Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Treat Tuesday #190 (Happy Book Birthday) - LAST one for 2016/2107...

Treat Tuesday:  Summer Rhubarb Slush

*This is the last "Treat Tuesday" post for the 2016/2017 school year.

*I decided to go with a summer favorite of ours.

*We serve this often for our summer guests and they all rave about it.

*It is the perfect "beverage" for a hot summer day/night!

*2 quarts water
*8 cups rhubarb
*3 cups sugar
*1/2 cup lemon juice
*1 three ounce box of strawberry jello
*3 cups vodka
*1 two liter of 7-Up

1.  Boil together the first FOUR ingredients
2.  Strain
3.  Add jello
4.  Add Vodka
5.  Add 7-Up
6.  Freeze
7.  Add 1/2 slush and 1/2 7-Up to cup and serve

Treat Tuesday:  Middle-Grade Novel

Treat Tuesday:  Young-Adult Novel

Treat Tuesday:  Novel Published for Adults  

Monday, May 22, 2017

Music Monday #32 (Happy People by Little Big Town) - LAST one of the year...

"Happy People" from Little Big Town

*It is hard to believe this is the last piece of music for Music Monday.  We don't have school next Monday, and I'm not sure what I'll be using for Monday, June 5th which is our last Monday together.

*It has been a GREAT year of music, writing, thinking, and sharing.

*This is a brand new song to me and I've never used it before with my students.  I recently heard it and absolutely loved it.

*I also think it is the perfect song to end my Music Monday posts for the 2016-2017 school year.  I love the idea of being "happy people".  The song and the video are all about being happy and positive thoughts.

*Today is our Thirty-Second Monday together and that means it is time for another musical selection.

*I truly believe Mondays are my favorite day for our writer's notebooks.  

*Each Monday I present a piece of music to my fourth graders.  I usually present this song via a video so they are hearing and seeing the music.  

*After I share the video, we discuss the song/video for a few minutes as a class.  It is always a joy to hear what my young listeners have to say about the song.  

*They then get busy writing in their notebooks.  We start off at the beginning of the year writing for about five minutes.  This will gradually increase as the year progresses.  

*Here are some ideas I give the writers to think about during their writing time...

*Their opinions of the song.
*Their likes and dislikes of the song.
*What the song reminds them of.
*Any connections they may have to the music.
*What they think the message in the piece may be.
*What listeners can learn from the song.
*A fictional story about the music/video.

*These are just some ideas I give to the writers.  They are really free to write anything they would like as long as it connects to the song.

*After our silent reading, we spend a few more minutes sharing out what we wrote.  

*I keep a collection of the videos on our Schoology Site so that my students can always go back and rematch them anytime they wish.

Our Musical Monday Selections for 2016-2017 
Week #1 - "What I Am" by                                                    Click Here for Week #1 Music
Week #2 - "Clay" by Grace VanderWaal                                               Click Here for Week #2 Music
Week #3 - "One Voice" by Billy Gilman                                               Click Here for Week #3 Music
Week #4 - "I Don't Know My Name" by Grace VanderWaal                Click Here for Week #4 Music
Week #5 - "Proud" by Heather Small                                                    Click Here for Week #5 Music
Week #6 - "There's a Hero" by Billy Gilman                                        Click Here for Week #6 Music
Week #7 - "Can't Stop the Feeling" by Justin Timberlake                    Click Here for Week #7 Music
Week #8 - "Thriller" by Michael Jackson                                             Click Here for Week #8 Music
Week #9 - "Beautiful Thing" by Grace VanderWaal                            Click Here for Week #9 Music
Week #10 - "Live Like a Warrior" by Matisyahu                               Click Here for Week #10 Music
Week #11 - "Thankful" by Josh Groban                                             Click Here for Week #11 Music
Week #12 - "Hall of Fame" by The Script and                    Click Here for Week #12 Music
Week #13 - "Clouds" by Zach Sobiach                                               Click Here for Week #13 Music
Week #14 - "Hopeful" by Bars & Melody                                          Click Here for Week #14 Music
Week #15 - "Do They Know Its Christmas" by BandAid                   Click Here for Week #15 Music
Week #16 - "My Hero" by Harris J.                                                    Click Here for Week #16 Music
Week #17 - "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong             Click Here for Week #17 Music
Week #18 - "Be Humble and Kind" by Tim McGraw                         Click Here for Week #18 Music
Week #19 - "Dreamer" by Chris Brown                                              Click Here for Week #19 Music
Week #20 - "One Call Away" by Charlie Puth                                    Click Here for Week #20 Music
Week #21 - "I Lived" by One Republic                                               Click Here for Week #21 Music
Week #22 - "One Shining Moment" by Luther Vandross                    Click Here to Week #22 Music
Week #23 - "Fireflies" by Owl City                                                     Click Here for Week #23 Music
Week #24 - "Rise Up" by Andra Day                                                  Click Here for Week #24 Music 
Week #25 - "Shooting Star" by Owl City                                            Click Here for Week #25 Music
Week #26 - "Broken Arrows" by Avicii                                              Click Here for Week #26 Music
Week #27 - "Waka, Waka, This Time for Africa" by Shakira             Click Here for Week #27 Music
Week #28 - "Try Everything" by Shakira                                            Click Here for Week #28 Music
Week #29 - "Chained to the Rhythm" by Katy Perry                          Click Here for Week #29 Music
Week #30 - "The World is Ours" by David Corey                               Click Here for Week #30 Music
Week #31 - "Rainbow Connection" from The Muppets                      Click Here for Week #31 Music

