11.24 It’s Monday! What are you reading? #AllTheAnswers #FieldTrip

Guess what today is!

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{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week

& the titles we are currently reading.}

This meme is originated by Jen and Kellee at TeachMentorTexts. Thanks!

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{Due out January 27, 2015.}
What if your pencil had all the answers? Would you ace every test? Would you know what your teachers were thinking? When Ava Anderson finds a scratched up pencil she doodles like she would with any other pencil. But when she writes a question in the margin of her math quiz, she hears a clear answer in a voice no one else seems to hear.
With the help of her friend Sophie, Ava figures out that the pencil will answer factual questions only – those with definite right or wrong answers – but won’t predict the future. Ava and Sophie discover all kinds of uses for the pencil, and Ava’s confidence grows with each answer. But it’s getting shorter with every sharpening, and when the pencil reveals a scary truth about Ava’s family, she realizes that sometimes the bravest people are the ones who live without all the answers…

I’ll try to add more thoughts about this book when it’s birthday approaches. I thought it was great.
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{ARC! This book will be born on August 4, 2015.}
It is the sequel to Gary and Jim Paulsen’s recent book..
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How many books have my students read? What are they reading?

This week it’s each student’s job to post his or her own BookSelfie to his or her class’s Padlet.

Period 1&2

9 Books

http://padlet.com/mretkinshms/12bookselfies

Period 5&6

11  Books

http://padlet.com/mretkinshms/56bookselfies

Period 9&10

8 books

Parents are invited to participate in our journey as well. 

For every parent who leaves a comment on TODAY’S POST with what you’re reading, I’ll give your child a BUSTED ticket…

Let’s have a look back to check for parent comments.

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ALMOST finished:
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courage
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Thanks,
David Etkin

11.21 {BookFlix Friday} Doll Bones

Today is

There are tons of great book trailers out in cyberland, and each Friday I will endeavor to bring a couple to you. Many will be new and recent books. Some trailers will preview a not-yet-released book. And others will look back a little further.

Lights…Camera…Action!


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A doll that may be haunted leads three friends on a thrilling adventure in this delightfully creepy novel from the New York Times bestselling cocreator of the Spiderwick Chronicles.

Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been friends forever. And for almost as long, they’ve been playing one continuous, ever-changing game of pirates and thieves, mermaids and warriors. Ruling over all is the Great Queen, a bone-china doll cursing those who displease her.

But they are in middle school now. Zach’s father pushes him to give up make-believe, and Zach quits the game. Their friendship might be over, until Poppy declares she’s been having dreams about the Queen—and the ghost of a girl who will not rest until the bone-china doll is buried in her empty grave.

Zach and Alice and Poppy set off on one last adventure to lay the Queen’s ghost to rest. But nothing goes according to plan, and as their adventure turns into an epic journey, creepy things begin to happen. Is the doll just a doll or something more sinister? And if there really is a ghost, will it let them go now that it has them in its clutches?

11.17 It’s Monday! What are you reading? Too much! (And not enough)

Guess what today is!

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{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week

& the titles we are currently reading.}

This meme is originated by Jen and Kellee at TeachMentorTexts. Thanks!

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Ummmm… A little bit of a lot of stuff.

How many books have my students read? What are they reading?

This week it’s each student’s job to post his or her own BookSelfie to his or her class’s Padlet. Due by tomorrow’s class!

Period 1&2

9 Books

http://padlet.com/mretkinshms/12bookselfies

Period 5&6

11  Books

http://padlet.com/mretkinshms/56bookselfies

Period 9&10

8 books

Parents are invited to participate in our journey as well. 

For every parent who leaves a comment on TODAY’S POST with what you’re reading, I’ll give your child a BUSTED ticket…

Let’s have a look back to check for parent comments.

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 All of a sudden I’m reading three books….
On the iPad at night:
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{Due out January 27, 2015. Fun so far! A magic, question-answering pencil. And fun little references to books we love like The One and Only Ivan.}
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courage
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Thanks,
David Etkin

11.14 {BookFlix Friday} Memorial Day edition #SunriseOverFallujah

Today is

There are tons of great book trailers out in cyberland, and each Friday I will endeavor to bring a couple to you. Many will be new and recent books. Some trailers will preview a not-yet-released book. And others will look back a little further.

Lights…Camera…Action!


From Walter Dean Myers comes a powerful and timely novel about the heroics and horror of war—a gripping companion to FALLEN ANGELS.

Robin “Birdy” Perry, a new army recruit from Harlem, isn’t quite sure why he joined the army, but he’s sure where he’s headed: Iraq. Birdy and the others in the Civilian Affairs Battalion are supposed to help secure and stabilize the country and successfully interact with the Iraqi people. Officially, the code name for their maneuvers is Operation Iraqi Freedom. But the young men and women in the CA unit have a simpler name for it:

WAR

11.10 It’s Monday! What are you reading? #TheSwap

Guess what today is!

