Fantastic Five For Friday - June 21st!

Today is June 21st - the first official day of summer as well as the summer solstice - the longest day of the year.  That's why I'm sitting outside typing my weekly Five For Friday.  It's amazing to think that in far northern places - like Alaska - it will be light for 24 hours.  I wonder what it's like to have so much daylight and to have sunlight at midnight.

1.  We continue to read a chapter every day in Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary.  This is truly a timeless story of a third grade girl who deals with getting sick during class, doing a book report, thinking that her teacher doesn't like her, etc.  After we read each chapter, we write a summary of each chapter in our blue books.  Additionally, I ask one to two questions so the kids can make connections to the story.  After we read the chapter about Ramona being sick in school, I asked the kids to write about an embarrassing time in school.  Needless to say, being sick in school is much more common than I realized.

If you want to learn more about Ramona and other books by Beverly Cleary, check out the author's web site at the link next to the picture of Ramona.
2.  We finished reading the newest Scaredy Squirrel book by Melanie Watt.  Now the kids are writing their own Scaredy Squirrel books using a similar formula as the author.  For example, Melanie Watt starts each book with a warning such as "Scaredy Squirrel suggests your use hand sanitizer before reading this book."  The kids are doing an exceptional job, and I'll be including pictures of their books later in the week.
3.  I read Borreguita and the Coyote by Verna Aardema to all third grade classes.  Later in the day, we watched the Reading Rainbow DVD of the story.  I'm hoping that this will become an annual end of the year tradition because I love saying "baaaaa" like the lamb in the story and talking like the coyote.
4.  I have been reading my dog blog quite a bit this week.  I'm always thinking that the students will get bored of hearing me read from it, but they seem to love it.  I actually think that I might start using my dog blog to teach social skills like sharing, using good manners, etc.  For some reason, having a dog tell you what you should do, is more effective than having a person tell you.  Here's a link to my dog blog: 
5.  The fifth graders had their graduation today.  It was amazing to see my former students looking so grown up and ready for middle school.  It seems like just yesterday, they were in third grade.  Time sure does fly.
Happy Summer Solstice!
p.s. When I was looking for a just-right picture for the summer solstice, I came across this book with the same name by Ellen Jackson.  On, the book has a five star rating - might be worth looking into for next year, especially if we're still in school until so late in June.

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