Archive for January 2010

A visit from two very special dogs

January 28, 2010

We are lucky to be getting a weekly visit from now on from two beautiful dogs, Fenway, a sheltie, and a dalmatian named Ghost, and their owners Kathy-Jo Farren and Dawn Eliot. The dogs are “Tail Wagging Tutors”: dogs who are highly trained to handle all kinds of situations. After they pass a test, they become certified therapy dogs with Therapy Dogs International and they can visit children in schools, sick people in hospitals, seniors in nursing homes, etc. Kathy-Jo and Dawn, who both work at Bethel Animal Hospital, are so excited to be a part of this program, and the students at CPS are pretty happy to welcome Fenway and Ghost. Yesterday the dogs were read to by students in the Title I room before visiting the library for this photo shoot with Mrs. Lee’s second grade class.

Fancy Nancy!

January 27, 2010

Who likes the Fancy Nancy books?  Lots of little girls (and boys!) find them extremely “splendiforous”, as Nancy would say.  (Not only does she like to wear fancy clothes;  she loves to use fancy words.)  Here is a picture of Bailey, a kindergartener, dressed up as Fancy Nancy.  Nice job, Bailey!

Caldecott Medal winner!

January 24, 2010

Drumroll, please! The Caldecott Medal, awarded each year by the American Library Association to the artist of the best American picture book for children published that year, was awarded last Monday to Jerry Pinkney for The Lion and the Mouse, a wordless adaptation of the famous Aesop fable.

How about this for an unusual, daring book cover?  No title, no author’s name!  And who do you think the lion is looking at out of the corner of his eye?  Guess who is pictured on the BACK of the book?

Check The Lion and the Mouse  out and see how Pinkney’s glowing watercolor paintings deliver the heartwarming old tale about the unlikely friendship between a strong lion and a meek field mouse. And remember:  no act of kindness is ever wasted!

Tabby writes a song about her unicorn

January 15, 2010

Here is Tabby’s “Horny the Unicorn” song.  If you have forgotten about Tabby’s unicorn story, check it out under “Student Writing”.

The Me and Horny Theme Song

Written, Sung and  Illustrated by Tabby

When me and Horny met,  Oh! Oh! Oh!

We had fun.  Oh, yes we did. Oh! Oh! Oh!

I smile a lot when I see my unicorn, Horny. Oh! Oh! Oh!

I laugh when Horny makes a funny face. Oh! Oh! Oh!

Without Horny, then my life wouldn’t be complete. Oh! Oh! Oh!

I now know Horny and Horny knows me. Oh! Oh! Oh!

p.s. Matt’s picture of Freddy

January 12, 2010

Here’s a FREEHAND drawing that Matt, a fifth grader in Mrs. Conrad’s class, drew of the cover of the last Freddy book.  Nice job, Matt!

More books in the Freddy series!

January 8, 2010

Do you like humorous, adventurous animal fantasies? If so, you might like the “Golden Hamster Saga” by Deitlof Reiche, which consists of five books: I, Freddy; Freddy in Peril; Freddy to the Rescue; The Haunting of Freddy; and Freddy’s Final Quest.

Freddy is a young and daring hamster who is tired of his boring life in the pet shop. In the first book, I, Freddy, he is taken home by a young girl named Sophie. At his new home, he learns to read and write and while Sophie is gone one day, he simply unlatches his cage and sets off for the greatest adventure of his life. During this adventure, he meets a tough cat named William and two snobby guinea pigs named Enrico and Caruso who end up helping him along the way. Translated from German, this heartwarming, humorous story will teach you about courage, facing your fears, and how to enjoy life. There are wonderful line drawings throughout the text, adding to the humor and excitement.

Check out book one and see if it interests you enough to read the whole series!

“Wordles” about THE PINBALLS by Betsy Byars

January 7, 2010

A wordle is a “word cloud” made from any text that you provide. The more times the word appears in the text, the greater it will be in the wordle. You can personalize your word clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. What fun! I love them.

In Mrs. Conrad’s 5th grade class this week, we made wordles about the book I had just finished reading aloud to the class, The Pinballs by Betsy Byars. It is a funny, sad, hopeful book about three foster children trying to figure out their lives. We brainstormed words that had to do with the book, and then each student went to to create their own wordle, or word cloud, out of their words.

See some of the great results here! And check out to find out how much fun it is to make wordles. (Ask someone in Mrs. Conrad’s or Mrs. Jerome’s class for more information about how to do it. Or me, Mrs. Raymond! I’d be happy to help you.)