Check out the new Ralph S. Mouse book reviews that the book club wrote!  They can be found on the book review page!
     On Friday, we read the book The Bee Tree.  It is a wonderful book perfect for the warm weather and March is Reading Month.  A grandfather uses a bee chase as a way to show his granddaughter how exciting, rich, and sweet reading a book can be.
     After reading the book, students made bees relaxing in flowers.  This week we will be practicing another essay writing as students have to have three convincing reasons why they should go on a bee chase.  I will post some of those later!
Students got the room ready!  They wiped down their tables and organized their caddies.  They have their portfolios on their tables waiting for when they walk in to door of the classroom and have to retrieve their scripts.  The first step after getting their script is to introduce me to their adult.  Students are always a little nervous to do this kind of conference, but they feel so proud of themselves when they are done!
Here it is. . . a portfolio bursting with student's hard work.  Students have so much to share with their parents.  They wrote a script (pictured below), practice reading it to themselves, then practiced with a friend pretending to be a parent.  I think it is so empowering for the kids to decide what goes into their portfolios, what they did well on, and what they need to work on.  I cannot wait to eavesdrop on the conversations they are going to have with their parents tomorrow.  It is much better if they do the talking. . . it is all about them, after all!
    We headed to the computer lab today to type out our final copies of our essays.  I thought it would be a practical way to publish, since students are going to be using computers to do many projects and papers in their future.  They did real well listening and typing.  And, I think I did well getting to everyone who needed help!  Oh my!  Having 31 students in a computer lab when some aren't used to using exclamation points, commas, apostrophes and question marks on a keyboard was challenging, but it went well.
    Students are going to share their essays at parent teacher conferences.  This is the first essay they have ever written and they are in third grade, so we have to keep that in mind when looking at them.  I know sometimes I have to remind myself of that! 
    We are going to be writing another essay soon on a topic of their choice.  This was our first attempt at one!
    Good readers think about what they are reading.  As we read Charlotte's Web in class, I hope that students are also thinking.  Hopefully they are getting into the habit of making connections, making predictions, asking questions, and wondering as they read or as they are being read to.
    Some things to ponder about so far in Charlotte's Web- (talk about these around the dinner table tonight, write your answers in the comment section, have an older brother ask a younger sister who also goes RRO, reread the chapter "Summer Days" in the book at home, discuss these in the car on the way to somewhere)
  • Wilbur felt lonely.  Have you ever felt lonely?  Tell about it.
  • Wilbur doesn't like that Charlotte eats bugs.  Has a friend ever done something you didn't like?  Describe it.
  • If you were the goose, would you have let Templeton take your egg that didn't hatch?  Why or why not?
  • Wilbur's plans were wrecked because of the rain.  Think about a time your plans were wrecked.
  • What do you think will happen to the egg that Templeton rolled away?

    For March is Reading Month, the whole school is reading Charlotte's Web.  Mr. Henderson has read the first two chapters to us in the morning.  No matter how many times I have read Charlotte's Web, I still get so excited as soon as the first sentence is read.  I LOVE this book.  It is such a rich book full of great word choice, life lessons, and deep characters. 
    Mr. Henderson read us the chapter titled "Escape" this morning.  Wilbur was able to escape from his pen, thanks to the fast talking goose.  Students were asked to practice writing with voice as they took on the role of Wilbur writing a letter to Fern about their attempt at escaping. 
    The students are also working on their essays, so these letters were a quick, fun practice that was not revised or edited. I thought you might like to enjoy them anyway.  Enjoy!  We have some great writer's out there.
Wilbur (Erica)
Wilbur (Joe)
Wilbur (Ty)
Wilbur (Karina)
Wilbur (Carly)
Wilbur (Maddy)
Wilbur (Sheldin)
Wilbur (Gary)
Wilbur (Taylor)
Wilbur (Alexis)
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    After reading about a very clever Leprechaun, students wrote about when they feel lucky.  Some chose to show off their cursive, while others stuck to the familiar printing.  Then we made Leprechauns to go with the writing.  These turned out so cute and the kids did a very good job at listening and following directions.
Can you find this book review?  From what book is it?  To whom does this book quilt belong?  Search the book reviews page to find out!  Answer in the comments if you figured it out!