Thursday, July 31, 2014

45. The Daily 5 - Gail Boushey and Joan Moser

2006 Steinhouse Publishers (I love everything this company publishes)
136 pgs.
Written for teachers/educators
NonFiction Educational
Goodreads Rating: 4.32
My Rating: 4/A great read to get me thinking about school again
My new principal/head of school gave this to me to read - he thought it was up my alley (it was....)

My comments:  I loved reading this book in its entirety...I've skimmed it and read about it previously.  It reinforces the way I think about teaching reading, especially in the intermediate grades, and gave me quite a few new ideas to try.  I'm feeling my own personal “Daily Five”  morphing into Reading Daily Three and Writing Daily Three because I will most probably have two separate periods for reading and writing.  This will still work really well for me.  I love trying out something new that entirely encompasses my beliefs and practices. 

Goodreads Summary:  Do you love teaching but feel exhausted from the energy you expend cajoling, disciplining, and directing students on a daily basis? If so, you'll want to meet “The Sisters”, Gail Boushey and Joan Moser. Based on literacy learning and motivation research, they created a structure called The Daily Five which has been practiced and refined in their own classrooms for ten years, and shared with thousands of teachers throughout the United States. The Daily Five is a series of literacy tasks (reading to self, reading with someone, writing, word work, and listening to reading) which students complete daily while the teacher meets with small groups or confers with individuals.
       This book not only explains the philosophy behind the structure, but shows you how to carefully and systematically train your students to participate in each of the five components.
       Explicit modeling practice, reflecting and refining take place during the launching phase, preparing the foundation for a year of meaningful content instruction tailored to meet the needs of each child.
       The Daily Five is more than a management system or a curriculum framework; it is a structure that will help students develop the habits that lead to a lifetime of independent literacy

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ten Things I Love About You - Daniel Kirk

Illustrated by the author
2013 Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin
HC $16,99
32 pages
Goodreads rating: 3.70
My rating: 4
Endpapers: blue & white illustrations of the path from Rabbit's house to Pig's house (and the surroundings)
Illustrations: Wide brown frames around pages - simple - made to look like crayon lines (or maybe they are!)
Title Page: Same wide brown frame, single page with Rabbit sitting on the floor, writing.
1st line/s:
     Hello Pig,
     Hello Rabbit,
     Look at this ---
     I am making a list!

My comments:  A sweet keeper-of-a-book.  A book, actually, to give a friend!

Goodreads: Fans of Mo Willems' Elephant and Piggie will enjoy Rabbit and Pig’s clever back-and-forth which shows the funny ways friends bounce ideas and feelings off each other.
      Rabbit just adores his friend Pig. So he is excited to make a list of all the things he loves about Pig. And who better to help him write the list than Pig himself? But Pig is busy, and keeps sending Rabbit away. But no matter what Pig does, Rabbit is inspired to add another thing to his list. When Pig says, “Rabbit, I'm starting to lose my patience!” Rabbit has #6—“I love Pig because he’s not afraid to show his feelings!” Fortunately, Pig’s dwindling patience is rewarded when Rabbit completes his list—and the two realizeexactly why they are such good pals.

The Glass Sentence - S. E. Grove

The Mapmaker's Trilogy #1
2014 Viking Juvenile
493 pgs. (I read 88)
July, 2014 - Boiling Springs, PA
YA (?) Dystopia
Goodreads Rating: 4.00
My Rating:  DNF - could not get into it

My comments:  I don't want to be a party pooper, and this has gotten marvelous reviews, but I've started this book to about page 45 the first time, then reread from the beginning the second time to page 88.  I just can't get into it at all.  It may get better, but I'm not willing to give it any more time.

Goodreads Summary:  She has only seen the world through maps. She had no idea they were so dangerous.
     Boston, 1891. Sophia Tims comes from a family of explorers and cartologers who, for generations, have been traveling and mapping the New World—a world changed by the Great Disruption of 1799, when all the continents were flung into different time periods.  Eight years ago, her parents left her with her uncle Shadrack, the foremost cartologer in Boston, and went on an urgent mission. They never returned. Life with her brilliant, absent-minded, adored uncle has taught Sophia to take care of herself.
     Then Shadrack is kidnapped. And Sophia, who has rarely been outside of Boston, is the only one who can search for him. Together with Theo, a refugee from the West, she travels over rough terrain and uncharted ocean, encounters pirates and traders, and relies on a combination of Shadrack’s maps, common sense, and her own slantwise powers of observation. But even as Sophia and Theo try to save Shadrack’s life, they are in danger of losing their own.
     The Glass Sentence plunges readers into a time and place they will not want to leave, and introduces them to a heroine and hero they will take to their hearts. It is a remarkable debut

