Monday, November 29, 2010

Hunger Games is a Hit

Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy is a hit, both with students and faculty at SLMS. The trilogy consists of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay.
Among the faculty members who read the series is Mrs. Beideck. She had this to say:

"I liked the series as a whole. I loved The Hunger Games, thought Catching Fire was as good or better, but was not as fond of Mockingjay. (But I did enjoy it and it kept my interest for sure) It was sort of like with Harry Potter when he got all angry and dark and moody in the later books, I didn't like them as well as the beginning of that series. In Mockingjay, Katniss gets a lot like that and less the vibrant, strong girl she is in the first two. And rightly so as a lot happened to her and she gets beat up pretty badly in Mockingjay also. It has a great message and could spark some good discussions."

If you'd like to learn more, here's the author herself, Suzanne Collins, talking about Mockingjay.

SLMS Faculty Reads

The faculty at the middle school continues to send me titles of books that they've read and liked. Here are some of the latest:

Made in the USA by Billie Letts (Mrs. Hovland)
The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Mrs. Salamy)
In a Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth (Mrs. Salamy)
The Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert (Ms. Varano)
Murder on the Iditarod Trail by Sue Henry (Mrs. Salamy)
Daniel's Walk by Michael Spooner (Mrs. Salamy)
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (Mrs. Hovland)
Four Perfect Pebbles by Marion Blumenthaul Lazan (Mrs. Fransen)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Vermont Ghost Story

One of my recent reads was All the Lovely Bad Ones by Mary Downing Hahn. I was interested in this book because of its setting, a bed and breakfast near Middlebury, Vermont.

Corey and Travis think they're in for a quiet summer at the b. and b. owned by their grandmother. They soon hear stories about the place being haunted, and while they are skeptics, they think that perpetrating a haunted hoax on the inn's guests will be a fun way to spend their vacation in the country. The teens' plans for pulling off a great prank go South when they disturb the spirits of .... you'll have to check out the book to find out!

You can watch a video book trailer of All the Lovely Bad Ones here.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Recent Writing Lessons

The grade 7 students continue their independent reading at an impressive pace, but they've also been writing.
Recently, we've discussed how to paragraph text and how to craft effective narrative leads. As I mentioned earlier, our grade 7 writing instruction follows a workshop model based on Lucy Calkins' Units of Study for Teaching Writing.
You might ask your student to see her writer's notebook, which should contain some drafts in progress.