Mr Strike Out

Mr. Strike Out by Anastasia Suen (writing as Jake Maddox)

A baseball novel

David Gray is notorious in his baseball league, notorious for striking out, both as a pitcher and a batter. He spends so much time practicing his pitching, he has never honed his batting skills. After learning about the great Babe Ruth, David becomes determined to be a better all-around player, which means he’ll have to learn how to bat. With some help from a teammate, David hopes to never hear the words “Mr. Strike Out” again.

  • Copyright: 2007
  • Guided Reading level: J
  • Lexile Level: 380L
  • ATOS Level: 2.7
  • AR Quiz Number: 109968
  • Library Binding / Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Stone Arch Books

Book Activities:

Play Math Baseball (If your answer is correct, you will get a hit!)

Explore the Science of Baseball. Test your baseball reaction time, learn how to throw a curveball and how to find the “sweet spot” on a bat.

At Teachers Corner, you can print baseball journal pages, and create your own baseball crossword, word search or word scramble pages.

Find out what happened Today in Baseball History.

Copyright © 2014 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
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June Quick Tips: Focus on STEM

My June Quick Tips: Focus on STEM column, Testing, Testing: Summer Science Experiments has 6 new books for children and teens to use this summer!

Have you read these three?

Explore Natural Resources! With 25 Great Projects.
by Anita Yasuda

Plastic, Ahoy!: Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
by Patricia Newman

Genetics: Breaking the Code of Your DNA
by Carla Mooney

Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

Copyright © 2014 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
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If It Rains Pancakes: Haiku and Lantern Poems

If It Rains Pancakes: Haiku and Lantern Poems (Poetry Adventures)
by Brian P. Cleary (Author) and Andy Rowland (Illustrator)

Booktalk: What is a haiku? It sounds like a sneeze. And isn’t a lantern a light source? Actually, they are two types of ancient Japanese poetry. See how each form works– and how these little poems can contain big surprises! (And when you’ve finished reading, you can try your hand at writing your own haiku and lanterns!) Here is a lantern poem…

Snippet:

Slush—
gulping
icy treat.
Getting brain freeze.
Whoa.

This week’s Poetry Friday Round-up is hosted by Buffy’s Blog.

Copyright © 2014 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
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AIR SHOW + Fan NONfiction from Starwalk Kids Media

You’ve heard of fan fiction, those stories that fans write about their favorite characters. Thanks to StarWalk Kids Media, the next big thing for young writers is going to be fan NONfiction!

SWK_Collab_Learning_Environment

StarWalk Kids Media Awarded NSF Grant to Build Collaborative Learning Environment

(NEW YORK) June 2, 2014 – StarWalk Kids Media, a leading provider of high quality children’s eBooks for Schools and Libraries, has received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to build a Collaborative Learning Environment featuring the StarWalk Writer™ — technology that will enable children to collaborate in real time to create nonfiction writing that will be published in a student-created, community published database.

Designed to make learning and teaching reading in complex nonfiction subject areas like science and social studies more effective and exciting for upper elementary and middle school students, the StarWalk Kids Collaborative Learning Environment will integrate three specific types of interactivity proven to help children develop literacy skills: Writing to read, Writing for an audience, and Writing together. The company will also support educators by providing both curriculum support materials and professional development tools.

“At StarWalk Kids Media we are committed to serving the growing community of educators who are working to empower their students with 21st Century digital literacy skills,” says StarWalk Kids publisher Liz Nealon, adding, “Collaboration has always been a hallmark of science learning in particular, so it seemed like a natural next step to enhance our eBook offering by creating a real time, online, global environment where students from diverse geographic areas and experiences can write together and publish their work.”

The development of the StarWalk Kids Collaborative Learning Environment is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1415774. It will utilize the Collabrify™ software development kit (SDK) developed by Elliot Soloway, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor at the University of Michigan School of Education and Cathleen Norris, Regents Professor, University of North Texas under previous NSF grants IIS-1249312 and IIS-1123965.

ABOUT StarWalk Kids Media: StarWalk Kids Media, recognizing the importance of equipping students with 21st Century digital literacy skills, publishes an award-winning collection of 500 engaging, enhanced eBooks for children in grades K-8. Founded by renowned children’s science author Seymour Simon and former Sesame Street Creative Director Liz Nealon, the StarWalk Kids collection includes books by many well-known authors and illustrators such as David Adler, Jim Arnosky, Johanna Hurwitz, Pat Mora, Laura Vaccaro Seeger and Jane Yolen. The company’s aim is to provide children and educators with a tightly curated collection of high-quality fiction and nonfiction titles supporting the Common Core. The StarWalk Kids Reader™ software works on virtually any device, allowing multiple simultaneous access for students at an affordable, annual subscription price. The StarWalk Kids platform, which currently serves more than 300,000 students in the US and abroad, has been awarded the QED seal, signifying “Quality. Excellence. Design” by the Digital Book Awards.

Website: www.StarWalkKids.com

Twitter: @StarWalkKids

Facebook: StarWalk Kids Media

Pinterest: StarWalk Kids

I am so very pleased with this news because my STEM picture book, AIR SHOW will be a part of that eBook collection soon!