MOVIE - Million Dollar Arm

PG (2:04)
Wide Release 5/16/2014
Viewed 7/30/2014 at Kolb cheap theater
RT Critic:  61  Audience:  75
Cag:  5/Loved it! !
Directed by Craig Gillespie
Walt Disney Pictures
Based on a True Story

Jon Hamm, Lake Bell, Alan Arkin, and 3 superb Indian actors

My comments: Okay, I loved this movie for many reasons.  Half of it takes place in India, which I love watching in any way, just to get a glimpse into the culture.  I sure wasn't disappointed. It was about baseball, one of the only sports I can stand watching a movie about.  It was definitely a feel-good movie with a happy ending; always enjoyed by me.  I was totally outside myself for the full two hours and four minutes. There were plenty of guffaws and a few tears in my eye near the end.  Yup, loved it.

Reviews  Based on a true story, Disney's "Million Dollar Arm" follows JB Bernstein, a once-successful sports agent who now finds himself edged out by bigger, slicker competitors. He and his partner Aash (Aasif Mandvi) will have to close their business down for good if JB doesn't come up with something fast. Late one night, while watching cricket being played in India on TV, JB comes up with an idea so radical it just might work. Why not go to there and find the next baseball pitching sensation? Setting off for Mumbai with nothing but a gifted but cantankerous scout (Alan Arkin) in tow, JB stages a televised, nationwide competition called "Million Dollar Arm" where 40,000 hopefuls compete before two 18-year-old finalists, Rinku and Dinesh (Suraj Sharma, Madhur Mittal), emerge as winners. JB brings them back to the United States to train with legendary pitching coach Tom House (Bill Paxton). The goal: get the boys signed to a major league team. Not only is the game itself difficult to master, but life in the U.S. with a committed bachelor makes things even more complicated-for all of them. While Rinku and Dinesh learn the finer points of baseball and American culture, they in turn teach JB the true meaning of teamwork and commitment. Ultimately, what began as a purely commercial venture becomes something more and leads JB to find the one thing he was never looking for at all-a family.

MOVIE - Begin Again

R (1:41)
Limited Release 6/7-27/14
Viewed Sunday, 7/13/14 in Harrisburg at the Midtown Theater
RT Critic: 82  Audience: 87
cag:  4.5 I loved some of it and I liked some of it and I was disenchanted with a bit of it....
Directed by John Carney (who also wrote it0
The Weinstein Company

Keira Knightly, Mark Ruffalo, Adam Levine (who does a great job!! heart, heart....

My comments:  This was a wonderful movie.  The acting was great, the music was super, and watching these three actors was a complete delight.  I love the idea of an album of music being recorded on the streets on New York, and wonder if there is actually some sort of video or cd release that goes along with this. So what disenchanted me?  Although the ending was probably what might have happened in "real life," it just left me completely unsettled....especially what happened with Mark Ruffalo's character.....

RT Summary:  The latest film from writer-director John Carney (ONCE), BEGIN AGAIN is a soul-stirring comedy about what happens when lost souls meet and make beautiful music together. Gretta (Keira Knightley) and her long-time boyfriend Dave (Adam Levine) are college sweethearts and songwriting partners who decamp for New York when he lands a deal with a major label. But the trappings of his new-found fame soon tempt Dave to stray, and a reeling, lovelorn Gretta is left on her own. Her world takes a turn forthe better when Dan (Mark Ruffalo), a disgraced record-label exec, stumbles upon her performing on an East Village stage and is immediately captivated by her raw talent. From this chance encounter emerges an enchanting portrait of a mutually transformative collaboration, set to the soundtrack of a summer in New York City.

Row by Row 2014 - Pennsylvania

I visited 14 shops in PA! Under Construction 
1 Spring, * Summer, * Fall, * Winter, 1 All-Seasons
Here are the shops, in alphabetical order:

Beary Patches Quilts 
Milford, PA  

I visited this shop on my way to Maine.  It's just before the NY border, in a pleasant small town that I've "flown" by on 84 without ever venturing within its borders.  Cute town, cute store, lovely owner. (Darn, as usual, I got my finger in the way!)

