Monthly Archives: April 2013

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (38)

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  Mon Reading Button PB to YA

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys where you can recap what you’ve read this week while planning ahead on what to read next! Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts added their own twist by focusing on kidlit, from picture books up to YA.

Clicking the covers will take you to the Goodreads page, where you can add it to your “To Read” list!

Last week I read:

MG/YA Books

Some Girls Are  Catching Jordan (Hundred Oaks, #1)  Stealing Parker (Hundred Oaks, #2)  If I Lie

A couple of weeks ago, my students watched to movie Odd Girl Out (gotta love weird schedules while state testing is going on). The movie is based on a book, Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls, which deals with girls and bullying. The movie was very powerful, and my students had some intense discussions afterward. I’d had Some Girls Are on my TBR foreverrrr, so I figured this was the perfect time to read it. It paired perfectly with the topic of bullying from Odd Girl Out. I book talked it, and there’s now a waiting list for the title! (Also, if you haven’t read Courtney’s Cracked Up To Be, that’s a fabulous read as well.)

Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker was both light, lovey contemporaries. I love how there is some crossover of characters. Both books were quick reads; I finished both in about a day Things I Can’t Forget and Racing Savannah are the next Hundred Oaks stories, and I will definitely be reading the rest of the series.

I picked up a copy of If I Lie at NCTE in November where I also got to meet and talk with Corrine Jackson. I was really excited to get back home and read it. When I got back to school, I booktalked all of the books that I picked up, and I had students grabbing for If I Lie…it had a waiting list a mile long. This week was the first time that no students were waiting for it to return…so I took my chance to grab it and hide it so I could read it! I absolutely loved it. Sophie/Quinn’s relationship with George is touching; she is loyal to a fault; she is strong enough to handle shuns and bullying. I cried a couple of different times, and I was rooting for Sophie the whole time.

This week I abandoned:

The S-Word

The reasons I abandoned the book have nothing to do with the story itself. I will definitely be reading this when it is published. However, random capitalization/uncapitalization formatting of the galley made it impossible for me to read. It was just way to distracting to me. I’ve read mixed reviews about the book, and I do want to read it and see for myself.

This week I plan to read/continue:

The Rules for Disappearing  Send  Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity  Breaking Point (Article 5, #2)

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I can’t wait for this week of reading! What about you?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (37)

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  Mon Reading Button PB to YA

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys where you can recap what you’ve read this week while planning ahead on what to read next! Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts added their own twist by focusing on kidlit, from picture books up to YA.

Clicking the covers will take you to the Goodreads page, where you can add it to your “To Read” list!

Last week I read:

MG/YA Books

  The Runaway King (The Ascendance Trilogy, #2)  Hold Fast

The Runaway King was a fabulous sequel to The False Prince! I love the characters, the story, everything. I cannot wait for the third book.

Hold Fast was a book with great mystery and beautiful language. That was my first book by Blue Balliett, but I already have Chasing Vermeer on my summer reading list thanks to the suggestions of Andrea and Lesley.

This week I plan to read/continue:

  The S-Word  Catching Jordan (Hundred Oaks, #1)

I only have The S-Word for 10 more days on Netgalley. Unfortunately, my Nook it on the skitz, so I can only read through the Kindle app on my phone or on the Adobe thing on my home computer 😦

Catching Jordan is one that I’ve heard great things about (true of all the books so far in the “series”), and I want to catch up!

I also have to finish cleaning for slumber party this weekend, so that will cut into my evening reading time. Boooo!!

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I can’t wait for this week of reading! What about you?

Student Made Book Trailers

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Last night, I was chatting with some fellow Texas educators on the #txed Twitter chat, and I mentioned that my students were currently creating book trailers. There was some interest in how I had my students create them, so I figured the best way to disperse info was to do a blog post!

Prepping Students

I’m a firm believer that students need mentor examples when they’re working on any project. I keep examples of everything we do so that I have examples of what my students should do. Before we start the project, I show my students examples of storyboards former students have completed. As they’re looking at the storyboards, I play completed book trailers and show them how each planned “slide” became the trailer together. We also talk about what worked and what didn’t with each trailer — Was it too fast so we didn’t have time to read the words? Was the font written in a color and style that was easy to read? Was the picture good quality? Was there continuity of photos chosen to depict what a character “looks” like? This helps the students have an idea of what I expect and what the project is all about.

Prepping Computers

Before we start anything, I have everyone on a laptop and we create their [Name’s] Book Trailer Pics folder (where they save their pictures) and their Book Trailer Sites document (where they save website citations of pictures they use). Students complete their storyboards at different intervals throughout the days and class periods. Creating these necessary pieces saves time so that students can jump right in when they complete their storyboard.

