Sunday, November 3, 2013

Pride: Good or bad?

We are going to start reading Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes.  One of the main themes of this book deals with pride.  We know that usually themes are opinions that have textual evidence to support them.  Before we begin, I want your thoughts on pride.  What are some positive effects of pride?  What are some negative effects of pride?

Feel free to read other classmates' comments and respond to the.  Having a conversation with others about a topic is what makes blogs more fun to use.  You can also post more than once.  Remember though to post your first name at the end of your post.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

It's Monday...What are you reading?

   I finished Ten by Gretchen McNeil.  I don't want to say too much because don't want to give any of the plot away.  My first copy has already been snagged before I even got it on the shelf.  I have another copy order and several who already are wanting to read it.  I can't wait to talk to someone who has read the book.  I talked with Mrs. Matzke already.  She loved the book.  I loved it, but I didn't like the ending.  She loved it because she couldn't see the final twist coming.  That's probably why I didn't love the ending.  I don't like huge surprises. 
    I also started and finished Promised by Caragh O'Brien this weekend.  (Exciting weekend, huh?)  This book is the third in the Birthmarked trilogy.  If you haven't read Birthmarked, you are missing out.  (Aubrey...)  I'm also not going to say too much because I don't want anyone reading the first or second book to know how those books end.  Let's just say that I had too many questions left after I finished this book.  I'm also looking forward to talking to Cheyenne about this book and finding out her thoughts.
     Right now, I'm reading your sentences from the worksheet, "What Power is Often Made Of".  I'm amused how many of you think that you might become infamous someday from robbing a bank.  I'm hopeful that none of you become infamous for that!  I'm also learning about exciting incidents that have happened to many of you.  I'm not sure that losing your phone is exciting though.  I'd classify that as frightening!
     So...what are you reading?  Be sure to put your name at the end of your post and to make a connection to another student or parent's post.

Monday, January 21, 2013

It's Monday...What are you reading?


    I've been following several teacher blogs that share what they are reading every Monday.  They challenge other teachers to share what they are reading.  I've decided to challenge my students to share what they are reading every week on our blog. 
     Currently, I am reading Ten by Gretchen McNeil.  I just started this book last night and I am only on page 38.  I decided to read this book based on a recommendation from Mrs. Matzke.  While the book is written in third person, it is definitely written from the perspective of Meg.  Meg and her best friend, Minnie, are invited to a weekend party on an island.  When I say weekend party, I mean an entire weekend.  The story starts with them taking a a rather rough ferry ride to the island and being dropped off on an empty pier.  Foreshadowing is rather prevelant!  (Matzke already told me that people at this party start to turn in missing/dead.)  There already is a triangle of T.J. who likes Meg, but Minnie has a crush on him and Ben who is dating the girl who planned the party but is flirting heavily with Minnie.  I'm not quite sure about this book yet.  I have a feeling that I'll get pulled in rather quickly though and enjoy reading it. 
     I finished reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green this weekend.  Even though it was a rather slow moving book, I adored it!  I wanted to read this book based on recommendations from Amazon and the fact that it has won several awards.  Hazel has a terminal form of cancer and has been fighting for several years.  She finished high school by getting her GED and now takes college classes.  (This isn't too important to the story though.)  Her mother encourages her to reach out and be social.  To accomodate her mother's wishes, she attends a cancer support group.  She meets Augustus whose cancer is in remission.  She also befriends Issac who has eye cancer and has surgery to remove his only working eye in the story.  This is one of those books that you know will make you cry.  As I reading the sad part, I kept telling my eyes to not cry.  They didn't listen though.  I had tears rolling down my face.  It was a sad cry, but one of those "I love this so much" type of crys.  As far as recommending this book to others, I plan to recommend this book to Madie and Sheilah.  It seems like their type of book. 
    So, it is your turn.  What are you reading?  (Don't forget to put your first name at the end of your post.) 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Reading

So, it's the day after Christmas and I'm already bored.  I was going to tackle taking down the Christmas decorations, but I thought that I maybe should wait a little longer than a day.  I wouldn't want people thinking that I'm a Scrooge!  (Allusion...)