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (5/22/17)

Thanks to Jen and Kellee for hosting this idea on their site.  Here is a link to their site...
Books I Read this Past Week...

Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures 
by Jackson Pearce & Maggie Stiefvater

*Middle-Grade Novel (3 STARS out of 5 Stars)

*My Book Review

The Inexplicable Logic of my Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz

*Young-Adult Novel (4 STARS out of 5 Stars)

*My Book Review

Me & Miranda Mullaly by Jake Gerhardt

*Middle-Grade Novel (4 STARS out of 5 Stars)

My Book Review

Books I Will (continue to) Read this Week 

Bear Town by Fredrik Backman

*My Novel Published for Adults

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

*My Novel Published for Adults (Audio)

Posted by John David Anderson

*My Middle-Grade Novel

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures by Jackson Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater)

How I Heard About It:  One day during our reading workshop a reader was laughing out loud while she read.  I went over to investigate what was going on.  I assumed she was being distracted by another reader.  Nope!  She was completely engaged with her novel.  It happened to be this book.  She and I talked a bit about it and her comment to me was; "You have to read to this book."  When I found it on "Hoopla" (audio app via my library), I decided to see what was so "funny" about the story.  

What It Is About:  Pip is a unique and creative girl.  She does struggle with communicating with other students, her parents, and the teachers at school.  She doesn't have a problem communicating with "magical creatures".  These creatures include unicorns, griffins, bitterflunks, among other imaginary creatures.  After the unicorn "accident" at school, Pip goes to spend the summer at her Aunt Emma's clinic for magical creatures.  At first it is all fun and games, but then events start going a little haywire.  Soon there is a "gang" of fuzzles that keep multiplying and erupting in flames.  Pip and a new friend Tomas go on a quest to find out how to stop these fuzzles from causing chaos.  They have to work fast because the fuzzles work even faster.    

What I Thought Of It:  I'm always excited to read something that I don't know much about and something that comes recommended by a reader in my class.  The story was a strong audio book and was pretty fun to listen to.  I'm not sure I enjoyed it as much as my fourth grader, but I found it enjoyable to listen to.  Pip was an awesome character and full of such life and imagination.  The "creatures" were out of this world and crazy to read about.  I'm not a huge fan of this type of fantasy, but I kept trying to read/listen through the eyes/ears of a fourth grade reader.  While the plot didn't grab me like realistic fiction does, I can see why young readers would enjoy the story.  

Who Should Read It:  I think this will be a fun new series for readers in grades three, four, and five. Students that enjoy fantasy, imaginary creatures, and wild adventures; surely will devour this book and the ones to come.  Pip Barlett is a strong female protagonist who will be adored by our young female readers.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  3 STARS out of 5 Stars

Me & Miranda Mullaly by Jack Gerhardt

How I Heard About It:  I can't remember where or when, but I actually got this book when it was an ARC.  It has been sitting in a pile of books for quite some time.  My goal has been to work on reading the books in the "pile" instead of buying new titles.  This is my most recent middle-grade novel read.  