 20120819-185816.jpg

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week

& the titles we are currently reading.}

This meme is originated by Jen and Kellee at TeachMentorTexts. Thanks!

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 10.32.21 AM

The Swap

This was hard to put down. I polished it off Saturday night and had fun talking about it with my 6th grader.

There are definitely some mature, adolescent issues broached in The Swap—some that might make the reader blush in a read-aloud—but nothing really inappropriate. In fact, it’s a great conversation-starter. Hockey and soccer players will enjoy this, too.

It was great to see this swap turn out the way it did, with both characters learning valuable lessons and getting the best of the other’s personality. They help each other through tough family and social situations.

I’m looking forward to finding out how my students are enjoying it—three young ladies have bought it on their own.

Overview from Barnes and Noble

This smart and funny twist on Freaky Friday is perfect for fans of Wendy Mass, Jerry Spinelli, and Jon Scieszka.
With one random wish, Jack and Ellie are living life in each other’s shoes. He’s her. And she’s him. ELLIE assumed popular guys didn’t worry about body image, being perfect, or talking to girls, but acting like you’re cool with everything is tougher than it looks.JACK thought girls had it easy—no fights with bullies, no demanding dads, no power plays—but facing mean girls at sleepovers and getting grilled about your period is way harder than taking a hit to the face at sports practice.
Now they’re dealing with each other’s middle school dramas—locker room teasing, cliques, video game battles, bra shopping, and a slew of hilariously awkward moments—until theyhopefully switch back! Told in both Jack’s and Ellie’s voices, The Swap offers a fresh and honest take on tween friendship, all while exploring more serious themes of family, loss, empathy, and what it really means to be yourself. And as Jon Scieszka says, it’s “seriously, truly, fearlessly funny!”

How many books have my students read? What are they reading?

Check back throughout the day to see students update the Padlet with their BookSelfies.

Period 1&2

12 Books

http://padlet.com/mretkinshms/12bookselfies

Period 5&6

11  Books

http://padlet.com/mretkinshms/56bookselfies

Period 9&10

11 books

Parents are invited to participate in our journey as well. 

For every parent who leaves a comment on TODAY’S POST with what you’re reading, I’ll give your child a BUSTED ticket…

Let’s have a look back to check for parent comments.

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5901796My daughter is reading this for her 7th grade ELA class. I’m tagging along on her journey. I know I saw the movie ages ago—but I can’t remember if I ever read the whole book.
courage
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Thanks,
David Etkin

11.7 {BookFlix Friday} Girl Stolen + Girl Who Was Supposed to Die + #Reading&Tweeting

Today is

There are tons of great book trailers out in cyberland, and each Friday I will endeavor to bring a couple to you. Many will be new and recent books. Some trailers will preview a not-yet-released book. And others will look back a little further.

Lights…Camera…Action!


Front Cover

Sixteen year-old Cheyenne Wilder is sleeping in the back of the car while her mom fills her prescription at the pharmacy. Before Cheyenne realizes what’s happening, their car is being stolen—with her inside!

Griffin hadn’t meant to kidnap Cheyenne—all he needed to do was steal a car for the others. But once Griffin’s dad finds out that Cheyenne’s father is the president of a powerful corporation, everything changes—now there’s a reason to keep her. What Griffin doesn’t know is that Cheyenne is not only sick with pneumonia, she is blind. How will Cheyenne survive this nightmare, and if she does, at what price?

THE STORY BEHIND THE BOOK:

•    •    •

And now…

Overview

“Take her out back and finish her off.”

She doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know where she is, or why. All she knows when she comes to in a ransacked cabin is that there are two men arguing over whether or not to kill her.

And that she must run.

In her riveting style, April Henry crafts a nail-biting thriller involving murder, identity theft, and biological warfare. Follow Cady and Ty (her accidental savior turned companion), as they race against the clock to stay alive, in The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die.


Let’s finish off with….

Reading&Tweeting

The Swap

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11.3 It’s Monday! What are you reading? #UnlikelyWarrior

Guess what today is!

 20120819-185816.jpg

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week

& the titles we are currently reading.}

This meme is originated by Jen and Kellee at TeachMentorTexts. Thanks!

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ARC

I only think about WWII from the point of view of America and Jews and the French, all who were fighting against—or victims of—the evil Nazis and their quest to take over Europe. They had to have enough Lebensraum, or Living Space, for their perfect Aryan race, right? I grew up hating the Nazis and their violent ways.

How interesting to read a memoir from the point of view of a German soldier. Yes, a reluctant one, but still—he was one of the bad guys. Rauch was a communications specialist thrown right into the middle of the Germans’ war against Russia. Through his retelling of his experiences, many told through letters he wrote home to his Mutti (Mother) and father, I was able to get a feel for the indifference of war. It doesn’t matter what side one was on, to some extent. Most soldiers were forced into battle and lived the nightmare of trench warfare; freezing temperatures; inadequate clothing, housing, and nourishment; death of comrades and friends. Soldiers fight because they are ordered to do so. Our side is the same.