AIR SHOW book cover

AIR SHOW interior spread 1

AIR SHOW interior spread 2

Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

Copyright © 2014 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
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Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum

How was the invention of bubble gum engineered? 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: Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum by Meghan McCarthy (ATOS 4.8 / AD740L)

Pop! : the invention of bubble gum

Unit Summary: Students will examine the essential question, “How was the invention of bubble gum engineered?” They will review the steps engineers take when they explore a solution to a problem. They will then determine the steps Walter Diemer took to create bubblegum after listening to the text of the book and apply and explain his ideas and actions to the way an engineer works to solve a problem. They will present their information and discuss their finding in a large group.

TeachingSTEM.medThe Library Activity begins on page 154. The Collaborative Teacher Activity is on page 155.

Extension Activities(sample)

1. Have the students make a number line with markings to eighths on a sentence strip or sheet of paper. Hold a bubble gum blowing contest. Put their bubble on the number line and measure it from the part of the bubble that actually touches the paper (to get the most accurate measure). Compare and announce the winner.

2. Determine the mean, median, and average for the class.

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 engineer.. I know that _________.”

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

Copyright © 2014 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
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World War I for Kids: A History with 21 Activities

World War I for Kids: A History with 21 Activities
by R. Kent Rasmussen (Author)

Booktalk: It has been 100 years since the start of the “Great War.” The hands-on activities in this book can help students understand life during World War I, a war that eventually involved all of the world’s superpowers.

Snippet: Soldiers stationed at the front spent only a small part of their time in actual combat. In fact, it was not unusual for individual soldiers to spend several months on the western front without seeing an enemy soldier. This is not to say that they were necessarily safe when not fighting. They might not see an enemy when they were on the front lines, but if they climbed out of their trenches, unseen enemies were likely to spot them, with lethal consequences.

Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

Copyright © 2014 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
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Cranes

How do simple machines help cranes work? 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: Cranes by Amanda Doering Tourville (GRL P / ATOS 4.0)

Cranes

Unit Summary: Students will examine the essential question, “How do simple machines help cranes work?” Working in small groups, students will research the basic simple machines: inclined plane, wedge, screw, lever, pulley, wheel and axle. They will organize their research into four categories and present and post it in the room so other students can find out about the other simple machines used in cranes. They will use their graphic organizer to write and explain about the value of cranes, the kinds, and what makes them work.

TeachingSTEM.medThe Library Activity begins on page 146. The Collaborative Teacher Activity is on page 148.

Extension Activities(sample)

1. Read another book about cranes and together compare and contrast the ideas presented in the two books.

2. Look up the bird called a crane. Find out about the different varieties of cranes and report to the group. Explain why the machine is called a crane.

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 engineer.. I know that _________.”

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

Copyright © 2014 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
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Forces and Motion at Work

What makes forces and motions on Earth? 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: Forces and Motion at Work by Shirley Duke (GRL W / ATOS 5.2)

Forces and motion at work

Unit Summary: Students will examine the essential question, “What makes forces and motions on Earth?” by researching information from a variety of sources relating to the vocabulary of forces and motion. They will summarize their information and then reduce their facts into a short statement of less than one hundred and forty characters in a style suitable for Twitter. From an assigned list of words, each group of students will use print and online information to define their word, read about it to identify and comprehend the scientific principle, and collect facts relating to that principle. The groups will narrow the information by wording it in a phrase or sentence that fits Twitter’s parameters. They will share their information in the library in a way that is accessible for the available technology there or in a class PowerPoint presentation designed to look like a tweet on Twitter.

TeachingSTEM.medThe Library Activity begins on page 76. The Collaborative Teacher Activity is on page 78.

Extension Activities (sample)

1. Make a class Wiki and put their information on it.

2. Do a podcast about the vocabulary by writing the script in their groups and recording the information. Compare this method of communicating to other means of communicating.

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 _________.”

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

Copyright © 2014 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
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High-Tech Olympics

What are Olympic distances really like? 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: High-Tech Olympics by Nick Hunter (ATOS 6.4 / 970L)

High-Tech Olympics

Unit Summary: Students will examine the essential question, “What are Olympic distances really like?” Students will be grouped into five teams and given an identifying number or name. They will use an Olympic record database to locate distances, lengths, or heights of sports in the track and field events and record them. Then they will measure the equivalent distance in the library, classroom, or hallways and mark the distance with a sticky note to show the measurement. They will compare their results and discuss them.

TeachingSTEM.medThe Library Activity begins on page 84. The Collaborative Teacher Activity is on page 86.

Extension Activities (sample)

1. Have the students use their metric conversions and change them to standard units. Add another set of columns to the graphic organizer if you choose. Or have them use a metric calculator online (http://www.conversion-metric.org/).

2. Pre-write the distances or heights on the graphic organizer for the students to measure in the library and halls.

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 _________.”

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

Copyright © 2014 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
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Multimedia Artist and Animator

How can technology be used to create art? 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: Multimedia Artist and Animator by Matt Mullins (ATOS 4.9 690L)
Multimedia artist and animator

Unit Summary: Students will examine the essential question, “How can technology be used to create art?” They will work as individuals or in pairs to explore using an image as their canvas and adding features that will become animated after completing their creation to their satisfaction. They will explain their choices by discussing them and then writing about them on a graphic organizer. They will then relate this activity to a job using art or animation. The students or pairs will save their work for the librarian to print.

TeachingSTEM.medThe Library Activity begins on page 104. The Collaborative Teacher Activity is on page 106.

Extension Activities (sample)

1. Turn the art they created into a four comic panel and include text to go with it.

2. Have the students design a book cover that they might like their favorite book to have in place of the current one.

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 _________.”

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

Copyright © 2014 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
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