to see what people around the world are reading today!

I'm reading Rules by Cynthia Lord.  It's another book that's been on my shelves for ages, and I just never got around to it.  I just started last night, but I'm hooked and can't wait until I get some more reading time later.  

Her new book, A Handful of Stars, is coming out in May and I've heard lots of good things about it.  I am really looking forward to adding that to my reading pile!

What are you reading this Monday? I'd love to know! Leave a comment! Two South School students who leave a comment by Friday will win a free book!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

True Facts About Octopuses!

Octopuses are seriously incredible creatures!
These two fourth graders evaluated all the facts they learned while reading Octopus: Escape Artist of the Sea and chose what they thought were the most interesting facts to share.

If you want to learn more about them, check out this animal fact guide!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Coming soon...

These two fourth graders tell you some amazing facts they learned about octopuses.  
Apparently "octopuses" is an acceptable plural now, I learned it as octopi.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What We're Reading

This week, we've got lots of interesting nonfiction going on!  

One group of fourth graders is reading a fascinating nonfiction text called The Truth About Bats.  The text is broken up into 5 myths about bats and then explains whether they are true or not, giving scientific evidence.  For example:

Bats are blind.  True or false?
Bat's don't have great eyesight, but they're definitely not blind.  They actually use echolocation, just like dolphins!  That's what lets them hunt for food so easily at night.

A group of fifth graders is reading a really interesting procedural text about how shadow puppets are made.  It even has instructions for how to make your own.  I never knew that Chinese shadow puppets were so intricately designed and decorated.  The book said that each shadow puppet has 11 moving parts!  
There are lots of amazing shadow puppet videos on youtube, if you want to see these puppets in action!  Here is one example:

This one shows how to set up a screen at home and how to make the puppets move.  You can see what the puppeteer is doing behind the screen and how it looks from the front at the same time.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

MRA Conference

I spent the day at the Massachusetts Reading Association Conference and I'm so excited and energized!  

I got to hear some really incredible educators speak about ways to help kids LOVE reading and writing - which is really what it's all about.  I heard two principals talk about ways they got their whole school engaged in reading and talking about books.  They were really motivating, and I'm hoping to use some of their great ideas at the South (including updating this blog far more often). 

I also learned that I'm a bilbiobibuli! 

As evidence, here are the books I've read in the last 2 weeks:

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library 
by Chris Grabenstein

A Nest for Celeste by Henry Cole

Riding Freedom by Pam Munoz Ryan

And I'm currently reading:
The Case of the Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

However, my favorite part of today was getting to listen to Jon Sciescka (which he pronounced like Cheshka) tell the funniest stories.  He has written so many amazing books, but getting to listen to him talk about growing up with five (FIVE!!) brothers was amazing. 

 I had tears rolling down my cheeks as he told about the trouble he and his knucklehead brothers caused.  He also talked about his time teaching for ten years in New York City.  He said many of his characters are stories are based on the kids who were in his classes.  

I am very excited to go back tomorrow to get even more great ideas!