What It Is About:  At the center of this story is Miranda Mullaly.  The perfect "girl" in everyone's eyes.  Well, at least for three male students in her class.  First, there is Chollie who is the class athlete.  Second, there is Sam the class clown.  Finally, there is Duke the smart kid.  When Miranda "saves" one of these boys during class, all three decide they must be the boyfriend of Miranda.  They each plan and plot how to become the one true love of hers.  She is involved in man activities and the boys decide they will join these in order to get close to her.  They join student council, the school play, and a variety of other clubs.  The competition for her attention hits a high note when they all volunteer to help her family during a winter storm.  As the school dance approaches, he boys ups his "game" to be sure they are on the arm of the one and only Miranda Mullaly.  

What I Thought Of It:  The only negative aspect of this book is that I let it sit in my pile of books for such a long time.  So long in fact, that the cover even changed with the most recent copy.  The story was enjoyable to read and quite a few "laugh-out-loud" moments.  I found all three male characters to be real, alive, and true to life.  It was fun to read about how they tried to gain the attention of this "popular" girl.  I also enjoyed how the story was told from all FOUR perspectives which made for a solid well-told story.  

Who Should Read It:  The setting of the story is in middle-school so in my opinion it is the perfect novel for readers in grades six, seven, and eight.  Of course it could also be read by kids in grades four and/or five.  There is nothing "objectionable" in the book.  The chapters are relatively short and the viewpoints change from chapter to chapter which will keep the interest of the reader.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz

How I Heard About It:  One of my favorite young-adult novels is Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.  The story was one that stuck with me for quite some time.  It was exciting to learn that Saenz had a new novel.  It has been on my TBR list for quite some time, and I finally got around to reading it.  This author sure can write.  

What It Is About:  Sal (Salvador) is heading into his senior year.  Life has been good with his gay father and the surrounding loving and surrounding family.  Sal has always depended on his best friend Sam (Samantha).  Sal is worried about his father.  An old "friend" of his has returned to town after leaving years earlier.  He and his father are concerned about Mima (grandmother) and the diagnosis she has just received.  When a tragic event takes Sam's mother away, she moves in with Sal and his father.  The three of them begin to form a new type of family.  To round out this high-school friendship, Sal and Sam take in Fito who is a best friend to Sal.  Each of them is dealing with tough issues in their lives and they rely on each other for support, love, and advice.  

What I Thought Of It:  I enjoy the writing style of Benjamin Alire Saenz.  He is perfect with his word choice and brings the reader directly into the center of the story.  There were so many aspects of this story I enjoyed.  I thought the relationship between Sal and his father was one of a kind.  There was something very special about the bond between this father and his son.  The friendship between Sal and Sam was tender, funny, and quite special.  They each brought so much to each other's lives.  Even though there were quite a bit of "sad" moments woven throughout the story, there was always a sense of hope and encouragement.  These three young people sure found their way into my mind and above that my heart.  

Who Should Read It:  This is the perfect novel for the young-adult reader.  I would especially say the high school reader.  There are many aspects of the plot that many readers this age would be able to relate to.  If you are an adult reader that read Aristotle and Dante, then I highly recommend this newest work of fiction.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

Friday, May 19, 2017

Friend Friday #189 (Matylda, Bright, & Tender by Holly M. McGhee)

Hi!  I'm Logan and I read the book called Matylda, Bright, & Tender by Holly M. McGhee.    

I thought this book was awesome 
because it had such a cool story with both people and animals in the book.  

My favorite part in the story was when Matylda wouldn't eat because I was glad she finally began eating because that was good for her.  

The character that I liked best was Guy because he was a boy and I'm a boy.  Plus he did a really great thing for his friend Sussy.  

I think the author wrote this book because she wanted to write a story about kids dealing with hard things in life and how animals can help you.  

I would recommend this book to my friends because it was really good and we read it for our book club and everyone is loving the book.  

Reading to me is phenomenal because I like to read and have read such great books this year.  

*This is our current "Breakfast with Books" book club selection.  
*Logan is one of the fourth graders that read the book for our Skype with the author.  
*All the readers are giving "rave" reviews about the story and characters.
*We Skype with the author on May 26th.
*Be sure to check out our second set of trailers in yesterday's post.  

**On a side note, this was one of my favorite middle-grade books I read during this school year.
**I highly recommend it.  A "must-read"!