In Joplin, I would like to see a school that can focus on the arts like music, drama, and visual arts. If kids want to learn the arts, and learn where they came from, why not make a school to learn that? Even if you are good at art, why not make you great at art?
It could have a stage for kids to perform. Great art takes inspiration, so why not have displays from famous artists. On the walls there can be poems from plays and lyrics from songs.
As a student in school, you have to learn. You may learn to draw, paint, and sculpt. You may learn to play an instrument or sing a song. You can act in a play or write one. Whatever you do, be great at it.
Congratulations to our own KYNDEL for being a finalist in the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce's 2013 essay contest. Most of our students were entered in this city-wide competition with their essays on the topic of "Something I Think Joplin Should Build or Rebuild". KYNDEL's essay focuses on the idea of establishing a school for the arts in our town:
KYNDEL will be honored at a reception hosted by city leaders, on Tuesday, April 16.
Here are some pictures from Wednesday's field experience to the City of Jefferson.
Click on photos to enlarge.
This book is another candidate for the 2014 Mark Twain Award, our state's award for children's novels.
Barn Boot Blues, though an interesting, alliterative title, has an ever-changing storyline. I wish the author would have developed her scenes more thoroughly and drawn me into it more. I read this short book quite quickly, but it left me with mixed feelings.
While I wanted to see how things turned out, I was repulsed by the manner in which author, Catherine Friend, worded one section of the text. I am always surprised when a book that is presumably supposed to be aimed at fourth graders makes sexual remarks. And this time, it is the teacher who initiates the thoughts. The book, to be fair, is not about this and doesn't need the quick, passing remarks concerning the assignment made in a middle school class in which teams are designing houses. When a boy and girl refuse to work together and end up designing separate houses, the teacher unnecessarily remarks about the shapes of their houses resembling respective body parts.
If a student reads (or is read) as few as four of the twelve Mark Twain Award nominees from the Missouri Association of School Librarians list, s/he may officially vote to help determine the 2014 recipient of the award.
We're on our way. Wednesday is our field trip to Jefferson City, our state capitol. Our early departure time (6:45) will help ensure that we arrive in time for tours of the capitol building and the governor's mansion. If weather cooperates, we will be able to do additional exploring on the grounds and in the back, along the Missouri River (from a reasonable distance) before returning to school around 6pm.
I have coached my class with proper behaviors on this trip. My desire is for our class to shine as the best school group to have ever visited these venues:
I really want to hear comments about my class from people working in the places we are visiting. This would make my day.
Here's an amazing story about a unique home run.
Take seven minutes to watch this video:
Now for some questions:
We began a new Science unit, last week, which involves the construction of "ecocolumns". The beginnings of the project include preparing a two-liter bottle and then adding gravel and soil. With the addition of mustard, alfalfa, and rye seed (and a little water), we hope to have a habitat worthy of the crickets and pillbugs that will call the terrariums home.
One of the most intriguing selections from the 2014 Mark Twain Award nominees is Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick. With his first, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Selznick broke new ground, and with this second offering he stretches his writing style even more. There are over 600 pages in this book, but with 460 full-page illustrations, this is actually one of the shorter books on the list. That said, the story does not move forward and makes no sense without the illustrations. Like Hugo, Wonderstruck's illustrations lure the reader into the novel and explain important events that are not included in the text. In fact, the illustrations tell the story of one of the two main characters while the text tells the story of the other.
The school has received many new or slightly used books as donations, and we are hosting a monthly book exchange for students. We are encouraging students to bring one book from home for this exchange. We ask that the book be in decent condition and on the student's reading level. In exchange (trade) the student will have the opportunity to select a different book from the current inventory.
Participants from our class will visit the book exchange on Tuesday, April 9,
and again on Tuesday, May 14, some time between 9:30 and 10am.
You might be surprised what successful people had to endure before achieving success.
Take four minutes to watch this video:
Now for some questions:
It may not look like there is much on the calendar, but April will be showered, as usual, with busyness.
Is this the beginning of the end?
Hidden is the first book I have read from the 2013/4 Mark Twain Award nominees.
It is a shorter book at 160 pages, craftily written from two points of view. Each of the two girls tells her part of the story by using her own unique form of poetry, one in free verse, and a second in a poetry form invented by the author, Helen Frost (along with a special note about the writing styles at the end that reveals even more information for the reader).
From Helen Frost's website, the following is a synopsis of the story:
The story is quite intriguing and captures the reader's attention immediately. Before I knew it, I had read the entire book - in one evening! I loved the poetry style, which truly helped move the story along and kept the two girls' narrations separate. My only issue with the overall story came at the end, when I wanted more information and closure.
I started reading this one before Spring Break, and the students were upset when I had to stop. I had to promise to continue reading it after the break.
If a student reads (or is read) as few as four of the Mark Twain Award nominees from the Missouri Association of School Librarians list, s/he may officially vote to help determine the 2014 recipient of the award. With this, my students are already one-fourth of the way to a vote and hopefully will want to read all 12 of the candidate novels.
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Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
Because of Mr. Terupt
by Rob Buyea
by E. B. White
by D. Ed. Hoggatt
by D. Ed. Hoggatt
Echo by Pam Nuñoz Ryan
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Holes by Louis Sachar
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Loser by Jerry Spinelli
Love That Dog
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Out of the Dust
by Karen Hesse
Out of the Wind
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Petey by Ben Mikaelsen
Ramona the Pest
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There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom by Louis Sachar
Touching Spirit Bear
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Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
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