Fourth Grade Journey

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

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar

How I Heard About It:  I was quite surprised when I went to the mailbox one day and found a package from Nancy Paulsen.  She had sent me to ARC's.  This one and Walking With Miss Millie.  What a pleasant surprise.  I recently finished Walking With Miss Millie and posted a a review, and just finished this second ARC last night.  Both were sure-fire winners!  

What It Is About:  Ruthie is new to America and living in New York City during the late 1960's.  She and her family have come here from Cuba to make a better life for themselves.  Ruthie is frustrated because she has been placed in the "slow" class and she knows she can handle the regular classroom.  She and a friend make it their goal to move up to the better class.  This plan is put on hold when Ruthie and her family are in a car accident leaving Ruthie with  a broken leg, put in a body cast, and confined to bed.  Each time she visits the doctor hoping to have the casts removed, she is disappointed to learn that she isn't healing as fast as she would like.  While frustrated, missing out on her childhood, and stranded in her room, Ruthie begins to take up writing and artistic ventures.  She also forms new friendships and continues the "old" ones that were started before the accident.  Ruthie learns about true strength in both herself and those people that surround her.  After a full year in in the cast and living in her room, she is finally released back into the real world, but Ruthie isn't sure she is ready; while her fears may keep her away from the life she really wants to live.  

What I Thought Of It:  Nancy Paulsen must know the type of stories I enjoy most because both of the ARC's she sent me were complete winners with me.  I thought this was an incredible story and felt like I was "inside" the book living this story beside Ruthie, her family, and friends.  It was interesting to learn about the move from Cuba to American, the struggles they faced, and how difficult life could be for immigrants new to this country.  I realized while reading that I'm sure some of our new students in our schools from different countries are probably still facing some of the same challenges in 2017 that children did in 1967.  Ruthie was a fighter and knew where she belonged both at school and at home.  

Who Should Read It:  A new book in my classroom is always a great day and I can't wait to share this story with my readers this coming week.  The novel is perfect for strong readers in fourth grade.  The reading level, content, and story would be spot-on for our fifth and/or sixth grade readers.  I'm also thinking it would be awesome to be used with the middle-school readers.  As always adult readers will find this a satisfying and enjoyable read.  Happy Reading...

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars



Friday, February 24, 2017

Friend Friday #178 (Finding Perfect by Elly Swartz)


Hi!  We're Lexi and Audrey and we read the book called Finding Perfect written by Elly Swartz.


We thought this book was good 
because there was a lot of drama in the story, some really sad parts, and some happy moments.  


Our favorite part in the story was when Hannah and Molly got mad at each other during the Facebook post chapter because that was an interesting part of the story and could happen in real life.  



The character that we liked best was Molly because she was a perfectionist like we are and we could relate to some of the stuff she went through.  She had it worse.  


We think the author wrote this book because she wanted people to know that not everything needs to be perfect and there is always a way to solve your problems.  


We would recommend this book to our friends because we all like the same type of books and this is a pretty cool story.  


Reading to us is different because one of us likes reading more than the other, but we both like to read great books because they have really awesome stories inside them.  


*This was our most recent class read aloud.  I had read the book last summer, met Elly at #NCTE16, and knew this was going to be a story I wanted to share with my students.
*I asked Lexi and Audrey if they would like to do a "friend Friday" post together, and they were very excited to do that.
*Their responses were spot on and I'm so glad they were willing to share their thoughts about the book.



Thursday, February 23, 2017

Trailer Thursday #178 (Wish by Barbara O'Connor)

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Wish by Barbara O'Connor
(Trailer Created by Fourth Grade Reader Logan )


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Wish by Barbara O'Connor

(Trailer Created by Fourth Grade Reader Sally)


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Wish by Barbara O'Connor


(Trailer Created by Fourth Grade Reader Kaitlyn)


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Wish by Barbara O'Connor



(Trailer Created by Fourth Grade Reader Kevin)


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Wish by Barbara O'Connor




(Trailer Created by Fourth Grade Reader Sophia)


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Wish by Barbara O'Connor




(Trailer Created by Fourth Grade Reader Isabella)


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Wish by Barbara O'Connor




(Trailer Created by Fourth Grade Reader Eliana)

*Our most recent book club selection was Wish by Barbara O'Connor.  We had the chance to Skype with her.  It was such fun.

