Sunday, February 10, 2013

Week 21

And the winner is...

420 3rd--6th graders from Shaw participated in the Bluebonnet voting--that's 100% of our upper grade students! 
Postcards from Camp received the majority of the vote at Shaw, in MISD, and for the state of Texas
Here's the breakdown of our top 3 faves:

1. Postcards from Camp: 224 votes
2. Scarum Fair: 58 votes
3. Thunder Birds: 34 votes

Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein
Read to Kindergarten
Targeted Skills: Review Genres of Fiction (Fairy Tale, Folk Tale, and Fable) 

Now that the Bluebonnet season is over, it's time to start sharing books from the Mesquite ISD Mockingbird reading list! Each year, MISD librarians choose 20 fabulous picture books to share with Kinder--2nd grade classes. After all 20 books are read, students and teachers will vote for their favorite in May, and the district's winner will be announced after all votes are tallied. It's much like the Texas Bluebonnet books, just on a smaller scale for our district for the primary grades. 

Interrupting Chicken was a perfect book for this week because it has snippets of well-known tales in it so that the students could apply their knowledge and determine if the story was a fairy tale, folk tale, or fable. Plus, it was a good reminder not to be an Interrupting Chicken, something that most Kinder kids struggle with (I know, I live with one).  

Lesson Frame: 

Big Bouffant by Kate Hosford
Read to 1st and 2nd Grade
Targeted Skills: Elements of Poetry, Using Context Clues for Vocabulary; Character Traits and Theme

Big Bouffant is a front-runner for my favorite Mockingbird book this year. It is a joy to read aloud because of the rhyme and rhythm. It was perfect for the curriculum focus of poetry, so the students could easily determine that this was a narrative poem. Most of the students did not know what a bouffant was but could easily guess that it was "big hair" from looking at the picture on the cover. This book is wonderful for discussing theme and character traits. We talked about how Annabelle was a "trend setter" in her class when it came to hair and fashion, but I wanted the students to make the connection to be leaders in their class when it comes to behavior. We also talked about "hair emergencies," and I encouraged the students to write about their own hair catastrophe stories during their writers' workshop time. I will add this one to my other fave books about hair: The Hair of Zoe Fleefenbacher Goes to School , Stephanie's Ponytail,  and Crazy Hair Day 
Lesson Frame:

The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson
Read to 3rd and 4th Grades
Targeted Skills: Differentiate between Realistic and Historical Fiction; Discuss Theme and Symbolism

We started the lesson with a quick review of the difference between realistic and historical fiction. After reading this simple yet thought-provoking story, we talked about how this was and example of historical fiction because the time period in which it is set is very important to the events of the story. The students did a "Turn and Talk" to discuss the symbolism of the fence and how it relates to the theme. 

I reminded the students about Back of the Bus, a book that I read last year when they were 2nd & 3rd  graders, which is a perfect example of historical fiction and a wonderful book to share any time of the year, but especially in February. They were able to connect it to the theme of The Other Side. These books would make a great paired reading lesson for theme and symbolism. 

Lesson Frame: 

I had the privilege of attending the "What's New in Children's Literature" workshop with Dr. Peggy Sharp this week. This is my fourth year to attend, and it is always one of my favorite days of the year. Peggy recommended Jacqueline Woodson's newest book Each Kindness, and I can't wait to order it and read it to my students. It sounds like it will be a perfect companion to Wonder, so I will probably order my own copy and read it this year and then put it on my book order for next year. 

At the Peggy Sharp conference, I got to meet one of librarians who reads this blog, and I was so glad that she introduced herself to me. So here's a shout-out to Carrie--thanks for reading! 


  1. Ha! Thank you! It was so fun meeting you as well! What a wonderful conference it was. Can't wait to read and share all of the books we learned about. Have a great week!

  2. I told you people were reading! That is so awesome!