2013 – up and running!


Welcome back AllStars -ready for a big year in the Library?

I can’t wait, my “LEARNER” plates are off and I am bursting with ideas to share with you all!

To start us off – did you know that reading gives you super powers?

Dav Pilkey (The author who writes Captain Underpants stories) tell us how …….

Hhhhmmmm ….. just what sort of super power do you think reading gives YOU?

Conscience Alley


Today we tried a great thinking activity during reading.

MrsP was reading us “Rowan of Rin” and the villagers were trying to decide whether or not to climb the mountain to see if they could find out what was blocking the stream.

We stopped reading and got into two groups:

  • one group discussed why the villagers should go to find out why the stream had stopped;
  • the second group discussed why the villagers shouldn’t go.

Then the two groups stood face to face and made an alley-way up the middle. Then we chose a student to be a villager and walk up the alley.


As the villager walked up the alley, everyone (one person at a time) said their a reason to either go up/ or not go up the mountain. DSC09857DSC09858

At the end of the alley the villager had to make a decision about what she would do. Today the villager decided to go up the mountain!


This was just as well, because the villagers in the story also decided they had to climb the mountain too 🙂

  • Do you believe that this activity helped you to think more deeply about the decision that the villagers had to make?
  • Did you feel more involved in the story after thinking about the story in this way?

The Diary of a Killer Cat



This week in Reading Groups our group read the story:

“The Diary of a Killer Cat”

By Anne Fine.

The story takes place in a normal, suburban house in a normal, suburban street. One week, an average family with a mum, a dad and a little girl find themselves dealing with an outrageous KILLER CAT!!!!!!!!

The cat murdered on Monday.

The cat assassinated on Wednesday.

But who or what would it target by the end of the week?

This is an hilarious tale, written in a diary style, about what a normal cat gets up to in a not so normal week.

We recommend that this story is suitable for 8-12 year olds who like to giggle.

Here are some of our pictures of Tuffy, the killer cat!

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We “Drop Everything and Read” (DEAR) every morning – first thing. We come in to the room, take out our reading books and READ :-).

At first some of us found this hard to do, but now everyone is able to read quietly and consistently for about 15 minutes each day.

This term we are trying something new!


Every day a group of people will be reading our class blog and other blogs during DEAR time. This will give everybody the opportunity and time to see and read what is happening in our class, our school, and our blogging friends classrooms across the world. It will also be a great chance to get some commenting in to 🙂

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What do you think? Is reading blogs a good way to “drop everything and read”?


What’s The Big Idea?



“What’s the Big Idea?” is the name of a project we have been involved with over the last 2 terms. In Reading Group time MrsP has been working with her group on reading non-fiction texts.

Non – fiction is quite a bit different to read and understand than fiction texts. Most of us have read a lot more fiction and have an easier time getting to the meaning. Non-fiction is quite hard to read and make meaning from.

We started off discussing how non-fiction differs from fiction, and we listed all the things we knew about non-fiction:

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Then we used a strategy called “THIEVES” to help us unpack non-fiction texts that we came across.This is what THIEVES stands for:


Thieves help us to unlock our background knowledge of the text, it helps us to connect to what we are going to read, and introduces some of the ideas we will read about.

Next we used the “GIMME 5” strategy. This strategy used an outline of a hand to identify the main idea of a section of text, and then to find 5 supporting statements about the main idea. It was fun to use!


We then moved on to “FACT, QUESTION, RESPONSE” strategy, which was really helpful to do in a small group or with a partner. It helped us make sense of what we were reading by talking together, sharing what we knew and asking questions about what we were reading.

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It’s been hard work – lots of thinking, justifying, explaining and wondering – but each of us now has some pretty useful strategies to use when we are reading non-fiction texts!

Congratulations to everyone in this reading group – you have worked hard to become better readers of non-fiction. You have tried to use the strategies and have really expanded your thinking skills. Well done to you all!


Reading Circles


Last term we studied some stories in Reading Circles. Each group chose a text to read and met every week or so to talk about their book. We found interesting vocab and made up open-ended questions to ask the other members of the group. Nearly everyone enjoyed doing this.

At the end of the book we all had to make a Story Quilt in our group.

Each person had a square of paper and had to draw a border around it. Inside the border we had to draw three objects that related to our text. Everyone in the group had to use the same 3 objects in the same 3 colours, but we could each design our border however we wanted.

In the middle of the quilt square we had to draw a character from the story. We had to find a quote in the story that we thought summed up our character, and add it to our drawing.

We then stuck our quilt square onto black paper and they are now on the wall in our classroom.

Here are our Story Quilts:

Reading Circles


We have been reading some interesting books in “Reading Circles” this term. Mrs P brought in a selection of books and we put our names on the books we would like to read first.

 Here are the books we could choose from:




Each group meets every one or two weeks and decides how many pages or chapters they will read before the next Reading Circle Meeting.

 While the group is reading their book, they keep an eye out for interesting or tricky or difficult or unknown words. These words are written down and their meanings are found.

 When we have finished reading the chapters we write a brief summary, and make up 2 or 3 open-ended questions to discuss at the Reading Circle Meeting.


Here are some interesting questions we discussed today:

 The “Dealing With Dragons” group discussed the question –


“What personality do you think dragons have?”


This is what they thought

  •  They are selfish because they only think of themselves
  •  Bossy – telling people what to do.


What do you think?


The “Boy Overboard” group discussed –

“Why is a new type of landmine not a good invention?”

 This is what they thought:

  •  ALL landmines are dangerous – new ones are not better
  •  A new land mine will kill more people

What do you think?