*After our book club, I had the book club  readers create a book trailer based on the novel Wish.  

*Our goal is to create a book trailer a week that we can share with our classmates.  

*We are collecting all the trailers we make and putting them into our Schoology Site.

*Each student will have their own album where they can keep all of their trailers.  Then the other readers will be able to browse those trailers and find a new book to read.   

*As the year progresses we will learn what should be included, and not included, in the trailer to make them the best they can be.

Here are Some Other Trailers that Promote this incredible author







Life Lesson #21 (Be Positive)


"Be Positive"

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

*Many of our "life lessons" are of a serious nature and teaching the children some pretty important concepts of life.

*Once and awhile it is fun to use something a bit more "light".  This is the perfect video to use.  Even though it does stress the importance of being "positive", the kids watching it have fun and enjoy it quite well.  It just puts a smile on everyone's face.  

*Each Thursday I share a short video clip with my writers.  The clip has some type of "lesson" I want to share and teach my fourth graders.  

*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.  


Life Lessons for 2016-2017…          

Week #1 - Be Brains -                                                 Click Here for Week #1 Lesson
Week #2 - Be Kind to Others -                                    Click Here for Week #2 Lesson      
Week #3 - Be Safe -                                                    Click Here for Week #3 Lesson
Week #4 - Be Responsible -                                       Click Here for Week #4 Lesson    
Week #5 - Be a Friend -                                              Click Here for Week #5 Lesson
Week #6 - Be Courageous -                                       Click Here for Week #6 Lesson
Week #7 - Be Life Changing -                                     Click Here for Week #7 Lesson
Week #8 - Be Spooky -                                               Click Here for Week #8 Lesson
Week #9 - Be Kind -                                                    Click Here for Week #9 Lesson
Week #10 - Be Courageous (To Continue On) -         Click Here for Week #10 Lesson
Week #11 - Be Motivated -                                          Click Here for Week #11 Lesson 
Week #12 - Be Inspired -                                            Click Here for Week #12 Lesson
Week #13 - Be Merry -                                                Click Here for Week #13 Lesson
Week #14 - Be a Team -                                             Click Here for Week #14 Lesson
Week #15 - Be Giving -                                               Click Here for Week #15 Lesson
Week #16 - Be SHOUTful -                                         Click Here for Week #16 Lesson
Week #17 - Be Happy -                                               Click Here for Week #17 Lesson
Week #18 - Be a Reader -                                          Click Here for Week #18 Lesson
Week #19 - Be Powerful -                                           Click Here for Week #19 Lesson
Week #20 - Be Brave -                                                Click Here for Week #20 Lesson

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wonder Wednesday #178 (Breakfast with Books with Barbara O'Connor)

Wonder Wednesday:  Book Club in Action

*We had our fifth "Breakfast with Books" book club on Thursday, February 16th.

*The twelve readers gathered in our classroom before school with breakfast treats and a copy of Wish in hand.

*The readers were excited to Skype with the author Barbara O'Connor.  We couldn't wait to share our comments and questions with her about her latest novel.


*Everyone had such a wonderful time enjoying the breakfast treats and listening to the author share her thoughts and answers with us about this terrific story.  Barbara was warm, gracious, and such fun to chat with.

*My fourth grade readers are so lucky to be able to personally connect with such incredible authors.  They loved the story of Charlie, Howard, and Wishbone.

*Here is an inside look at our book club in action...






















Picture Wednesday #23 (Airplane)


"Airplane"

*This is the twenty-third Wednesday of our year together and that means it is "Picture Wednesday".

*This is the first time I've used this image with a group of students.  When I saw it online I knew it would be the perfect photograph to be featured on a Picture Wednesday.

*As much as I have studied the image, I'm not quite sure what I think of it or how it was done.  If I'm thinking that, then I'm pretty sure my students will have a wonderful time writing about it.  So much to observe!
*I set aside time during each day for us to work in our writer's notebooks. 

*Each Wednesday I feature a photograph, image, or graphic.  My goal is to have my writers do some thinking, reflecting, and writing about the image.

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

-What we notice in the image
-What we wonder about
-Connections we have to the picture
-Thoughts, feeling, emotions about the visual
-Reminders we have from the image
-Create a fiction story about the picture

*Once the image is revealed to the writers, we spend a few minutes "talking" about what we see.

