Fourth Grade Journey

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

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Life Lesson #16 - Be SHOUTful


"Be SHOUTful"

*This is the SIXTEENTH Thursday of our school year together and that means it is "Life Lesson" Thursday.

*One of the biggest messages I try to share with my students is to make a positive impact on the world.

*This isn't always easy, but I work very hard to spread this theme/lesson/idea each and every day.  

*I always enjoy sharing this life-lesson with my students/writers.  The young people enjoy the video, the message, and the fact that people get to SHOUT out their dreams, goals, and wishes.  It is such a positive message that I think my students can relate to.  

*I set aside time during each day for us to work in our writer's notebooks. 

*We talk about what types of writing we can do in the notebook.  Here are some of the possibilities...

-What we notice in the video
-What we wonder about
-Connections we have to the video
-Thoughts, feeling, emotions about the video clip
-Reminders we have from the lesson/message
-Create a fiction story about the video


*Once the video is shared with the writers, we spend a few minutes "talking" about what we observed.

*My writers set up their HEADING in the notebook and we get busy writing.

*During the start-up of the year, I have my students write for about five minutes.  We slowly build our stamina for writing and slowly add time to the writing block. 

*At the end of the individual writing time, we call on a few volunteers to share their actual writing and/or further thoughts about the video we watched and wrote about.

*If there is time, I sometimes share the video clip with my class at the end of the writer's notebook time.  


2017/2018 Life Lessons...
Week #1:  Be a Reader                                                                      This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #2:  Be Kind to Others                                                              This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #3:  Be Safe                                                                             This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #4:  Be Responsible                                                                 This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #5:  Be Brains                                                                           This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #6:  Be a Friend                                                                        This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #7:  Be Life-Changing                                                              This Week's Life-Lesson      
Week #8:  Be Spooky (Halloween Fun Edition)
Week #9:  Be a Bully - NOT!                                                              This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #10:  Be Courageous (to continue on)                                     This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #11:  Be Motivated                                                                   This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #12:  Be Inspired                                                                      This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #13:  Be Merry                                                                          This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #14:  Be a Team                                                                       This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #15:  Be Giving                                                                         This Week's Life-Lesson

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Wonder Wednesday #208 (Getting Ready for Bookclub)


 Wonder Wednesday - Bookclub Anticipation

*The readers in my class are getting ready for our next "Breakfast with Books" book club.




*During the last month or so we have been reading Sticks and Stones and/or Bubbles.  I was so excited to announce these two titles because they are such GREAT reads.

*To top it off, we will be lucky to have the author join us in PERSON.  I've hosted Abby Cooper the last couple of years and she never disappoints.

*I know my readers are going to have a tremendous time during Abby's visit.  She will join our "Breakfast with Books" book club on Tuesday, January 23rd before our school day begins.

*Here is what some of the readers are thinking about and anticipating for the author visit...











Monday, January 15, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (1/15/18)



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




Enticing Hard-to-Reach Writers by Ruth Ayres

*Professional Reading (5 STARS out of 5 Stars!)








The Absolutist by John Boyne

*Novel Published for Adults (4 STARS out of 5 Stars!)

My Book Review








The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

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

My Book Review






From Striving to Thriving by Stephanie Harvey and Annie Ward

*Professional Reading (5 STARS out of 5 Stars!)







Books I Will (continue to) Read this Week



The Immoralists by Chloe Benjamin

*My Novel Published for Adults

The Problem Children by Natalie Lloyd

*My Middle-Grade Novel

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

*My Young-Adult Novel






One of the Boys by Daniel Malarial

*Novel Published for Adults (Audio)




Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Absolutist by John Boyne

How I Heard About It:  Last fall, I read The Heart's Invisible Furies for my BBC (Boy's Book Club).  The story was wonderful and all the members of my book club enjoyed the book.  I looked into what else John Boyne had written and found this title.  I ordered it and decided to make it my first novel published for adults for the year 2018.  

What It Is About:  Tristan is twenty-one years old and traveling from London to Norwich in the year 1919.  The war is over, but Tristan is far from feeling anything but sadness.  He is on a journey to deliver a stack of letters to the sister of his best friend Will.  Tristan and Will met each other during the war, fought side by side, and forged a friendship that neither of them could really describe.  They had good times together.  They had bad times together.  They had agreements.  They had major arguments.  These two young men shared more together than with anyone else.  They also had more secrets than any soldiers should have.  Years later, Tristan knows he must deliver Will's letters and share with his sister what really happened between the two soldiers.  

What I Thought Of It:  While I don't think this was as strong of a novel as The Heart's Invisible Furies, I completely enjoyed it and found it to be quite an emotional experience.  Tristan was so conflicted not only after the war, but during his time fighting side by side with Will.  Boyne did a phenomenal job of describing what life was like for Tristan and how he felt during the different obstacles he faced.  Even though I can't image what life must have been like for men in the early 1900's, but with talent, grace, and beautiful writing; Boyne did an incredible job of enticing me in and not letting me go until the very last word.  It really was an incredible reading experience.  