Rauch approaches the war with a poet’s eye. Through turns of hard luck and surprising fortune, he was able to survive the war. In his author’s note at the end, he calls this an “anti war book featuring a nonhero.” That’s a precise description of what awaits you.

Rauch passed in 2006. This book, originally written in German, was translated by his wife, Phyllis. In his life in America and Mexico, Rauch was an artist. Here are a few pictures of him with his work, courtesy of http://www.losdosmexico.com:

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If you’re a WWII fan, keep your eyes open for this book coming out on February 24, 2015.

How many books have my students read? What are they reading?

Check out the reading totals and the handy SpinCam!

Click on each picture to see a 360º view of students and their books:

[this will be updated at the end of the day]

Period 1&2

10 Books

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Period 5&6

 21 Books

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Period 9&10

14 books
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Parents are invited to participate in our journey as well. 

For every parent who leaves a comment on TODAY’S POST with what you’re reading, I’ll give your child a BUSTED ticket…

Let’s have a look back to check for parent comments.

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 10.32.08 AM
The Swap
My 6th grader got this with her birthday money and raved about it. Needless to say, it’s on my list. Sounds hysterical!

Overview from Barnes and Noble

This smart and funny twist on Freaky Friday is perfect for fans of Wendy Mass, Jerry Spinelli, and Jon Scieszka.
With one random wish, Jack and Ellie are living life in each other’s shoes. He’s her. And she’s him. ELLIE assumed popular guys didn’t worry about body image, being perfect, or talking to girls, but acting like you’re cool with everything is tougher than it looks.JACK thought girls had it easy—no fights with bullies, no demanding dads, no power plays—but facing mean girls at sleepovers and getting grilled about your period is way harder than taking a hit to the face at sports practice.
Now they’re dealing with each other’s middle school dramas—locker room teasing, cliques, video game battles, bra shopping, and a slew of hilariously awkward moments—until theyhopefully switch back! Told in both Jack’s and Ellie’s voices, The Swap offers a fresh and honest take on tween friendship, all while exploring more serious themes of family, loss, empathy, and what it really means to be yourself. And as Jon Scieszka says, it’s “seriously, truly, fearlessly funny!”
courage
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488dc060ada08c4b25019110.L
 
Thanks,
David Etkin

9.13 {BookFlix Friday} Happy Halloween & #GraveyardBook

Today is

There are tons of great book trailers out in cyberland, and each Friday I will endeavor to bring a couple to you. Many will be new and recent books. Some trailers will preview a not-yet-released book. And others will look back a little further.

Lights…Camera…Action!


Did you carve your Jack-O-Lantern yet? I did…

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Just in time for

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it’s….

Description from IndieBound:

It takes a graveyard to raise a child.

Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead. There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy—an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family.

Do you like being read aloud to? Here is the author reading the whole book:

Click here for the rest of the book videos, chapter by chapter. Happy Halloween!

10.27 It’s Monday! What are you reading? #lots

Guess what today is!

 20120819-185816.jpg

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week

& the titles we are currently reading.}

This meme is originated by Jen and Kellee at TeachMentorTexts. Thanks!

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 10.32.21 AM

I took a weekend family trip to Barnes and Noble.

Man, I love the book store.

I DO prefer to visit my little indie store, but it is a thing of beauty to behold the mass of books at BN.

Here are some picture books I read:

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{Santat is one of my faves. I’ve been waiting to find this one.}

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{This is a wordless picture book–a sequel to the award-winning Journey. Here are the trailers for both.}

And now we go from a wordless picture book… to a pictureless picture book:

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{SO clever. Why didn’t I think of this?}

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{Have you seen this follow-up to Press here?}10155068_770179923041543_8649170892811022965_n

I even had them put my name on a couple of the displays so I could add them to my classroom.

Students really like both of the next series. Kids, do you know all these are out?

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I know someone just ordered book 1 & 2 in the book orders. Here is #3:

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How many books have my students read? What are they reading?

Check out the reading totals and the handy SpinCam!

Click on each picture to see a 360º view of students and their books:

[this will be updated at the end of the day]

Period 1&2

13 Books

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Period 5&6

15 Books

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Period 9&10

 28 Books (These include last week’s totals)
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Parents are invited to participate in our journey as well. 

For every parent who leaves a comment on TODAY’S POST with what you’re reading, I’ll give your child a BUSTED ticket…

Let’s have a look back to check for parent comments.

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[Will be born on Feb 24, 2015]
{Man—fighting in Russia during WWII sounds horrible.}
courage
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Thanks,
David Etkin