Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Welcome Kindergarten and Welcome Back First Graders

Orientation Day

What a super fun day. It was kind of a mad scramble to finish everything before kiddo's and their parents walked in but I got it done. Wahoo! I loved seeing so many of my friends from last year and previous years. It never gets old and I am always shocked at just how much they have grown. I enjoy getting to meet the new kindergarten students and trying to put a face to the many names. Not to mention new kindergarten friends seem so tiny compared to the end of the year. Just another reminder of how much growth happens in one school year.
This quote is great! I laughed as I read it because I found myself crawling into bed at 7 P.M. last night.

The thing that always amazes me is just how quickly these same kiddos adapt to the school setting. I Have been pleasantly surprised at what awesome kids we have here at Kennedy, both grade levels.
The first few days we had early release days. Students did not attend specials, which allowed for classroom teachers to go over rules in the classroom, the school, playground and etc. I have been very impressed with just how well they are all doing. Thursday the students visited the library and it was so good to see them all.



Manners In The Library

In the library we talked about the library and the manners we are expected to use when we are in the library. We also share Clifford's Manners by Norman Bridwell with Kindergarten and The Library Lion By Michelle Knudson with my 1st grade friends.

 We then said good bye to summer and hello to school.

Fact Of The Week

Wow! Book Of The Week

My Friend Rabbit offers children a way to create their own text to the story. While the book does have some text, it allows children to detail the events with their own imagination on the pages that do not have text. Sharing our ideas of what the text might say on the page. We have just discussed this in Kindergarten as "picture reading".  The illustrations speak for themselves in this Caldecott Award winning book. 

Rabbit, Mouse’s best friend, is always getting into trouble no matter what he does. As the book states, he does mean well. A young reader hearing this story will laugh along at the pictures, which show the Rabbit’s silly solution for getting Mouse’s toy airplane out of a tree. He gathers all the local zoo animals to form a high tower so he can reach the airplane. The Rabbit works so hard to move all these large animals which is brilliantly portrayed through use of the bold outlined illustrations. 

 The illustrations are vivid and bright which help to engage a young reader. The bold outline helps the reader to focus on the important parts of the pictures while allowing them to add their own details in their mind. This is a great read aloud book as they are important in our primary classrooms and this one can be used in various ways to support students in writing, comprehension and visualization skills. This story can be used to teach young readers about problem solving and retelling, as well.

My Adult Book Review

 Summer House's narrator is a middle-aged family man as unreliable as he is ineffective. Dr. Marc Schlosser is a general practitioner invited, along with his wife and two daughters, to spend the season at the Mediterranean beach home of one of his patients, a famous actor. The celebrity is a substantial man of many appetites and little self-control. Who regards Marc's wife with gluttonous delight (she's a ''tasty morsel''), and their vacation is quickly entangled in a web of power plays all leading to an unforgivable act of violence.

There's little humanity in Koch's characters for them, being humane isn't even an objective. and the result is frightening and intimidating. Koch's mixture of flat, distanced social observation and aloof cynicism kept me turning the pages even though this is not a book I would typically read.  The Summer House With Swimming Pool is a gripping read, and is filled with unexpected twists and tension  throughout, but there's also an unshakable unpleasantness about this book. I was happy to finish it. If this is your type of read you will devour it but if you are squeamish you might refrain.

My Favorite Summer Read 


I can't believe that I didn't review this wonderfully funny book. I have recommended it to everyone and yet where is my review. I am going to rectify that right now! I hope you enjoy it.

follows Judd Foxman, a man in his thirties whose father passes away prior to the novels opening. His father’s last dying wish is that his family sits shiva, a religious ritual that last seven days. Foxman has a uniquely detached family that holds a lot of anger between siblings. The death of Judd’s father is compounded by the fact that his marriage of ten years crumbled to ruins in a matter of moments. Judd chronicles how he found out his college sweetheart cheating with his radio boss and misogynist, and the account is rather heartbreaking (Albeit, I laughed till I cried).

There were so many things in this book I could relate to. The difficulty that comes with talking to family about being hurt in a way that’s already next to impossible to explain. Judd is damaged and suffering and indignant. His wife of ten years cheated on him, and no matter who he looks at or what he does…all roads lead back to her. The raw emotion he feels as he explores their relationship from start to finish is really devastating, but in a good way. He continues to try to find where he went wrong, and that’s something I enjoyed because I think we can all relate that when life doesn’t go as planned, we go over events time and time again to try to distinguish why our plan failed or what we could have done differently.

There seemed to be a lack of genuine grief or at least growth toward a healthier attitude to the death. There was also a sense of resentment for even having to attend the shiva, but knowing the father and his religious beliefs the children felt it was an unusual request. In the end they find out they were in fact right, their mother wanted them to all come together.

I absolutely loved the writing style and the voice to this book. I found myself laughing outloud throughout it. I was reading it aloud to my husband as we both laughed. This book was really good because it stayed with me. I liked the raw emotion. I liked the sense of gut wrenching heartbreak that seemed still hopeful. I would definitely recommend this book, though it was a little graphic in areas. It was my favorite read of the summer. I had to share my brief review.

The best part of this book is that it is being made into a movie staring Jason Bateman and Tina Fey.
I have it marked on my calendar, I will be going to see this one, for sure!

  I want to share some of my favorite quotes:

“That’s love in real life: messy and corrupt and completely unreliable.”

“That’s the thing about life; everything feels so permanent, but you can disappear in an instant.”

***“Sometimes, contentment is a matter of will. You have to look at what you have right in front of you, at what it could be, and stop measuring it against what you’ve lost.”***  (my fav)

“I am still perfecting the art of hating her, and until I’ve got it down, I don’t feel ready to engage.”

“We all nod, the way you would at a self-indulgent museum tour guide, taking the path of least resistance to get to the snack bar.”

“His cologne fills the room like bad news.”

My Next Read...

The Vactioners by Emma Straub has been on my TBR pile all summer and I am so excited to get started. I will review it next week. 

Happy Reading,
Mrs. Shamhart