Prince Fly Guy

December 21, 2015

Prince Fly Guy

by Tedd Arnold

Talking about Ideas from the six traits of writing?  Prince Fly Guy does a great job showing how Buzz decides on a topic after Fly Guy eliminates many, many other choices when writing his fairy tale homework.  It would be a fun read aloud to show how authors choose their topics and edit them to make the story more enticing.


Pete the Cat and the Bedtime Blues

December 21, 2015

Pete the Cat and the Bedtime Blues

by Kimberly and James Dean

The latest in the Pete the Cat series.

Book blurb: When Pete the Cat spends the day with his friends at the beach, he doesn’t want the day to end so he invites them all over for a sleepover. But when Pete is ready to sleep, he finds his friends have other ideas. He comes up with a plan to help his friends finally settle down and go to sleep.



December 21, 2015


by Katherine Applegate

Written by Newbery Award-winning author, Katherine Applegate (The One and Only Ivan), Crenshaw develops a heartwarming story of a young boy and his imaginary cat as he copes with hard times, including being homeless.

An author Q&A about Crenshaw

School Library Journal Review


December 21, 2015


by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

In a kid-friendly way, Amy Krouse Rosenthal shows how great friendship can be.  The illustrations by Tom Lichtenheld show a rectangle, a triangle, a square, and a circle (the friends) illustrating what author dictates.

If your class is having a hard time getting along, this book would be a great read aloud to get students thinking about what friends do.

There is one page that would be great for idioms: bent out of shape.  The illustration really hits it home!

ChatterPix Kids — App

December 15, 2015

The ChatterPix Kids app is a great way for students to practice their fluency.

Download the app onto your iPad.

Then, students can take a picture of themselves and draw a line where their mouth is.

The app then allows students to record themselves reading for up to 30 seconds.

Pushing the play button will allow students to hear their recording with their mouth in the picture moving.

If students push Next they can add a filter to their photo as well as a border or text.

Pushing the next button again gets students to a screen that will either allow them to delete the recording or download it to the camera roll.

If you wanted to check the students’ fluency, you can go into that student’s ipad’s camera roll and listen to the recording!


Give it a try!  Let me know if you have any other uses for this app!

I Fall Down

December 11, 2015

I Fall Down

by Vicki Cobb, illustrated by Julia Gorton

Book blurb from the catalog: Simple experiments introduce the basic concept of gravity and its relationship to weight.

Tie in science with your informational text units in reading when you are covering gravity and weight in science class!  This books gives a very basic description of gravity with many hands-on experiments that your students can try along with you as you read I Fall Down!

Flight School

December 11, 2015

Flight School

by Lita Judge

Penguin has the soul of an eagle and wants to fly.  But, as we know, penguins cannot fly.  Penguin shows up to Flight School anyway and listens to the lessons of Teacher.  All of the other birds learn how to fly, but Penguin does not.  Teacher figures out a way to make Penguin fly and he tethers Penguin to himself and allows Penguin to feel like the wind.  Penguin is ecstatic; he got to fly!  The funny ending has Penguin bringing his friend Ostrich to Flight School and says “My friend Ostrich has the soul of a swallow” to which Teacher responds “Gulp”. 🙂

Building classroom community?  Setting goals?  This is the book for you!  Help teach your students that even though others are different, or say that you can’t do something, teamwork can produce amazing results!  A quick read, Flight School is bound to delight your students and inspire them to work together to achieve great things!

Flight School is also great for Beginning, Middle, and End.

Or if you are looking for a book that makes the reader infer what is happening through the illustrations, this is the book for your lesson!

This book could also be a jump off point researching about different birds.  The reader can infer that penguins and ostriches do not fly, while other birds at flight school could.  Students could research birds on PebbleGO and tell whether or not their type of bird can or cannot fly.

A lesson idea found from!delivery/cl1h


1. Read “Flight School” to the class.

2. Discuss. What did the penguin demonstrate in this story (perseverance, effort, hard work, never giving up, etc.)?

3. Discuss. What are some things that you have done in the past that you never gave up on (i.e., maybe tying your shoes, riding a bike, writing my name, etc.)?

4. Relate this discussion and theme to academics and everyday life. What are some ways that we can we persevere in school?

5. Pass out the “Easy vs. Difficult” Worksheet. Have the students list things that are easy for them to do and difficult for them to do.

6. Discuss that everyone has strengths and weaknesses; if the child continues to work hard and persevere on their “Difficult” list, then they can eventually achieve it!

7. Use the list as an exit pass and a plan to achieve some of the tasks in the “Difficult” section.

8. At the end of the year/in a few weeks or months, follow up on any progress that the students have made in the “Difficult” section.