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Showing posts from March, 2011

Reading Strategy of the Week: Sticky Notes!

Sticky Note Conversation! I learned this from a coworker at a CRISS training day this year and it has been the best active reading strategy we have used at the 8th grade level. I like this because students do not have to go to a separate sheet of paper, and the information is tagged next to what they read. You can use this with any type of story and students will be held accountable while they read. It also is an instant discussion starter as everyone has something to share at the end of the reading. Have students bring sticky notes (I prefer the standard 3x3 because you can cut them up) and divide them into three sections. I like to cut them up because I usually end up giving out a ton of sticky notes if students forget. You can also have them cut up pieces of paper and put them in the book, but then they don't stick. Tell students they are going to have a "conversation" with the story. They can: ask questions make a connection to something in their li

Exciting News!!

Our project was just fully funded! My students will be receiving a classroom set of Unwind, Life as We Knew It, and The Dead and the Gone!!

List of 5

5 Authors I Think You Should Know More About: Neal Shusterman Susan Beth Pfeffer Suzanne Collins Scott Westerfeld Suzanne Weyn All of these authors have written YA Dystopian Fiction that students LOVE! A couple of highlights from each author. Neal Shusterman- Unwind -See my review from Monday about this one! Susan Beth Pfeffer- Life as We Knew It  Series. This trilogy will creep you out and have you stocking up for the end of the world. You will also question every major natural disaster and look at the moon a little differently after reading this one! Suzanne Collins-If you don't know Suzanne Collins you are probably living under a rock. The Hunger Games  trilogy is absolutely fantastic. The Hunger Games  just recently one the Rebecca Caudill Illinois statewide vote with 10,013 votes. This was a win by a margin of about 7,000 votes! Scott Westerfeld- Wrote the Uglies  series. Great description and great voice in his writing! Suzanne Weyn- Actually made the list eve

Free Book!

My mom recommended this book, Gone by Michael Grant and I was looking for an e-book version when I found this! For a limited time, you can read the entire book for free by clicking below! I won't say no to a free book, I'm just hoping this is the first in the series. I have absolutely no idea what this book will be about except that ALL adults disappear and the kids are left on their own. Happy reading!

Mrs. White's Hot Read: Mergers

Mergers  by Steven Layne.  I have to be honest, I'm about 20 pages in and it hasn't been calling me to pick it up. That's never a good sign. It's about a world where race has been eliminated, except for a group of teens who have been in hiding. In all honesty, I thought this would be an awesome read, much like the Uglies  series, but the jury is still out on this one...

Today's Review: Unwind

Perhaps one of the most haunting reads of my literate life, Unwind by Neal Shusterman is a novel that will stick to your ribs like oatmeal. Although I read this back in April of 2010, I still think about this book on an almost daily basis. A quick summary without giving too many details away.... Set in the future, Unwind  is a story of a United States that has suffered through the Heartland War, the second civil war in the United States. The two sides: pro-life v. pro-choice. The compromise of this war was that there would be no abortion, but parents would be legally able to "unwind" their child between the ages of 13-18 if they were not positive members of society. Essentially, they could retroactively "abort" their child. The story follows three children, Connor, Risa, and Levi, all set to be "unwound." When you unwind someone, their body parts (all body parts, skin, organs, teeth, eyes, everything) are given to people in need. The book makes ment

Books in our Curriculum: The Outsiders

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton Pros: Boys LOVE this book! This is good book for kids who come from an underprivileged background or are exposed to gangs or violence in their neighborhoods. They can relate to this book. This is a very realistic book for students. They can completely understand the cliques and division based on economic backgrounds. This book has great topics for debates in the classroom. The characterization in this book is fantastic. Cons: This book is  not very long and does not end in a way that students usually find satisfying. While it is a tear jearker for most kids, they want to know more. The second book That was then, this is now  features a completely different set of characters and hints at the first book.  Activities done for this book: Characterization sheet on the main characters in the book Interactive bulletin board Debate on major themes in the book Bookmarks for Chapters in the book that show: Summary, Important Passages, Connections,

Donors Choose Site

My Students:  Imagine a class of 60 students who are so ambitious they wrote novels this year! These same students are not able to have their own classroom copy of a book to use for a novel study. They cannot do character analysis or comprehension activities such as sticky notes because they have to share books. My students LOVE to read. They are incredibly ambitious and they want to discuss EVERYTHING. My students attend a school with a high poverty rate, and they are a very diverse population. They are welcoming and accepting of all students, and they look out for each other. When my students had an assembly on bullying, they really came together as a school in order to make a difference and stop bullying. They are actively involved in sports, music, theater, and academic extracurricular activities. Many students attend an after-school program designed to help them get their work done in a safe and supportive environment. My Project:  My students came up with the idea to do a novel s

The Golden Recommendation Shelf: Round 1

So I took the advice of Steven Layne this week and started a Golden Recommendation Shelf at school. At first I was skeptical about this working but I am so far pleased with the results. First things first, my hubby and I were on our way to Target and passed by the Borders that is going out of business and I saw a sign that said, "Store Fixtures for Sale" and I begged him to stop. I found the PERFECT shelf and it was only $12! He brought it to school that night because we were performing our musical but forgot the shelves in the car. This turned out to be a great thing because the next day my students were asking, "What is that?" "Why do you have that?" I said, "Well, it's going to be a shelf.." "What for?" they asked. I said, "Well, you'll have to wait and see..." The next day I put up the shelves but left it purposely empty except for a sign that read, "The Golden Recommendation Shelf". They continued to ask