This is her row, a blossoming tulip.  SPRING!
She also had a license plate:

Half Moon Handwerks
New Cumberland, PA

You certainly can't tell from the outside the TREASURE TROVE I found on the inside.  No, this is not a "quilt shop," it's a combination of the creative spirit colliding in a very "chris" way....embroidery, beading, woolies, sculpey/fimo works for sale, a small collection of fabrics (lots and lots of whites to use as embroidery backgrounds).  It's only about a half hour from the Mt Holly Springs/Boiling Springs area, has classes of all sorts, and I loved the proprietress!  She shares the space with a friend whose original purpose for the store was a sort of gallery, but the handwerks (love the spelling) is gradually expanding, inching its way in, taking over......

This is her very cool row, embroidered in hand-dyed cottons.  Each seasonal patch has a button. She didn't like having her picture taken (I can so get that!) and I appreciate that she let me, anyways!

And yes, she also had a license plate!

Here's a link to her Facebook page and here's a link to her website.

44. The Narrows - Michael Connelly

#10 Harry Bosch
Audio read by Len Cariou
9 unabridged cds (10:00)
2004 Time Warner Audio Books
427 pgs.
Adult Murder Mystery
Finished 7/25/2014
Goodreads Rating:  4.01
My Rating:  3/ It was okay
Amelia Given Library,, Mt. Holly Springs
Setting: Contemporary LA & Las Vegas
1st sentence/s:  "I think maybe I know only one thing in this world. One thing for sure.  And that is that the truth does not set you free."

My comments:  I read this without reading The Poet first, but have read every other Harry Bosch, in order.  I could figure out what was going on with this "past case" very quickly, but will admit that it would have been nice to have read The Poet first, thus having all the background.  I love the character of Harry Bosch.  I've loved every one of the books so far, but this one was a little (tiny, tiny) bit disappointing --- and I'm not sure why.  Perhaps I've read the previous books and listened to this one, which made it different? It brings together THREE different books, including Terry McCaleb and bounces back and forth between points-of-view, not just Harry's?

Nice Harry Bosch quote:  "There is nothing like being wanted or being welcomed, being valued."

Goodreads Review:  FBI agent Rachel Walling finally gets the call she's dreaded for years, the one that tells her the Poet has surfaced. She has never forgotten the serial killer who wove lines of poetry in his hideous crimes--and apparently he has not forgotten her.
Former LAPD detective Harry Bosch gets a call, too--from the widow of an old friend. Her husband's death seems natural, but his ties to the hunt for the Poet make Bosch dig deep. Arriving at a derelict spot in the California desert where the feds are unearthing bodies, Bosch joins forces with Rachel. Now the two are at odds with the FBI...and squarely in the path of the Poet, who will lead them on a wicked ride out of the heat, through the narrows of evil, and into a darkness all his own..

43. Cinder - Marissa Meyer

#1 The Lunar Chronicles
Listened in the car on the way to the east coast, summer 2014
Audio read by Rebecca Soler
2012 Macmillan Audio
390 pgs.
YA Dystopia/SciFi
Finished June, 2014
Goodreads Rating: 4.11
My Rating: 4 - Liked it a lot
Setting: "New Beijing" sometime in the future

My comments:  This was an interesting YA dystopian/scifi novel, unlike most I've read before.  Nasty neighbors living on the moon, partial cyborgs/bionics (think million-dollar-man) who are the lowest "caste" of society, a deadly virus that hits unexpectedly and kills fast, and a 16-year-old girl that is the best mechanic in New Beijing.  This certainly does NOT sound like something I'd pick up and read.  I enjoyed it a lot, though, once I kept going.....

