Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Greek Mythology Resources for Upper Elementary

Meet Argus, the mythological creature with all the eyes.  My students were asking for an Elf on the Shelf in December, but I didn't want to be cliché. (I bet they remember me years from now and it won't be because I helped them passed standardized tests.)

I have been reading several book series that introduce Greek Mythology to 9-12 year olds.  Here are four and my ratings.

The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan


I love this series by Rick Riordan.  I often read the first book and students read the rest.

  Myth-o-mania by Kate McMullan
I read the original set with my stepdaughter when she was in elementary school.  I was excited to see that they were rereleased.  

Heroes in Training
I thought this retelling of the original myth was good for my classroom library.  Several of my students have read and enjoyed this series.

Goddess Girls (also by Joan Holub)

I was less impressed with the girl versions of the myths.  They are set in a modern school setting with crushes and make up and the like.  In my opinion, girls deserve better.

To find out more about my rating system for books, click here.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Another Innovation Designed to Save the World

Once upon a time in the great land of administration, someone decided that milk cartons were a waste of space.  The solution? School lunches must now serve milk in plastic bags.  These plastic bags would take less landfill space.  We could save the world.

The plastic bags had a circular spot where the consumer would push a straw through to drink the milk.  Milk tended to leak from the hole and the straw.  The design was perfect for a lunchtime entertainment of projectile milk.
Without checking with anyone who actually works with children, these plastic bags were brought into elementary classrooms during lunchtime.  Teachers had to give up valuable class time to train their children to use these new devices.   The predictable results occurred.

I am not making this up.  This really happened in our district about ten to twelve years ago.  The decision was made with great fanfare about this wonderful innovation.  In a few years they went back to the traditional milk cartons.

The moral of this story: if you are concerned about the latest policy coming down from on high, this too shall pass.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Quote of the Week -- January 25, 2015

A good book on your shelf is a friend that turns its back on you and remains a friend. ~Author Unknown

Have a good week,

Friday, January 23, 2015

Vocabulary Recording Sheet

Today's freebie is a simple one page document where students can record the vocabulary words they encounter in their reading.  You can use this for their independent reading or as a part of a non-fiction unit of study.

I run several copies back to back and staple with a cover to make a student created glossary.  To download Vocabulary Recording Sheet from my Google Drive, click here.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

Flora is a cynic and Ulysses is a squirrel with superpowers.  That's pretty much all you need to know about this humorous book.  When Flora discovers her new pet is not an average squirrel, she fights to keep him despite her mother's schemes to get rid of him.  I loved this book from beginning to end and read it in a day.

For an explanation of my rating scale, click here.
Find me at Goodreads.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Groundhog Predictions 2015

In previous years, I did this activity with my class and posted our results online.  This year, because of technology changes in our district, I am going to do this as a pencil paper task.  I have already contacted personally the teachers who joined me online to tell them of the changes. 

This free six-week unit includes the format for science experiments: Question, Prediction, Materials, Procedure, Data, and Conclusion.  It includes worksheets for each section. 

Groundhog Predictions is available at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Groundhog Predictions is also available at my Teacher's Notebook store.

I hope you enjoy this activity with your class.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Quote of the Week -- January 18, 2015

I must say I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go into the library and read a good book. ~Groucho Marx

Have a good week,

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