Creating Storyboard

I found out the hard way that telling students they’re going to make a trailer and releasing them to the interwebz was a recipe for disaster. That’s why rule #1 with my students while working on their trailer is:

You don’t touch a computer until your storyboard is complete!

There’s a two-fold reason for this:

  1. When I have students create their trailer I’m assessing their comprehension and knowledge of the book that they read. I don’t want them to google a summary and use someone else’s thoughts. I want to hold students accountable for their reading.
  2. Having a storyboard gives them a plan. We’ve all been guilty of falling into a rabbit hole while on the internet. We search and click and click and click and search and click…and before we know it, it’s time for bed. When that happens for a student working on a project, they’re set up for failure.

My storyboard is super simple. My students and I create it together (I’m a firm believer in modeling!), but for lower level teachers or to save time, you could always create a master copy and provide copies for students.

(1) Fold paper “hot dog” then in half twice so that you have 8 boxes. (2) Trace creases and number boxes on front and back. (3) Measure 2 fingers and draw a different colored line on front and back. (4) Top section is for picture description. Bottom section is for summary text. (5) Final storyboard!

Completing Storyboard

In the “text” portion of the storyboard, students write exactly what we will read on the screen when we view their final project. I tell them that I want a summary of the book that includes the main events. Their last slide (#16) must be a question that prompts the viewer to wonder about the ending of the story. They can have other questions throughout the storyboard, but the last slide must be a question.

In the “pic” portion of the storyboard, students write a quick description of the picture they want to find for that slide. Some students would rather sketch a picture, which is awesome as well!

I recommend to my students that they complete the whooooole text part first, then go back to decide what picture they want. This helps them get into a groove and stay focused on the continuity of their summary. Some students don’t listen at first (I’m just the teacher, what do I know, right?), so if they get stuck while working I’ll give a gentle nudge that they try it my way…and it almost always works better for them.

Here are some examples of completed storyboards:

My class periods are about 45 minutes, and I planned in 3 class periods for storyboard work. After that, in my plan/timetable they should be on the computer. I tell them that if they’re not on the computer by this point, they run the risk of not having time to complete their trailer or put the fancy bells and whistles on. Their lack of work now can effect their work/grade later. Some will say, “Can I just get on the computer? I know what I want to do!” and the answer remains the same…you don’t touch a computer until your storyboard is complete!

Ready For Computer

Once a student is finished with their storyboard, I give it a quick check and clear them for the computer. I have a class set of copies of the Movie Maker Directions which I keep in sheet protectors. The student gets their laptop from the cart, gets a copy of the directions, and off they go! If they ever ask me a question, I respond with, “What do the directions say?” because everyyyy click they need to make is accounted for in the directions!

I uploaded the directions to SlideShare, so feel free to download and use for your projects if you also use Movie Maker!

Once students start on the computer, there’s very little that they need my help with. They have a partner read over their text and make sure there aren’t any typos, and I’ll read over it as well if they want me to.
I have had students in the past who wanted to take their own photos or draw pictures for their project. This is always awesome! I just tell them to take/draw&scan the pictures  and bring them in on a jump drive so they can use them!

TaDa!

So that’s pretty much that! As their last step, students add music in the background of the trailer, but I don’t have the instructions with me, so I will make that a separate post!
If you use this post and have any feedback, I would love to hear it! What do you do differently in your classes?

Waiting on Wednesday (30) – The Uprising

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Waiting on Wednesday in a weekly meme, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that lets us gush over books we just can’t WAIT to get our hands on!

I can’t wait for…

The Uprising by Lisa M. Stasse

The Uprising (The Forsaken, #2)

In this dystopian sequel to The Forsaken, Alenna has survived the brutality of life on the wheel—and now she’s going back for more.

Alenna escaped. It was expected that she would die on the wheel, the island where would-be criminals are sent as directed by the UNA—the totalitarian supercountry that was once the United States, Mexico, and Canada. But Alenna and her boyfriend, Liam, made it to safety. Except safety, they will soon learn, is relative.

In order to bring down the UNA, they must first gain control of the wheel. If the mission succeeds, the wheel will become a base of revolution. But between betrayals, a new Monk leading a more organized army of Drones, and the discovery of a previously unknown contingent, Alenna, Liam, and their allies might be in over their heads. One thing Alenna knows for sure: There will be a reckoning. And not everyone she loves will make it out alive. (Goodreads summary)

While I had issues with The Forsaken (insta-love!!), I really enjoyed the story overall. I’m looking forward to reading The Uprising, and I’m hoping that we’ll get more background into the relationship between Alenna and Liam. Plus, are you kidding?! These covers are gor.geous!!

