Get Drawing!

GetDrawing

Get Drawing! (Dream It, Do It!)
by Charlotte Guillain (Author)

Booktalk: Stop dreaming about becoming an artist—and take steps to make your dream come true! These helpful tips for finding inspiration, keeping a sketchbook, and always thinking creatively will help you open your own gallery in no time!

Snippet: Ideas come when you don’t expect them. Carry a sketchpad with you and keep all of your drawing and doodles. You could also cut out any pictures that you like in magazines and stick them in your sketchbook.

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Use the tips at the end of the book to stage your own gallery show!

Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

Copyright © 2015 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
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Understanding Credit

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Understanding Credit (Searchlight Books–How Do We Use Money?)
by Carla Mooney (Author)

Booktalk: It is easy to spend money when you have a credit card or a loan. But it is also easy to spend or borrow more than you can afford. How can you use credit responsibly? How can you avoid going into debt? Read this book to understand how credit works.

Snippet: A credit card lets you use debt to pay for something. When you use a credit card, you borrow money from a credit card company. You must pay back this money. Credit card companies also charge interest. Interest increases over time. The longer you take to pay back the money, the more you must pay.

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It’s back to school shopping time–a teachable moment for a lesson on spending and credit! Try the Take the Spending Challenge and play a game to see how paying with cash or credit affects how much you owe.

Carla is one of my former students!

STEM Friday

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

Copyright © 2015 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
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LEGO Space: Building the Future

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LEGO Space: Building the Future
by Peter Reid (Author) and Tim Goddard (Author)

Booktalk: Spaceships, orbital outposts, and new worlds come to life in this unique vision of the future, built completely from LEGO bricks.

A selection of step-by-step building instructions will have you constructing your own cosmic creations to play with at home. Marvel at interstellar battlecruisers, space pirates, charming robots, and other stunning builds from an amazing future!

Snippet:

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STEM Friday

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

Copyright © 2015 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
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How Do You Burp in Space?

HowDoYouBurpInSpace

How Do You Burp in Space?: And Other Tips Every Space Tourist Needs to Know
by Susan E. Goodman (Author) and Michael Slack (Illustrator)

Booktalk: Want to blast into orbit? Walk on the moon? Snag a personal photo of a shooting star? Well your time is coming! And when it does, you’re going to need a guide filled with information. Grounded in the history of space travel and the planned future of space tourism, this guide book will tell you what to pack (hint: no bubble bath or juggling balls!); what to expect from your accomodations (a sleeping bag attached to the wall), and what to do for fun (leapfrog on the moon!). Get ready to rock your rocketship!

Snippet: Eventually, you’ll be able to orbit Earth or vacation on Mars. It’s too early to make reservations, but it’s never too soon to start thinking about it. This guidebook will help you enjoy your space adventure long before you board the ship. After all, how can you daydream about it without knowing what you’ll eat and where you’ll sleep? Or what it’s like doing all of this while floating upside down?

STEM + the Arts = STEAM

STEAM DIY Activity

Remember this day in history and explore the story of the first moonwalk on July 20, 1969.
Watch the Footage from the Apollo 11 moonwalk.

Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

Copyright © 2015 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
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Teresa of the New World

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Teresa of the New World
by Sharman Apt Russell (Author)

Booktalk: In 1528, the real-life conquistador Cabeza de Vaca shipwrecked in the New World where he lived for eight years as a slave, trader, and shaman. In this lyrical weaving of history and myth, the adventurer takes his young daughter Teresa from her home in Texas to walk westward into the setting sun, their travels accompanied by miracles–visions and prophecies. But when Teresa reaches the outposts of New Spain, life is not what her father had promised. When a new epidemic of measles devastates the area, the sixteen-year-old sets off on her own journey. Now Teresa moves through a land stalked by Plague: smallpox as well as measles, typhus, and scarlet fever.

Snippet:
She could still hear the wise woman’s voice. She hadn’t understood then, when she was a child. She hadn’t realized that the wise woman had been talking to her, and not to her father. What you have lost will be restored to you. Now Teresa had to return back to that village, back to that hill and crumbling adobe house. Now she had someplace to go.

STEM + the Arts = STEAM

STEAM DIY Activity

Watch the Spanish Explorers: Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca video.
Then make your own animated video at PowToon.

