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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Didn't do your homework?

I've been trying for years to figure out why kids don't do their homework, and I've heard various and sundry reasons.  Here are only a few.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Book Review - Capture the Flag

Last year some time (much further away than I'd like to admit), I received an email about a book called Capture the Flag, by Kate Messner, asking if I'd like a copy for review.  I said sure, as it sounded like a fun children's book, and I had a few kids in mind that I would ask to read it and give me their feedback.

Finally I am getting around to posting my review of it.

First off, I will admit that I have not read it myself in its entirety yet.  I have read a few chapters to my class while we waited for testing to begin one week, and the kids seemed interested by the beginning.

The story involves three kids who meet each other after an old, treasured, newly-restored American flag is stolen from the Smithsonian.  This flag was the inspiration for "The Star-Spangled Banner," and the three kids discover that they each have family members who belong to a secret society dedicated to protecting the flag.

I had a couple of my students read the book and write up a 1-page review, and here are a few of their comments:

"You had meaning in every word."

"When those kids were on the belt, I felt like it was me who was being brave to go and catch the person who stole the flag."

"It has comedy, and I am a huge fan of comedy."

"I think kids will like this book because it is a mystery and to me it is suspenseful."

But, as Levar Burton always used to say on Reading Rainbow, "Don't take OUR word for it... Read it yourself!"

Monday, February 11, 2013

But it hurts when I do this!

I had this conversation outside after school today, with a student who is not one of my 4th graders:

Kid: I just heard a loud snap, and I think it was my arm breaking!

Me: I see you moving your arm as you're telling me this, so your arm is not broken.

Kid: But it LOOKS like it's broken, because it hurts!

Me: OK, then you need to ask your mom to take you to the doctor when you get home.

Kid: Just now, it suddenly stopped hurting!

Me: That'll be $20, please. :)