May 31, 2011

An Accidental Adventure

 Philomel Books:  
We Are Not Eaten by Yaks: An Accidental Adventure  
 Watch This Great Book Trailer!

The Navel twins: Oliver and Celia DON'T like adventures! Not surprising since their parents have taken them around the world on one adventure after another. They all live on the 4 1/2 floor of the Explorers Club.  For the last few years, their mother, Dr. Navel, has been missing. Having a parent disappear on an adventure is yet another reason to stay in their living room and watch TV. Going on an adventure is the LAST thing they want to do. Tibet becons the Navels when clues surface about their mother. So, for twins that Do Not Like Adventures, falling out of airplanes, being chased by Yetis, and escaping from the Poison Witches isn't what they signed up for..
Will they find their mother? Will they be able to wake up their dad from a poison? Will they ever get cable TV?
This is a must read because book two is coming in November and trust me, 
you will want to be ready for We Dine With Cannibals!

May 24, 2011

6 word Sidewalk Stories & Twitter

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.
The challenge is to write an entire story in exactly six words. Ernest Hemingway, a master of allusion and manipulating negative space (or what is NOT present in the story) is said to have started this form. When challenged to come up with a story in six words, he wrote: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

We finished the school year writing  our own 6 word stories and then spent a fun day publishing them on our school sidewalk with chalk.

We were also inspired to share our work when we Skyped with C.Alexander London. He was challenged to create his own 6 word story...he he trumped our idea and said he could do better and gave us some fun responses.
he is trying to make a four word story but he says its hard
his story was getting lost was more fun it was actually five because four was to hard for him to do.
C. Alexander London
@ new short short story inspired by "went to Iowa without moving" 
  C. Alexander London    Mine was "Getting lost was more fun" 

May 23, 2011

Summer Reading Skype!

Students and teachers were gifted with an end of the school year reading special when C. Alexander London and his sidekick Baxter joined us over Skype.
London is the author of a newly released book  An Accidental Adventure-We are not eaten By Yaks -see my review

Although it was the end of the school year, it was a day of firsts.
* This was our first Skype in our auditorium and we shared our experience with other 6th grade reading classes. The large screen really helped us feel like we were talking face to face with London.
* This was C. Alexander London's first Skype with a classroom. We hope he enjoyed sharing his writing and reading adventures with us.
* This was our classes first Skype with a dapper dog- Baxter- He was very professional in his tuxedo!

We want to thank London for sending us his books before the Skype- not only did we get a signed copy of We Are Not eaten By Yaks, we also got a signed ARC of We Dine With Cannibals!

This 6th grade adventure with London (@naveltwins) was made possible by one of our favorite authors, Tom Angleberger creator of Origami Yoda (@origamiyoda) and Twitter. We returned the favor to Twitter World by documenting it all on our accounts @OMS6th and @teacher6th.

The "Hot Seat" during our Skype
Twitter Table:Students using accounts @OMS6th and @teacher6th

May 20, 2011

Graphic Novels hit our Classroom-POW!

Tweet from (Donalyn Miller) concerning Graphic Novels:
Comics contain 2X as many rare words as avg. children's book & 3X as many as the avg. conversation w/ adult. Journal of Child Language, 1988 
Graphic novels are the new comic books of today. They use the same graphic concept of the old but great comics but put the prose into a visual adventure. Classic literature, bibliographies, current fiction, and even non-fiction has been artistically published with a graphics telling the story.We were able too read and share many different graphic novels these last few weeks and even meet an author that is having his published book, High School Heroes transformed into a graphic novel.
James Mascia shared his writing process and information about graphic novels over Skype with our reading class. He sent draft pages from his graphic novel that is being created as we read. It looks like another favorite with the 6th graders.  Thanks to James, we got an inside look at the creation of this fun genre.
Other favorite graphic novels in class included: Twilight, Bone, The Lightning Thief, and Sherlock Holmes.

Page from High School Heroes- Graphic Novel

May 11, 2011

Community Clean Up Celebration

Taking our lead from our very own OMS Earth Mother, Mrs. Leo, students 6th-8th grade spent the morning cleaning our community. Pulling weeds, raking leaves, sweeping parking lots, and litter/trash pick up was the activity. The mission set before us was simple: take pride in our surroundings and give back to our community.  i will update with a total number of trash bags filled, but I do know it was a lot!
Mission completed!
Thanks to all the students that gave it their all and of course to Mrs. Leo for choosing a perfect spring day to be outdoors.

May 1, 2011

Instructions for a Broken Heart by Kim Culbertson

Jessa's dream trip to Italy with her Drama Club is derailed when her boyfriend, Sean, chooses to dump her and spend his time with someone else. Traveling around the country watching her heart being smashed, she relies on a package 20 envelopes of instructions: 20 reasons "why Sean is a jerk and not worth the dirt on your shoes"  from her best friend back home. Jessa follows the instructions of each envelope and discovers things she never knew even where possible.

A "getting to know your self- strengths and weaknesses" story that has you laughing, cringing and hoping for a unforgettable ending.
Enjoy the trip!

Sourcebooks will be offering a FREE e-book of Kim’s previous novel, Songs of a Teenage Nomad, from May 3 – May 9.  All you need to do is click here: