Monthly Archives: March 2012

Locomotion Book Review

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I just finished reading Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson.  It’s about a boy named Lonnie Collins Motion and his life without his parents.

Lonnie Collins Motion used to live with his mother, father, and little sister, but that all changed when his parents died in a fire.  Now he’s living with his foster mom, Miss Edna, visiting his sister, Lili, and expressing himself through poems.

With the help of his teacher, Miss Marcus, Lonnie finds that living with Miss Edna isn’t that bad and that life will go on.

I really enjoyed this book because of the way it was written, entirely in poems.  Lonnie writes about everything, good or bad.  That really helps the reader understand Lonnie.

My favorite character in the book is Miss Marcus, because she’s always there for Lonnie.  She’s kind, helpful, and she understands Lonnie like almost no one else does.

Happy reading!

-Grace<3

Number the Stars Book Review

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I just finished reading Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry.  It’s about a little girl’s life during 1943.

Annemarie Johansen and her best friend, Ellen Rosen, think about what their lives would be like if the war came to an end.  They also have many other things to worry about, like food shortages, German troops, and how they’re going to protect the Danish Jews in their town.  Ellen, being Jewish, soon has to pretend to be one of the Johansens to keep from being “relocated.”  How will this impact Annemarie’s life?  Find out in Number the Stars.

I really enjoyed this book, but I would like it a little more if the author went into more detail.

My favorite character in the book is Lise, Annemarie’s older sister.  Sure, she may be dead, but she was very brave.

Happy reading!

-Grace<3

Skills and Topics – March 19 through March 23

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I know it’s unlike us, but we have a crazy-busy week planned. 😉  Here’s what we’ll be up to:

  • Language Arts:  Grace will continue her work in descriptive writing and reading skills review.  She will begin (and probably finish) reading Number the Stars, a historical fiction novel set in Denmark during World War II.  And, for fun, we’ll have a bit of grammar in there too.
  • Math:  Grace will be learning to find distances between two points on a coordinate plane and to graph equations.  She will also continue working with Xtra Math to improve fluency in those basic math skills.
  • Social Studies:  We will keep on reading The Smart Aleck’s Guide to American History as a fun review.  Grace will also be working on her current events journal.
  • Science:  I believe we’ll finish up with our reading of The Omnivore’s Dilemma this week.  Grace will also have a chapter assessment (laws of motion, simple machines, etc.).  This will be her first assessment since making her bold decision to tackle science independently.  She’s been doing a fabulous job of it, so I think this will all go smoothly. *fingers crossed*
  • Mythology:  Here’s a shocker – we’re still working on the puppet show! 😉  Grace has finished all of her backgrounds for the production.  This week, we hope to tackle props (only a few) and typing the final draft of the script.
  • Field Trips:  This is where the “crazy-busy” part comes in.  Two days this week will be spent visiting family in Raleigh and enjoying some of the educational activities available there.  (Yay!)  We will also be heading to Asheville for a day to meet up with a friend and take in the Hunger Games movie.  (Excited!)  Annnd, Grace has a class at the Nature Center to learn about the use of wildlife as symbols.

I think that should keep us nice and busy for the week.  😉

Next week, Grace will be taking a spring break of sorts and spending time with Grandma Judy in Alabama, so we’ll be doing something a little different with the blog.

Check back later today for The Week in Pictures.

Have a wonderful week!

-Emily

Question of the Week

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Favorite Reading Material Poll Results

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A while ago, Emily and I asked you guys what your favorite type of book was: fantasy, realistic fiction, mystery, etc. The results are in!!!

 

The most popular type of book was realistic fiction with 26.5% of the votes. The first runner up was fantasy with 20.6%.

 

Strangely, one of the least favorite types of book is science fiction. I would’ve thought science fiction was a little more popular. It got 5.9% of the votes, with poetry close behind with 2.9%. Oh well, that doesn’t mean I can’t still love it!

 

The results, in order, are realistic fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, nonfiction, autobiography/biography, mystery, science fiction, and poetry.

 

Happy reading!

Eragon Book Review ***some spoilers***

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Most people think you have to be at least thirty years old to write a decent book, but those people are far from right. The proof is in Eragon, a great book written by Christopher Paolini. The best part is that he wrote the book when he was 15, and got his book published when he was 17.

Eragon lives with his uncle Garrow and his cousin Roran on a small farm just outside of Carvahall. He is hunting in the Spine when he finds a peculiar stone just sitting on the ground. He takes it home, not expecting the consequences that were to come.