Who Should Read It:   I would recommend this novel to all adult readers who enjoy and gravitate toward historical fiction.  The writing was strong.  The characters were real, raw, and personal.  The twists and turns kept happening chapter after chapter.  I can't really imagine any reader not finding satisfaction with this story.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars


The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

How I Heard About It:  I have had this title on my radar for quite some time. When it made the Nerdy 2017 Awards list, I checked my Cloud Library app to see if my local library had it.  They did.  I downloaded it.  This was my first audio listen for the year 2018.  

What It Is About:  Molly and Cassie.  Cassie and Molly.  Twins that are alike.  Twins that are quite different.  Molly is a bit overweight.  Cassie is not.  Molly is a bit shy.  Cassie is not.  Molly is careful.  Cassie is not.  Molly has never been kissed.  Cassie has had many kisses.  Molly is straight.  Cassie is gay.  Molly has decided this is going to be the year where she isn't so careful.  She wants to take some risks.  She wants to live a little.  She wants love.  Molly goes about her new adventure with caution and care.  Her sister encourages her to get out there and show the world who she is.  When Molly meets not only one boy, but two, her safe and predictable world is turned upside down.  She has spent her life keeping herself safe from rejection.  Now she may have put herself in a position to not only be rejected by one boy, but two.  

What I Thought Of It:  The story started a bit slow for me and I was thinking it wasn't going to be the best "listen" to start the year with.  But after several chapters, I began to get to know Molly and started to enjoy her story.  I loved how different the twins were, how they supported each other, and how they dealt with their differences.  The supporting cast was outstanding and brought such life, energy, and emotion to the story.  There were moments when I couldn't relate to the story, but I am a 50 year old man.  However, most of the time I was completely content listening to the story and found myself chuckling from time to time.  I'm not sure the overall story was as strong as I was thinking it was going to be, but I'm glad I listened and got to experience Molly and Cassie's adventure navigating the world of high school, friendship, and love.  

Who Should Read It:   This is the perfect novel for the female high school reader.  I don't mean to say males can't read it, but I think females will be able to relate to Molly, Cassie, their friends; and all that they went through.  Readers who read Becky Albertalli first novel, I'm sure will enjoy this one.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars





Professional Reading - Part #ONE

 Professional Reading

*One reading goal I have for myself during the year 2018 is to read more professional books.

*I'm not real great at it, but when I do, I find myself really enjoying the reading experience and learning so much that I can apply with my students.

*2018 is off to a great start with two incredible professional books...






Thursday, January 11, 2018

Life-Lesson #15: Be Giving

"Be Giving"

*This is the FIFTEENTH Thursday of our school year together and that means it is "Life Lesson" Thursday.

*One of the biggest messages I try to share with my students is to make a positive impact on the world.

*This isn't always easy, but I work very hard to spread this theme/lesson/idea each and every day.  

*This one always captures the hearts, minds, and imaginations of my students.  They are usually spell-bound the first and second time they watch.  This is one video clip that is shown multiple times in order to fully capture the essence of the video.  I must say this is one of my FAVORITE life-lessons of the year.

*I set aside time during each day for us to work in our writer's notebooks. 

*We talk about what types of writing we can do in the notebook.  Here are some of the possibilities...

-What we notice in the video
-What we wonder about
-Connections we have to the video
-Thoughts, feeling, emotions about the video clip
-Reminders we have from the lesson/message
-Create a fiction story about the video


*Once the video is shared with the writers, we spend a few minutes "talking" about what we observed.

*My writers set up their HEADING in the notebook and we get busy writing.

*During the start-up of the year, I have my students write for about five minutes.  We slowly build our stamina for writing and slowly add time to the writing block. 

*At the end of the individual writing time, we call on a few volunteers to share their actual writing and/or further thoughts about the video we watched and wrote about.

*If there is time, I sometimes share the video clip with my class at the end of the writer's notebook time.  


2017/2018 Life Lessons...
Week #1:  Be a Reader                                                                      This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #2:  Be Kind to Others                                                              This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #3:  Be Safe                                                                             This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #4:  Be Responsible                                                                 This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #5:  Be Brains                                                                           This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #6:  Be a Friend                                                                        This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #7:  Be Life-Changing                                                              This Week's Life-Lesson        
Week #8:  Be Spooky (Halloween Fun Edition)
Week #9:  Be a Bully - NOT!                                                              This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #10:  Be Courageous (to continue on)                                     This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #11:  Be Motivated                                                                   This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #12:  Be Inspired                                                                      This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #13:  Be Merry                                                                          This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #14:  Be a Team                                                                       This Week's Life-Lesson