Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Soup - CHOMP by Carl Hiaasen

Title:  Chomp
Year Published:  Available March 2012

Author:  Carl Hiaasen
You May Know Him: As the author of the very popular MG/YA series Hoot, Scat and Flush and author of many adult novels as well.
You May Find Him: At his website.

Review You May Not Have Seen:  Time for Kids review by Jack Wetzel

The Delta/Plus
I have a confession to make.  I abandoned Hoot.  Yes, I just could not get through this Newbery Honor Book.  Yet for some reason I picked up Scat (okay, that doesn't sound very good) and I loved it.  So I was curious when I received my ARC of Chomp.  Would I abandon it or would I love it?  And what was so different between Hoot and Scat that I could read through one but not the other?  And how do you get a job without experience, if you need experience to get a job?  But I digress...

Chomp is a hilarious addition to Hiaasen's other ecology-adventures Scat, Hoot and Flush.  This time we follow Wahoo and his animal-wrangling father Mickey Cray on their latest hire as animal handlers to the stars.  Unfortunately the job entails following the high-jinx of an adventure host in a sort of a ripped-from-the-Discovery-channel-esque spoof:  the intrepid explorer is "lost", this time in the Florida Everglades, along with an entire camera crew and catering caravan.  We are also introduced to Tuna, a girl who is searching to be rescued from a real-life drama involving an abusive father.

I loved Chomp and will recommend it to my fourth and fifth graders.  I'll tell them to be a bit patient with the sections that seem to get a little stuck in muck like the Everglades where this story takes place, but to definitely add another Hiaasen winner "To Be Read" list.

This book gets four out of five dog ears from me!

15 Second Sell in the Stacks
(This is when I'm in the stacks, a student shows me a book and says, "Have you read this, Ms. B.?"  I have about 15 seconds to "sell" it.)

"Ohmygosh.  Have you read {insert Hoot, Scat, or Flush}?  You'll totally love this one.  This kid and his dad are in charge of making sure this fool television star doesn't get eaten alive by some creature in the Florida Everglades.  Totally hilarious.  Get readin'!"

Thank you to my local independent bookstore One More Page Books for hooking me up with this ARC.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How to Cite a Book

A few days ago one of my fourth grade teachers asked me to teach a lesson on how to cite a book.

I have done this lesson before, but I decided to use the SmartBoard this time, and since I would be teaching the lesson close to Valentine's Day, I couldn't resist using a few hearts in my presentation.

It's not the fanciest lesson - I need to work on my "cuteness" factor, but I'm linking to the Notebook file in case you find it useful.

Students will be bringing a book that they are using for an upcoming report, and after I model creating a citation on the last page, they will try creating their own citation using their own book.

I welcome any suggestions, for course!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 6, 2012

More-us of the Thesaurus

Today when I arrived at school there were a stack of quizzes in my mailbox.

Not quizzes for students.

Not quizzes for me to grade. 

Quizzes for me to TAKE! 

As a reward for three prior weeks of guide word immersion (including a rockin' Smartboard lesson from Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom - I mean, who knew, right?), I asked one of my fourth grade classes to create quizzes for ME.  

Their quiz had to consist of five questions, multiple choice, with at least three being questions about guide words. 

They rocked it!! 

I spent about an hour and a half taking those dern 26 quizzes!  

And they got me good on some of the questions.  

The cutest questions had to be ones that asked what a thesaurus could be used for...their "wrong" options were very funny. 

I can't wait to hand their papers back to them for them to grade.

I hope I did okay! {fingers crossed!}
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