Spring Cleaning

Hello! I wanted to let you know that I am moving Booktalking #kidlit from a self-hosted WordPress back to my original hosted WordPress.com blog. (Same name, same posts, different location.) Hosting a blog on my website had been a goal of mine for many years, so that is why I moved over in 2012, but like anything else there are plusses and minuses.

You do your own tech support.

You download, store, and back up everything yourself. (When you run out of space, you have to delete something else…again!)

On the other hand, when I move back to my original hosted WordPress.com blog, someone else does all of that techy stuff!

And there’s more!

With this move I can get a new “responsive” theme that will automatically adapt to the size of the screen it is being viewed on–cellphone, tablet, computer. (Yes, I could download that myself, but that brings me back to MINUS #1 and #2 above.)

WordPress’s blog post emails ALWAYS show the book covers. That is not the case with the Google Feedburner email delivery I have been using for the self-hosted blog (and for some of you on the hosted WordPress.com blog). In fact, it is just the opposite. The default setting for Google’s Feedburner email delivery is to REMOVE all images in the post.

(If your email message says Google at the bottom, please click here to sign up for WordPress email delivery. After this message comes through I am deleting the Google Feedburner email settings for both blogs. The last time I “remodeled” a blog, the Google Feedburner service sent out 3 months of posts in one day!)

The plan is to move the old posts over during spring break and to start booktalking again on St. Patrick’s Day. I’m not sure if I can “export” them all in one fell swoop, or if I have to copy them in one by one. We shall see what works! I just wanted to send out a message ahead of time in case the blog sent any old posts by mistake.

Enjoy your spring break! I’ll be back on Monday, March 17th…

Teaching STEM: Wired

Where does electricity come from? Help K-5 students answer this essential question (and meet the Common Core State Standards) with the Teaching STEM lesson plans for this mentor text: Wired by Anastasia Suen (ATOS 5.1 / 820L)


Unit Summary: Students will examine the essential question, “Where does electricity come from?” As you read the book, the students will identify and write the main idea for each spread. They will look up generators and read about them. Using the library resources and online materials, they will create a diagram of a generator and label it. Finally, students will design a flow chart leading from the generator diagram of where electricity goes when it leaves the generator and they’ll use their collected information to write about the entire process.

TeachingSTEM.medThe Library Activity begins on page 111. The Collaborative Teacher Activity is on page 114.

Extension Activities (sample)

1. Explore other ways electricity is generated. Consider hydropower, solar power, tidal power, and wind power.

2. Bring in a guest speaker from the local power company.

3. After reading the book, have the students write a short description of the main idea of the book. Use the phrase, “I am a technology specialist. I know that _________.”

It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

You can find more Teaching STEM lesson plans on the Teaching STEM blog.

Copyright © 2014 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

Lost Girl Found

Lost Girl Found
by Leah Bassoff and Laura DeLuca (Authors)

Booktalk: Poni’s life in her small village in southern Sudan is simple and complicated at the same time. But then the war comes and there is only one thing for Poni to do. Run. Run for her life. Driven by the sheer will to survive and the hope that she can somehow make it to the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, Poni sets out on a long, dusty trek across the east African countryside with thousands of refugees.

Snippet: I have accepted the fact the no one is coming to save me or offer me a ride. I keep walking on my tattered feet toward Kakuma. This place is no longer real. Only a word, a hope.

Copyright © 2014 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.