We are all excited about a snow day … and yet …

For those visitors who live outside of the midwest, we thought you might like seeing what is happening here.

Yesterday the snow was wet and heavy.  Perfect for snowman building and fort building!  But as it continued to fall, its weight was too much for many trees and power lines.  Some of our families have been without power for 12 hours!  Many trees have bent over to the point of breaking in half!  Many branches have drooped until they broke off.  I shoveled my driveway 6 times yesterday so that I could keep up with it.  Then I came in and began reading City of Orphans by Avi.   I certainly hope my students had fun in the snow and hope to hear some comments about what they did. 🙂

Today we have another snow day.  The snow seems to have stopped falling, but the wind is fierce and is keeping roads hazardous and in some cases closed.  The sun is bright which always makes the snow glisten and look magnificent.  The temperatures have dropped and there are icicles forming on my gutters.  It looks to be another good day for reading and hot chocolate.

“A Christmas Carol” Quiz!

We are reading this wonderful story in class! It is my personal favorite story and I listen to it, watch it and read it every year. Although Scrooge’s behavior is a bit extreme at the beginning, he learns lessons that all of us can benefit from. I wrote this quiz. How well do you know the story?

Maia’s Scary Story

       As we were reading Scary School, many in the class were inspired to write their own versions.  A few have decided to share one of the chapters from their stories!  Enjoy!


         Hello Humans. My name is Ivy, Ivy Dracula to be more precise. Yeah, I know, Dracula’s daughter and everything. Don’t worry though. You’ll get used to it. Anyway, if you think I’m scary, then you should meet the people I’m used to. Actually, no you shouldn’t. My town is monster accommodating only. So flip the page. Be brave. And don’t let the monsters get you….


Ivy V. Dracula

We love Rob Buyea’s first novel!

Today we finished Rob Buyea’s first novel.  It’s called Because of Mr. Terupt, and it’s about a classroom of fifth graders and their awesome teacher.  The book is sectioned off into months so it is easy to imagine where the students are in the school year.  The students love Mr. Terupt’s teaching style, but it ends up being questioned when the big event of the story happens. 

We loved the fact that we didn’t see it coming (the big event).  We knew something was coming because the characters kept alluding to it, but we didn’t know what it would be.  Mr. Buyea does a beautiful job with foreshadowing and creating believable and recognizable characters.  And much like in real life classrooms, as we read we found out that everyone has a story.

It was a book so beautifully written that towards the end we cried about a character that we only knew for one page.  The story really focused on the emotions that people feel when they are in relationships with other people and how those emotions change as the relationship changes.

Without giving too much away, here are some student responses to the book.

“I loved Because of Mr. Terupt because it had moments when I felt like I was really there.  When someone got hurt, I felt all weird, like I was part of it.”

“I really liked the book.  It is for sure my second favorite book!”         
– Kolby

“I liked the author because he used foreshadowing and hooked me in.  My heart was either beating fast, or I was laughing hard.”            
– Austin

“I loved this book because it really touched my heart.  The author really made the student’s lives …. real.  I also hated this book because it hurt me sooooooooo bad.  It actually made me cry.”          

“I felt really sorry for Jeffrey.  I can’t imagine living in his house.  I think that Jeffrey did the right thing by telling his parents he loved them.”         
– Allison

“My favorite character is Mr. Terupt because he changed everything for all the kids he had in his class.  He helped everyone in that class.  He helped Jeffrey talk to his parents, Lexi bring out her nice, and Danielle become more self confident.  Mr. Terupt is really awesome.”         
– Maia

“I felt bad for Anna because she doesn’t have a dad, and her mom is hated by Danielle’s mom and grandma.”         

“I loved this book because there were emotional parts, but there were many jubilant parts, too.”         
– Tyler

“My favorite character is Anna because she is always calm and quiet.”                  

“My favorite person in the book is Mr. Terupt because he is awesome, and he’s very kind.”         

Peyton’s Scary School Chapter – Lover Boy

                As we were reading Scary School, many in the class were inspired to write their own versions.  A few have decided to share one of the chapters from their stories!  Enjoy!

                                                                            Lover Boy

          I went to class, and my crush, Willie the Werewolf, sat next to me.  Oh, my gosh!  Yesterday in science class I saved a spot for Zelia the Zorka, but Frankie the Frankenstein stole the spot!
          Anyway, he asked what my favorite color was.  OMG!  I said, “Blood red … juicy blood red.”   He looked at me like, “what?”
          So, I was going to lunch, and I saw Yogi the Yeti (he’s the bully) sitting next to Zelia – Yuck!  Anyway, after lunch we got an 8 minute break.  I saw Willie go in the Scary Woods so I went and yelled, ” Willie!
          The next thing I knew I was taken!  It was Willie!  He grabbed me!

Austin’s “Scary School” Chapter One

       As we were reading Scary School, many in the class were inspired to write their own versions.  A few have decided to share one of the chapters from their stories!  Enjoy!


      Hey!  You get over here and pick up this book or else!  Alright, my name is ummmm……..  I’m not so sure, but I know one thing.  I’m a dead doll.  I eat metal for deadfast. 

      Ok.  This isn’t even telling you about this Scary School.  Or is it?  Today is my 4th year of Scary High School.  Elementary School was the worst.  The reason elementary was the worst is because in 5th grade, I was a chump.  I did everything wrong.  I was the best at math in 4th, 3rd, 2nd, and even 1st, but in 5th I didn’t even know what 1 x 1 was on the first day.   I thought it was 1111111 and it is 1111111! 

     Ok.  Time for a confession.  I was horrible at math and everingthing eles.  I was always a chump.  Well, it’s because I was small and a doll and I ate jerks … ok, maybe a lot of jerks!  But hey!  You can’t blame me.  When you’re getting made fun of because you’re a doll and you’re small, wouldn’t you like to eat the jerks who make fun of you? 

     If you’re guessing my name is King Mealies, you’re right.  I’m the son of a medusa mother and a doll father.

   “Hey, moron!  It is 10:00!  Time for a jerk eating!”


                                                               Chapter 2

   “Hey billy! Do you want to skip going out and jerk eating today?  I’m not hungry.  I’m lying.   I’m always hungry for guts.  Oh, I almost forgot that I need to tell myself my name.   I mean, tell you my real name because I told you my fake name.  Well, I still don’t know my real name.”