Releases: August 6, 2013

Top 10 Tuesday (27) — Rewind: Favorite Book Quotes

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This is a weekly meme hosted by the good folks at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is…

Top Ten Rewind

For this rewind, I decided to revisit one of my earliest TTTs and share some of my favorite book quotes.

Top Ten Favorite Quotes From Books

1. “Real or not real?” – Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

  • I mean, really. How could this not be one of the best lines of a book? Peeta uses this as a test of his memory as he is trying to remember what is true about Katniss and their relationship versus what has been altered by President Snow.

2. “Think about all the tomorrows of your life.” – Monster by Walter Dean Myers

  • This is good advice for anyone, but especially for our narrator who is faced with spending his life in jail for his participation in a crime.

3. “It is strange how we hold on to the pieces of our past while we wait for our futures.” – Matched by Ally Condie

  • Even on a young woman’s wedding day, one of the items she carries is “something old,” something to connect her to the past she leaves behind as she takes a giant step forward.

4. “I spent my life folded between the pages of a book.” – Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

  • The main character in this book lacks human interactions (she physically harms people when they touch her skin), and she gains access to people and relationships through books. It reminds me of myself (as well as other readers) because so many of us live so many lives between the pages of a book.

5. “All I have to do is get rid of Lindsay, convince Robbie I am the woman of his dreams, stop Mum splitting up the home, grow bigger breasts and have plastic surgery on my nose, and I have cracked it…” – Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

  • I love this quote from Georgia because it’s just so…Georgia. Written as a young girl’s diary, this book literally made me laugh out loud so many times.

6. “I didn’t destroy a Death Star or anything like that, but I did just get through the fifth grade. And that’s not easy, even if you’re not me.” – Wonder by R.J. Palacio

  • Everyone that has read Wonder, loves it. Auggie doesn’t destroy a Death Star (he loves Star Wars), but he does inspire every life he touches, both fictional and real.

7. ” Queen Bitterblue never meant to tell so many people so many lies.” – Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

  • This is the first line of Bitterblue, the 3rd book in Cashore’s Graceling Realm series, which is one of my favorite series of all time. It’s so full of intrigue and mystery. One can’t help but wonder what lies has she told and why?!

8. “Have you ever noticed you can’t get away from yourself? There is no way to get away from oneself. You’re always there with you.” – Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach

  • Have you ever wanted to get away from yourself? Yeah, it’s kinda impossible.

9. “Here’s some advice. Stay alive.” – The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

  • Oh, Haymitch. He’s so sweet and coddling to Katniss and Peeta as they get ready for the games. (Not.)

10. “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” – Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss

  • I read this book with my 9th graders every year, and this movie is one of my daughter’s favorites. It has such a great message of acceptance, and I think all people should remember this line!

What are some of your favorite lines that have stuck with you?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (36)

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  Mon Reading Button PB to YA

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys where you can recap what you’ve read this week while planning ahead on what to read next! Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts added their own twist by focusing on kidlit, from picture books up to YA.

Clicking the covers will take you to the Goodreads page, where you can add it to your “To Read” list!

Last week I read:

Graphic Novels

Anya's Ghost

Wonderful graphic novel. I can understand everyone’s praise! Can I just say it took an EMBARRASSINGLY long amount of time before I realized that the white in Anya’s hair on the cover is a ghost? *blushes* I don’t know how I didn’t see it before, because it’s ALL I can see now!

MG/YA Books

The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy, #1)

Such an amazing story! Another teacher and I are planning to start book clubs next year, and this will definitely be our first read. I have The Runaway King to start this week!

This week I plan to read/continue:

Hold Fast  The Runaway King (The Ascendance Trilogy, #2)  The S-Word

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I can’t wait for this week of reading! What about you?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (35)

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  Mon Reading Button PB to YA

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys where you can recap what you’ve read this week while planning ahead on what to read next! Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts added their own twist by focusing on kidlit, from picture books up to YA.

Clicking the covers will take you to the Goodreads page, where you can add it to your “To Read” list!

Last week I read:

MG/YA Books

Everybody Sees the Ants  Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)  The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns, #3)  Eve and Adam

 

This week I plan to read/continue:

Breaking Point (Article 5, #2)  Anya's Ghost  Hold Fast

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I can’t wait for this week of reading! What about you?