Grade 3 will begin hearing the nominees for the Cook Prize, awarded by the Bank Street College of Education for an exemplary STEM book (STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math). This week I'll be reading Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions, by Chris Barton. Lonnie Johnson is on his third awesome project: after working for NASA, he invented the Super-Soaker squirt toy, and now is working on solar energy. Hard to choose which one is the coolest!
Grade 4 continues with Some Kind of Courage, by Dan Gemeinhart. They are enjoying this exciting historical fiction set in the state of Washington in 1890.
Grade 5 is beginning a month of books in honor of Women's History Month, which is the month of March. This week we are hearing one about the poet Phillis Wheatley, the first African American to publish a book of poetry, despite the various traits that would have made her the target of discrimination--being female, young, a slave, and of African origin. We are also squeezing in time for the students to research American Revolution men and women, for their presentations at the end of March. I'd urge them to consult the World Book Online encyclopedia and websites from reputed sources, and to make sure they can confirm any information in more than one source. They all seem to remember the lessons of All about Explorers, a gorgeous website riddled with inaccurate information in order to teach students to use caution when relying on the internet for research.
Book club members: there are now copies at the Manhattan Beach Public Library of our March title: The Nine Lives of Jacob Tibbs, by Cylin Busby. I also have copies I can distribute for my reimbursement cost ($6.00 each).