February 26, 2011

The Quest of the Warrior Sheep Review

OH MY GRASS! Christopher Russell has written a sheepishly funny caper of adventurous and superstitious rare sheep, alien sightings, a cell phone bank heist and a little romance between a city girl and a common farm boy. There are also some very "baaad" characters that learn not to mess with sheep on a quest!
 Highly recommended for a fun read that will make "Ewe" smile.

February 11, 2011

World Read Aloud Day: March 9, 2011

 Introduction from World Read Aloud Website:

Celebrate the Power of Words and Stories and Take Action for Global Literacy

Nearly 1 billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their name. What would you miss most if you could not read or write? Imagine your world without words.

World Read Aloud Day is about taking action to show the world that the right to read and write belongs to all people. World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words, especially those words that are shared from one person to another, and creates a community of readers advocating for every child’s right to a safe education and access to books and technology. By raising our voices together on this day we show the world’s children that we support their future: that they have the right to read, to write, and to share their words to change the world.

Across the globe nearly 171 million children could be lifted out of poverty if they left school with basic reading and writing skills. Quality literacy education is the difference between life and death, prosperity and despair. This is literacy for survival.

February 6, 2011

Kidsblog ! We learn!

After sharing so much on this blog, I'm ready to hand over the responsibility and fun of blogging to students in my English classes. They will be learning how to blog using a great secure site:  Kidblog. We will start with learning the etiquette of blogging and commenting and review internet safety. After the introduction of why and how, students will be able to share their writing with an audience of peers and parents. Please share comments on their blogging and become apart of our lives!

Student View: Write a blog entry

February 5, 2011

Fairview Felines Review

Fairview Felines "A Newspaper Mystery" by Michele Corriel is a great middle school mystery! Thomas has news reporting in his blood. His mom owns and runs the local newspaper and he grew up smelling the freshly printed newsprint.
Everything he see turns into a headline in his mind. Maybe that is why he is always behind in his schoolwork. When he decided to start a school newspaper, he had to prove he could complete his school work and write a news story of a lifetime- easier said then done. When cats started disappearing around town (including his own pet), he knew there was a  tale (tail?) to be told. Too bad he was grounded from the newspaper until his grades improved...
Thomas has his work cut out for him: improve his grades, solve the missing cat mystery, and write a winning news story.
M. Corriel keeps the reading intrigued as headlines capture the moment throughout the story. A MUST READ could be a headline in this review.

Jane and the Raven King Review

Strange things are happening around Jane's neighborhood. Between seeing a squirrel packing a suitcase in a hurry, her parents acting like they are in a technology zombie-state, and an unusual present given to her from her grandmother, Jane finds it hard to know what is reality and what is seemly  impossible to believe in this new underground world..
A blind stranger drives her to a the center of the world where she meets a dragon. With their help and advise, Jane embarks on a journey to save the world and her family. Secret powers and new friends give Jane the determination to fight the evil Raven King in this magical world.
Jane and the Raven King by Stephen Chambers is a book you will want to read cover to cover- perfect for the snow days we have been having!
**Note: Stephen has been writing and selling books since high school. His 1st novel Hope's End and sequel Hope's War is now on my to-be-read list.

February 1, 2011

Author Visit !!!

They Are Coming to Oelwein!
Through the power of social networking and Twitter, Oelwein Middle School will have two amazing authors, Jon & Pamela Voelke, visit on March 16th. They will give a comprehensive presentation on their many travels through Central America and research of the Maya civilization. The presentation is targeted to a 5-8th grade audience.

We are using Voelkel’s web page, http://www.jaguarstones.com/Home.html and the lesson plan links in preparation for the visit. http://www.museumofman.org/sites/default/files/journal_maya.pdf  is one of the sources we will be using. We are also sharing excerpts from the published books. 

Publisher Note: Authors Jon and Pamela Voelkel traveled with their three children across Central America to over twenty Maya sites across Belize, Guatemala and Mexico, canoeing underground rivers, tracking howler monkeys in the jungle, and visiting catacombs and underground temples as part of their research on Maya culture. These adventures made it into the first book of The Jaguar Stones, Middleworld. The book received rave reviews and was featured on the "Today" http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/37361677/ns/today-today_books/ show as Al Roker's Book Club for Kids pick. Their second book, The End of the World Club was released in December.