*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 writers and slowly add time to our 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 visual in front of us.


Our Images from 2016-2017...  
Week #1 - Back to School -                              Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #2 - Be Kind to Others -                          Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #3 - Be Safe -                                          Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #4 - Be Responsible -                              Click Here to see IMAGE
Week #5 - Animal Friendship -                          Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #6 - A Helping Hand -                             Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #7 - A Running Jump -                            Click Here to See IMAGE 
Week #8 - Stand-UP/Unity Day -                      Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #9 - Home Sweet Home -                       Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #10 - Camouflage -                                 Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #11 - Dream Big-                                     Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #12 - Sidewalk Biking -                           Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #13 - HUG -                                             Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #14 - Happy Frog -                                  Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #15 - Hair Dryer -                                    Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #16 - Goodbye 2016/Hello 2017             Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #17 - Ghost Rainbow                               Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #18 - Winter Drive                                   Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #19 - Animal Friends                               Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #20-  The Writing Cabin                          Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #21 - Travel Companion                          Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #22 - Guitar Land                                     Click Here to See IMAGE

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Treat Tuesday #178 (Happy Book Birthday)

Treat Tuesday:  Chocolate Pudding Pies

*During a recent dinner party, these tasty treats were served for dessert.

*They were fun to eat and of course delicious.

*Here is the easy recipe.  Hope you enjoy as much as we did!








Ingredients:

  • 3.9-ounce Simply Good JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding Mix pouch
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 6 mini graham cracker crusts
  • 6 large strawberries, sliced
  • whipped cream, optional
  • festive sprinkles, optional

Directions:


  1. Prepare Simply Good JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding Mix according to package directions.
  2. Once the pudding is set, evenly distribute the pudding between the mini graham cracker crusts.
  3. Add a layer of strawberries, a swirl of whipped cream and festive sprinkles.



Treat Tuesday:  Middle-Grade Novel










Treat Tuesday:  Young-Adult Novel










Treat Tuesday:  Novel Published for Adults

Monday, February 20, 2017

Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson

How I Heard About It:  During a recent visit to my public library, I was in search of some new audio books.  While in the section for novels published for adults, I ran across this title.  It was familiar to me, but I wasn't sure why.  I must have read about it at some point and put it on my radar.  It was added to my stack of audio books.  

What It Is About:  Alice Whitley doesn't know what she is in for when she leaves New York and heads to Los Angeles.  She has been sent there to "care" for Mimi (M.M.) Banning who is a reclusive author that has locked herself up in her mansion.  Alice's boss wants her to encourage Mimi to complete her second novel which she has been working on forever.  Her first book was a huge success and the world is waiting for the next story.  Upon Alice's arrival, she learns she is going to be more of a companion to Mimi's son Frank.  He is a fourth grader, but not your typical ten year old.  Frank is extremely smart, a bit odd, and has his own unique style of dress.  Alice makes it her mission to befriend Frank and help him be as successful as possible in all that he does.  She also wants to learn about Mimi and Frank's past, his father, and an older male friend who "hangs" out at the mansion named Xander.  Alice isn't sure who is more work; Frank or Mimi.  They both put her to the test.  

What I Thought Of It:  This was a great audio and I so enjoyed the story.  There wasn't too much "action", but the plot moved along nicely and kept my interest the entire "listen".  I enjoyed the characters of Alice, Mimi, Xander, and even Frank.  I only say that about Frank because the narrator's voice for Frank was a bit annoying, but I think they did that on purpose.  The writer did such a great job in the writing that I could picture the mansion in California and the type of life they were living.  There were a few surprises along the way, but nothing major.  This was a good old fashion fiction story that focused on the characters and how they interacted with each other.  

Who Should Read It:  An audience for this book would definitely be an adult reader.  The story is slower paced, but would keep the interest of a reader that enjoys a well-done fiction story.  I think I would recommend reading the book over listening because of the voice of Frank, but either way would be a fine way to experience the story.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (2/20/17)



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...



Be Frank with Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson

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

Review Coming Soon!








Walking with Miss Millie by Tamara Bundy

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

My Book Review







A World Without You by Beth Revis

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








Books I Will (continue to) Read this Week… 


Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig

*Novel Published for Adults









Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar

*Middle-Grade Novel