Our class has the amazing opportunity to be part of the KCLS "You Choose the Next Newbery" again this year. Last year we received a grant from PTA to purchase books. This year the KCLS Foundation is providing the books.  This was one of my favorite moments from last year. I was so jazzed that the kids from last year were excited to participate again.  

For you "newbies" :), here's the gist.  KCLS picks 8 books that they think might be considered for the 2012 Newbery Award.  Participating classes read as many books as possible, and then have a "battle" style debate to determine the winning book.  This year, our "battle" will happen in early January -- this gives us almost 4 more weeks of reading than last year!! We have 4 copies of each book in the classroom. KCLS should have more available if you want to try and check them out, and I've found a few are available digitally if you are an ipad, kindle type fan.  We are devoting a little time each day to just reading. The kids are thinking about theme, plot, characters and setting as they are reading. Here are this year's books:
The Wikkeling by Steven Arntson

The Mostly True Story of Jack by Kelly Regan Barnhill

Dead End in Norvelt  by Jack Gantos

Junonia by Kevin Henkes

The Trouble With May Amelia by Jennifer Holm

Flesh & Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and its Legacy by Albert Marrin

Okay For Now by Gary Schmidt

There is an 8th book that I opted out of: "A Monster Calls".  If your child is interested in reading this, please preview it first. I haven't read it, but it seems pretty dark.Today in the computer lab all the kids had the opportunity to join a site called Edmodo.   It's a site set up exclusively for schools that provides safe social networking. I heard a few kids say, "it's like facebook!", and I want to clarify that.  Edmodo is secure in that kids can only be within the "groups" that the teacher sets up. Each class has it's own group, and its a random assortment of letters and numbers. You can't get in to the class without the code, so it is secure in that sense.  

I set up groups for each of our Newbery books so we have a way to talk back and forth with each other about the books.  In a classroom setting, I don't often get to hear everyone's voice. Edmodo creates a great experience in that everyone gets to be part of the conversation. Edmodo isn't to be used like social networking; we aren't posting about soccer games or movies (or whatever else they talk about!).  It's only to be used for class, and in this instance, for the Newbery books.  

As a parent, you may join Edmodo and have access to your child's account. You won't be able to interact with the class, but you can observe what your child is doing.  If you would like your child's code, please let me know. 

We also had a blast today creating avatars for Edmodo. New York Zoo has a fun website called Build Your Wild Self.  Too much fun. If you have younger kids especially, they will get a kick out of that! There's a link to it in our "links" section.

Well that has got to be all for now, right? :)

Carrie Puntillo
11/08/2011 13:15

This was a highlight of Nicholas' year last year! I'm so glad you're doing it again!


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