Goodreads Review:  Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. 
          Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future

Thursday, July 17, 2014

42. Gooney Bird Greene Collection - Lois Lowry

Gooney Bird Green Books 1 - 4
audio read by Lee Adams - superb!
6 unabridged cds (7:01) Listening Library, 2009
1 - Gooney Bird Greene  (2002) 96 pgs.
2 - Gooney Bird and the Room Mother (2005) 80 pgs.
3 - Gooney the Fabulous (2007) 96 pgs.
4 - Gooney Bird is So Absurd (2009) 112 pgs.
(382 pgs. total)
Finished 7/17/14
Early/Intermediate Readers, the characters are in the 2nd grade
Goodreads Rating: 4.01
My Rating: 4/ Loved it
Bosler Library
Setting:  Contemporary Anywhere, USA

My comments:  Though pretty much implausible, this book is nonetheless enchanting.  I've read the first book previously, loved it. This time I listened with my 2nd grade granddaughter, who LOVED it.  Lee Adams, who read it, is TERRIFIC. Mrs. Pidgeon is a dream teacher.  And all four books (which I highly recommend reading in order) are full of writing and poetry lessons.  The implausibility is Gooney Bird herself.  I've taught a lot of creative, clever, extremely intelligent kids and Gooney Bird is still not quite a a believable character for me.  But who cares?  She's great! (And so is Mr. Leroy, the principal.  Every principal in the world should take pointers from this guy....

Goodreads Review:  This four-story collection includes:

Gooney Bird Greene There’s never been anyone like Gooney Bird Greene at Watertower Elementary School. She is the star of story time and keeps her class on the edge of their seats with her “absolutely true” stories. But do her classmates have stories good enough to share?

Gooney Bird and the Room Mother Gooney Bird wants to have the lead role of Squanto in her class Thanksgiving pageant. But that role will go to whoever finds someone to be the room mother. Gooney Bird finds a room mother alright, but promises not to tell who it is until the day of the play. But will the mystery room mother really show up?

Gooney the Fabulous Gooney Bird has a fabulous idea after her teacher reads fables to the class. Her fabulous idea is that each student create their own fable and tell it to the class! Everyone but Nicholas is excited about their stories and costumes. Can Gooney Bird find out why Nicholas is unhappy and get him to join in the fun?

Gooney Bird Is So Absurd On the day that Gooney Bird wears her special brain-warming hat to school, Mrs. Pidgeon is teaching her class about poetry. But just when things are going well, the kids get some terrible news. And Gooney Bird will need all the inspiration her brain can muster to organize the most important poem the class has ever written. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

PICTURE BOOK - At the Same Moment, Around the World - by Clotilde Perrin

Illustrated by the author
2014 US - Chronicle Books
2011 France
Tall & thin, $17.99
32 pages with large foldout map
Goodreads rating: 4.01
My rating: 4
Endpapers: blue scratchboard swirls
Title Page: White scratchboard swirls
1st line:  It is six o'clock in the morning in Dakar, Senegal.  Keita wakes up early to help his father count the fish caught during the night.

7 am:  Paris France
8 am: Sofia, Bulgaria
9 am:  Baghdad, Iraq
10 am:  Dubai, United Arab Emirates
11 am:  Samarkand, Uzbekistan
noon:  Himilaya Mountains, Mt. Everest
1 pm:  Hanoi, Vietnam
2 pm:  Shanghai, China

3 pm:  Tokyo, Japan
4 pm:  between Ayers Rock and Sydney, Australia
5 pm:  Noumea, New Caledonia
6 pm:  Anadyr, Russia
7pm:  Apia, Somoa
8 pm:  Honolulu, Hawaii
9 pm:  Anchorage, AK
10 pm:  San Francisco, AZ
11 pm:  Phoenix, AZ
midnight:  Mexico City
1 am:  Lima, Peru
2 am:  Amazon rainforest, Manaus, Brazil
3am:  Nuuk, Greenland
4 am:  island of Fernando de Noronha, near Brazil
5 am:  mid-Atlantic, on a ship

Includes two pages of information about time zones and a large pullout map that shows all the countries mentioned and the kids that reside there.

My comments:  I poured over the information and the illustrations many times.  Ella took a long look twice.  We'd just been learning about Australia and she was tickled that it was mentioned, as well as Brazil, which she'd heard about because of the soccer championship.  Great picture book.

Goodreads:  Discover Benedict drinking hot chocolate in Paris, France; Mitko chasing the school bus in Sofia, Bulgaria; and Khanh having a little nap in Hanoi, Vietnam! Clotilde Perrin takes readers eastward from the Greenwich meridian, from day to night, with each page portraying one of (the original) 24 time zones. Strong back matter empowers readers to learn about the history of timekeeping and time zones, and to explore where each of the characters lives on the world map. A distinctive educational tool, this picture book's warm, unique illustrations also make it a joy to read aloud and admire.