One night, while Eragon is sleeping, the stone starts to shake. Soon, the stone breaks, and Eragon realizes it isn’t a stone, but an egg. Even more strange, a dragon egg.

After a short while of raising the dragon, Eragon finds that she has chosen him as her rider, a legendary warrior capable of using magic. His life is simply destroyed as he is thrown into the world of spells, dragons, and the legendary elves. With only the help of an old storyteller, Eragon must protect his land from the dreaded Empire, but is he strong enough? With the help of Saphira, his dragon, he might just save his entire world.

I think this book was great, and almost everybody I know would love it too. The way the book is written is just captivating. The best part was all the languages. The author actually had a translation of every word said in the ancient language! I really enjoyed reading it, and it was the perfect length: long.

My favorite character was Saphira (suh-FEAR-ruh), mainly because she was so wise. She’s seen less in the world than Eragon, yet she knew so much more.

Happy reading!

-Grace<3

Science Class

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Science class was really fun today, but that’s probably because I got to ride on a hovercraft, make a balloon float in mid-air, and make my own hover…thing. 😉

 

First, we all asked the teacher what the big hockey puck looking thing was, and we did not expect to hear her say, “A hover craft.” We talked a little bit about air force and, to show what she was talking about, the teacher gave us a series of tests to do.

 

The first test was to blow a foam peanut into a bottle without touching it. We thought it would be easy, so we all just started blowing on peanuts. Well, that didn’t work out very well. The peanuts just flew out of the bottle and into our faces. The teacher said it was because of pressure. She said that when you blow on the foam peanut, your breath produces low air pressure. The high air pressure inside of the bottle pushes against the peanut, pushing it into our faces.

 

We did a lot of other similar tests, like filling up a bag with air and lifting the table with suction cups. It was finally time to ride the hovercraft. We went into the hall and rode around until the battery died. It was kind of boring, but fun nevertheless.

 

To explain how it worked, we all split into pairs and made our own hovercrafts. We were given a flat plastic disk with a hole in it and a balloon. We blew up our balloons and stuck them to the plastic disk. The air rushing out lifted the disk off the table, like a air hockey puck.

 

Before we left, the teacher gave us something to do while we waited ’till it was time to leave. She gave us some balloons and a bag, which she attached to each other for us. We were supposed to fill the bag with just enough weight to make the balloon float in mid-air. We filled the bag with a feather, some little plastic things, and a noodle. That was just enough to make balloon float, but not move. It was really cool.

 

Happy learning!

 

-Grace<3

 

Rebecca’s Experience

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Grace’s assignment was to write about a natural event and use sensory details…here’s what she came up with:

 

 

 

I finished writing a letter to my father, folded the piece of parchment, and set it on the desk.  I opened the drawer and pulled out a piece of wax, which I placed over the letter and pressed the stamp against.  A loud knock came from the door as I slipped the note into my satchel.  My mother opened the door and poked her head inside.

“It would be best if you went ahead and fed Mae.  She gets skittish if you leave without telling her,” she said with a smile.  Mother was referring to the fact that my horse, Mae, gets scared if I don’t give her a treat before I leave the farm.  I nodded and put my bonnet on top of my head, tying it in the back.

* * *

The bucket of oats felt heavy in my hand as I walked to the barn.  Mae, my chestnut mare, was standing impatiently in her stable.  I pulled a strawberry out of my apron pocket and held it under Mae’s mouth.  She ate it gratefully.

“Looks like a storm is coming,” I said, looking over my shoulder at the gray clouds overhead.  “It may help the potatoes grow.”  I sat on the stable door and rubbed Mae’s neck.  She stared at me with big brown eyes, as if to ask me not to leave.  “Oh, all right, I’ll stay,” I said, smiling.  I sat on top of her and laid my head on her neck.  I grew sleepy and let myself rest for a short while.

* * *

The howling wind ripped through my hair as I awoke with a start.  I jumped off Mae and slammed the barn door shut.  “Okay, maybe we shouldn’t have put a window in the stables,” I said.  I hid behind Mae as the storm progressed toward the farm.  The rain smelled sweet as it pounded on the roof.  The sound of a rain storm is nothing like the pitter-patter of a light spring drizzle.  The clouds looked black and the lightning was blinding.  I’d never seen anything like it.  It only lasted for a few minutes, but it felt like hours.  I rubbed Mae and ran to the house.  Mama was waiting for me at the door with open arms.

“Oh Becky, I’m so glad you’re all right!  Don’t ever do that again, do you hear me?”  Mother said.  I nodded and ran into the house.  What a wonderful experience!