Copyright © 2015 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
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Avis Dolphin

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Avis Dolphin
by Frieda Wishinsky (Author) and Willow Dawson (Illustrator)

Booktalk: Avis Dolphin doesn’t want to sail to England on the Lusitania. War is raging in Europe, and the Germans threaten to sink the ship. Avis is lonely and afraid until she meets a kindly professor whose stories of a magical island help her face an uncertain future. (The stories the professor tells Avis are illustrated in a graphic-novel form, creating a story-within-a-story.)

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Snippet:
I know about U-boats. They’re submarines hiding under the sea, waiting for ships, like foxes hiding in the bushes, waiting to pounce on rabbits or deer. When U-boats spy a warship, they launch a torpedo! And if a ship is hit, that’s it. The ship sinks. But until today I thought U-boats were only after warships.

I tap Hilda on the shoulder, “Maybe the warning is real. Maybe . . .”

STEM + the Arts = STEAM

STEAM DIY Activity

See a primary document, the 27-page SUPPLEMENTARY cargo manifest for the Lusitania’s last voyage.

Copyright © 2015 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
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Cliff Dwellings: A Hidden World

Cliff Dwellings

Cliff Dwellings: A Hidden World (Abandoned! Towns Without People series)
by Kevin Blake (Author)

Booktalk: Hear the amazing story of the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde, which were suddenly and mysteriously abandoned more than 700 years ago.

Snippet:
An Amazing Discovery:
On a snowy day in December 1888, two cowboys, Richard Wetherill and his brother-in-law Charlie Mason, stopped at the edge of a deep canyon in southwestern Colorado. Richard peered through the falling snow, hoping to find some cattle that had wandered off. Instead, he spotted something strange inthe cliffs below. His heart begin to race.

There, built into the side of the red-yellow cliffs was a hidden village of buildings and towers.

See this page inside the book.

STEM + the Arts = STEAM

STEAM DIY Activity

See How To Build An Adobe Dwellings Diorama.

Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

Copyright © 2015 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
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. . .

Key Discoveries in Engineering and Design

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Key Discoveries in Engineering and Design (Science Discovery Timelines)
by Christine Zuchora-Walske (Author)

Booktalk: What smaller scientific discoveries led up to major breakthroughs such as the assembly line, computers, or the Internet? Who first proposed ideas to solve problems? And how did the solutions change over time? Trace the history of key discoveries in engineering and design with timelines and find out the facts.

Snippet:
Many thousands of years ago, people tasked with raising stone structures faced a problem. How could they make openings, such as windows and doorways, in their structures without weakening them? How could they create roofs and ceilings that would support their own weight and any weight above them? Openings were important for light, ventilation, movement, and defense. Roofs and ceilings, of course, provided shelter for people and objects housed in the space below. But roofs or windows with open space beneath them ran the risk of caving in.

STEM Friday

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

#kidlit Link of the Day:
See how the Pre-K to grade 3 students at Usher Collier-Heights Elementary School in Atlanta, GA solved their STEM Friday engineering and design problem in “the final STEM Friday challenge for the fall season.”

Copyright © 2015 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
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The Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors
by Mark Stewart (Author)

Booktalk: Who will win the NBA Finals this year? Read about your favorite basketball team in the Team Spirit series. Here is a snippet from The Golden State Warriors.

One Great Day

Snippet: When Wilt Chamberlain joined the NBA, Philadelphia coach Frank McGuire boasted that the seven-footer would score 100 points in a game. Chamberlain was amazingly quick and strong. Other players simply could not handle him. All he needed to make his coach’s prediction come true was a little help from his friends.

Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

#kidlit Link of the Day:

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“Share My Lesson will offer four days of free online professional development from top education leaders during June and July. There will be sessions for everyone, including new teachers. And the best part? You receive one professional development credit for each session you attend.”

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[Illustrations by Daniel Baxter]

Copyright © 2015 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
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Some Kind of Magic

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Some Kind of Magic
by Adrian Fogelin (Author)

Booktalk: It is the last summer before the big shift to high school for Cass, Jemmie, Ben, and Justin, the neighborhood kids readers first met in Crossing Jordan. Ben worries that their summer break will just be the same-old-same-old until his little brother Cody finds a hat left behind by their mysterious missing uncle. The hat — is it magic like Cody believes? — leads the gang to an abandoned building in the woods. Little do they suspect that this old property with a tragic past might just nudge open the door to the future for all of them.

Snippet:
Cass
It was the first day of summer vacation–well, second, really. But Saturday didn’t count since I’d had to help Mama clean the house. Jemmie, my best friend, hoped summer would go by quick. She couldn’t wait to get to high school, where we could run track for real.

Copyright © 2015 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
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