I finished reading Keeper of the Night on Christmas Eve.  It is by Kimberly Willis Holt who also wrote When Zachary Beaver Came to Town which I liked.  I have to admit that I select books based upon the cover and/or the author.  I do read the back, but I tend to also put a lot of value on the quotes about the book made by other authors.  When I'm shopping for books on Amazon, I put a lot of value on the reviews.  (Amazon update...I have only purchased books from Amazon twice over break!)

Keeper of the Night is set in Guam.  While the acknowledgements at the beginning make reference to the people of Guam, I would have liked to have more background knowledge about the setting before diving into the book.  The story is told from Isabel's perspective and it revolves around how she copes with her mother's suicide.  Not a lot of action, but enough to keep my interest and want to keep reading.  I really enjoyed the author interview at the end of the book.  Would I recommend this book to my class?  Probably not to most of them. 

I'm currently reading The Watch That Ends The Night.  It is a book told in verse about the Titanic.  Each poem rotates from over 20 different characters' point of view.  Confusing?  Pretty much, but you begin to know the characters rather quickly.  I love reading anything about the Titanic, so I'm semi-interested.  There are only a few characters that I'm interested in following including Molly Brown.  There are some "facts" that I have googled to find out their validity.   The author, Allan Wolf, had to do an incredible amount of research for this novel.  Would I recommend this book to my class?  If somone is a Titanic freak, they would enjoy it.  I think that most would find it cumbersome and give up. 

I'm also working on a poetry unit to start the new year.  I have not ever done a poetry unit with 7th grade, so it is something completely new.  My goal is to make the unit interactive and fun while still covering some of the classics.  I have to admit that I do not know a large number of the "classics", so I am learning too!

If you are a student of mine and reading this, post a comment to my blog.  Extra credit for the third nine weeks will be yours!!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Stargirl/Outsider Feedback

We're finished reading The Outsiders and Stargirl, our first novels of the year.  While each book is different, there were many similarities.  Each book deals with teenagers who learn who they can count on in life.  Their answers to the question, "Whom can you count on?" were different though.  There were also literary similarities also.  Both books were written from first person point-of-view.  Both books also were written without chapter titles.  Important?  I'm not sure, but something that I noticed.  I want to know what you thought about the book that you read and the activities that we did in class with the books.  What was your opinion about the book?  Based on what you know of the other book, would you have rather read the other book?  What was your favorite part in the book that you did read?  Were your classroom discussions about the book helpful to your understanding of the book?  Let me know your answers to some of these questions.  Add anything else that you'd like to share.  If possible, comment about a classmate's thoughts.  Remember to add your name at the end of the post, so that you receive credit for the post.  Thanks for your input!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Assignment #1

Get ready for your first official blogging assignment for the year!  (I'm sure that some of you are just so excited that you can't contain your enthusiasm!) 

Read through my summer readings posts.  Which book that I read over the summer would you most enjoy reading?  Write which book and explain why you would be interested in reading this book.  Remember to post your name so that you receive credit for the assignment.  If you are unable to post, you may turn in a hard copy of this assignment. 

Have fun!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Welcome Back to School!

Welcome Back to School!  I will have to admit that I am dreading getting up early for school.  I'm looking forward to being back at school for lots of reasons though.  I enjoy getting to know all the 7th graders and helping many of you discover that you actually like to read.  (Some of you already like to read and some of you will probably never allow yourself to enjoy reading!)  I'm just like many of you and I want to go back to school to see my friends/co-workers.  It's hard to get much work done in my room when I have Mrs. Matzke next door and I just want to hang out and catch up on what has been going on in her life. 

One of my goals for this year is to use this blog more often to encourage conversation about reading.  (We used the blog last year, but only for our Stargirl unit.)  To start us off, I would like for you to post one of your goals for this year.  What would you like to accomplish this year in reading or any other aspect of school?  Be sure to post your name in your blog post, so that you can receive credit for it.