Monday, November 28, 2011

Before reading this story, I ask the students to tell me all the things they can think of to use a stick for.  They are glad to hear many of their responses mentioned in the book.

Stick Man lives in the family tree with his Stick Lady Love and their stick children three. But it's dangerous being a Stick Man. A dog wants to play with him, a swan builds her nest with him. He even ends up on a fire! Join Stick Man on his troublesome journey back to the family tree.  E DON

Monday, November 14, 2011

Andrew Clements, author of the well-known title Frindle, is one of my favorite authors.  I always look forward to reading his new books...of which he's written many.  His writing style is light and simple to understand.  Clements' characters are very likable and easy to relate to.  Like so many of his other books, Trouble Maker contains a great message that kids can take to heart. 

There’s a folder in Principal Kelling’s office that’s as thick as a phonebook and it’s growing daily. It’s filled with the incident reports of every time Clayton Hensley broke the rules. There’s the minor stuff like running in the hallways and not being where he was suppose to be when he was supposed to be there. But then there are also reports that show Clay’s own brand of troublemaking, like the most recent addition: the art teacher has said that the class should spend the period drawing anything they want and Clay decides to be extra “creative” and draw a spot-on portrait of Principal Kellings…as a donkey.
It’s a pretty funny joke, but really, Clay is coming to realize that the biggest joke of all may be on him. When his big brother, Mitchell, gets in some serious trouble, Clay decides to change his own mischief making ways…but he can’t seem to shake his reputation as a troublemaker.
From the master of the school story comes a book about the fine line between good-humored mischief and dangerous behavior and how everyday choices can close or open doors. (

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The students have been learning about the origin of Thanksgiving in their classrooms, so this week in the library, the students are completing a KWL activity.  In the first column, they're writing what they already know.  Boys and girls are then writing questions about what they'd like to know in the second column. 

Finally, after a review by watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving:  A Mayflower Voyage, they are filling out the last column to explain what they've learned. 

Learning about Thanksgiving is FUN!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

You've probably heard about the little pig that went wee wee wee all the way home.  I bet that's what one little pig said after he got lots of love and attention from the students and staff at Allen Elementary.  Mrs. Wilkinson, our principal promised the boys and girls that if they raised $50,000 for the Run for the Gold Fundraiser, that the entire staff would kiss a pig.  Did the students ever deliver, and that's exactly what the staff did!  Isn't he adorable? 

We were even on the news! 

This week in the library, we've been reading a book called Turkey Trouble about a turkey who disguises himself like the other animals on the farm to try to escape being Thanksgiving dinner for Farmer Jake and his family.  He even tried dressing up like a pig!  Did he succeed?  Read this awesome book to find out!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

We had the most delightful visitor at Allen yesterday.  Author Kate Klise spoke to the students and staff about not only her wonderful books, but the writing process.  She encouraged boys and girls to include three main elements when writing a story:  one character, one problem, a journey.  Everyone enjoyed her presentation!  I hear that some of the teachers didn't waste any time in putting Ms. Klise's sound advice into practice in teaching writing. 

Thank you for visiting Allen Elementary, Ms. Klise!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Don’t let this lonely spider frighten you! She just wants to be a family pet—and she thinks she would make a better pet than the typical dog or cat. But every time this clever spider tries to impress her chosen family, she scares them instead, until the day she unwittingly enchants them. Aaaarrgghh! Spider! spins a lively tale about one creature’s efforts to find her place.

After reading this great story and reviewing how to write a letter, I guided second graders into writing letters from a spider's perspective.  The "spiders" wrote reasons why they would make perfect pets for second graders using examples from the book.

Learning about spiders is spectacular!