Archive for May 2012

Reading is Fundamental ad

May 22, 2012

I’ve been enjoying watching this Reading is Fundamental public service announcement lately.  This organization’s mission is to put a book in the hand of every child.  Awesome.  The ad  combines lots of things I am passionate about:  favorite book characters (Wimpy Kid, Madeline, Humpty Dumpty, Red Riding Hood, etc. etc.), a wildly positive message about the importance of reading, and a really catchy tune. Click  here  if you want to check it out.  You can take the “book people unite” pledge and get a free download of the song  (sung by John Legend, Chris Martin, Jack Black, Regina Spektor, and others) if you like it as much as I do!

Mia’s Book Shout #5

May 21, 2012

Fifth grade book lover Mia shares her favorite books

Skellig by David Almond

So what would you do if you had just moved into a new, really old, house and there was a really old, about-to-fall-in garage?  Would you or would you not go in it?

Well, Michael does; I mean what eleven-year-old boy could resist?  As Michael shines his light all around, he sees thousands of dust bunnies, blue bottles, and spiders.  As he shines his flashlight into the corners of the garage, his light falls on something pale, something dead looking;  could it be the previous house owner?  It moves its dusty, pale face, blinks in the light.  “What do you want?”  the voice asks.  Michael steps away in shock.  How could this… this thing be alive?   Michael’s wonderment and disgust are broken by his mother’s stern voice telling him to stay out of that garage.  Then she returns to the baby, the ‘stupid” baby.

In this mysterious and stunning book, Skellig, eleven-year-old Michael finds love and beauty in a man with no life, only a memory of one.  Two kids, Michael and Mina, change his life completely.

I found this book sad.  It was as if Michael was searching for happiness when there was none to be found except in his friend Mina, and sometimes in the baby’s face when she smiled.  I would recommend this book to anyone who loves adventure and magic beyond your wildest dreams.

LEARN SOMETHING NEW 2012

May 3, 2012



We finished up Learn Something New in all three fifth grade classes this week.  I challenged the students to check out a nonfiction book and LEARN SOMETHING NEW:  whether it be how to cook, how to build a fairy house, or how to do a magic trick.   I am pleased to announce that I had 100% participation!!  How awesome to have kids tell me that they built a fairy house with their father, or a raft with their next door neighbor.  We had a few bows and arrows;  new words in Finnish, Italian, and French;  yoga lessons;  slingshots and bottle rockets;  and so much more.