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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Summer Recap:

Could I do a better job posting on this blog? Rhetorical question.  After our beach stint and hill country jaunt we are back home getting back into the groove. And with school on the horizon my classroom is still not ready, and nor the kids.  Oh, an F4 book twister hit our game/ craft/ Mom cave/ Man cave/ guitar room.  Yes, I’m working on my reading center and it's official, we have a plethora.  Though I'm not sure if I want to use our books or mostly library books.  What do most teachers do?

And for inquiring curiosities, our blue month celebration went somewhat by the wayside, even skipping the blueberry farm because it was way too hot!!!  But we did Blue Hole, glow stick swimming, gun shoot’n, and raided our Grammy’s art studio. 

Capturing The Moments

Cold Oasis Dip



Pack'n Heat




Shoot'n Zombie Targets



Grape Shot




Smurf Paints




 Harvesting loofahs (Great for my science center.) 




Making Pom Poms  





(Fold 8 sheets of tissue paper into accordion, tie center with twine, using scissors round edges on both sides, pull apart individual sheets to shape, and there you have it.)

Library Musings:
The library reading program came to a close, so now we have the library to ourselves most afternoons.  But I find something unsettling about how the reading prizes are done year after year.  Do you think libraries should give away expensive prizes for reading?  First of all, I think the prizes should be related to books, not expensive non-book related toys.  Next, the focus needs to be on the stories, not on the amount of books logged.   Isn’t the real prize what's between the pages anyway?   I get the point of trying to connect parents and children to the library, but this needs re-vamping for those wanting to honestly participate.  (Note the key word here, honest.)  So what should they do?  Glad you asked, bring the emphasis to what you read, not how many.  Maybe the children pick their favorite book and do a simple craft or picture to be displayed on a library art wall, or maybe a readers theater where they act out the stories.  The ideas are endless, all putting children into books.  A garden analogy - I have to pull weeds out of my garden so that it can thrive. So why not pull out what’s hindering the reading program, the prize system so that books become the focus and the weeds won’t come back.  Just sayin’!

Book Bag Bests

Prudence Wants a Pet
By Daly, Cathleen


This is so my SB!  She’s a teenager now, but when younger always wanted animals turning kitchen utensils into imaginary pets. Little Reader thought Prudence’s twig, tire, and little brother pets were funny and even got a roaring laugh from big sister.  Both young and old can relate to this read.   I’m not going to share what she ends up with in the end, but love the name "Branch".

Clever Jack Takes the Cake
By Fleming, Candance




When this Clever Jack is invited to the princesses 10th birthday he has nothing to give, nor any money to buy a gift.  Alas, he decides to barter for ingredients and make a cake.  But will he get it to the castle in one piece, and to his knowledge does the princess have any food allergies?  A wonderful modern fairytale adventure that has earned a permanent home on our shelf.   

Hide!!!
By Foxworthy, Jeff



We spent a few days on this funny read & search Jeff Foxworthy book.  It’s filled with imagination, childhood memories, and a playful discovery element.  This one will take you a while, so don’t expect to get through it in one lap read.   We are on three and counting to be exact.   

The Gum Chewing Rattler
By Hayes, Joe




A tall rattling tale where the author puts himself in the book telling a childhood story.   Creatively and cleverly it tells how a chewing gum habit saved him from a rattlesnake. I think they should make a story about a snake that blows bubbles with gum, can snakes blow bubbles?  - Little Reader

How Many Cats?
By Lauren Thompson



With a Golden Retriever guarding the house, how much mischief can one cat get into, or is that 20 cats?   The realistic detailed oil paintings make this a better than average counting book, and will leave you with a love of cats.  Though mine was short lived, as I don’t like the shedding and climbing on furniture.  Not to offend feline fanatics, but I just don’t do cats.  But this read is purrrfect...

What Animals Really Like
By Robinson, Fiona




We think we know all about the animal kingdom, but we don’t. And legendary conductor, Mr. Herbert Timberteeth knows exactly what animals like, or so he thinks.  When the animals are asked to participate in a musical they begin to rebel and get in touch with their quirky side.  Will the show still go on?
Parts didn’t seem to flow well for me, but the fold-out pages kept up the engage factor for Little Reader.  The older she gets the longer it takes us to get though books, stopping and talking about the details and goings-on.  We have cut the amount of books we read per night to two or three now.
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