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Avoid the Summer Slide!!  

Students who don't read over summer vacation can slip backwards, sometimes one or two whole grade levels! This is sometimes called the summer slide.

How do you stop this from happening? READ! READ! READ!  Our local library has some great summer fun scheduled to help you avoid the slide.

Don't feel like reading a book? Here are some websites that have reading games and activities you can do instead.

 

1. http://www.readers.com/blog/education/kids-online-reading-games/  Games listed by age level.

2. http://www.apsva.us/Page/17450 Games are listed by focus skill.

3. http://web2.uvcs.uvic.ca/elc/studyzone/330/reading/index.htm  Stories have a quiz, sequence game, and fill-in-the-blank activity.  There are multiple levels, 200, 330, 410, and more. Watch out! Don't let the "Queen's English" fool you! This is a British website, so they spell some words differently than we do.

4. http://www.readtheory.org  This site will give you a pretest and then assign lessons according to your skill level.

5. http://www.mobymax.com If you don't remember your log-in, that's okay. Parents can create a homeschool account and give you a log in from there.  Parents, this is a great way to monitor progress. Mobymax offers lessons in math and science, too!

6. http://www.funbrain.com/ Check out the tabs for math arcade or reading for fun games that help you practice some of your math and reading skills at the same time.


What is Ms. Coln reading?  

 Series I have read this year include:

The Forensics series by Alane Ferguson, The Infinity Ring, 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers, The Chronicles of Narnia, The School for Good and Evil, Floors, The Search for Wondla, and Spy School. 

I have also read many other great books that aren't part of a series.

  • One Safe Place takes place in the future. Many children have been abandoned in the city to fend for themselves. Rumors describe a place with endless food, toys, and the home they dream of. But is it really a dream or a nightmare? 
  • The Honest Truth is about a boy trying to fulfill his dying wish and the dilemma his best friend faces. 
  • Fish in a Tree is about a girl with dyslexia and how she struggles to fit in.  
  • Took is a ghost story about a girl who gets kidnapped and her brother must save her. 
  • I Will Always Write Back is a great non-fiction book about 2 penpals- one lives in the U.S., and the other is in Zimbabwe.  Their friendship changes both of their lives, and it starts with a simple class assignment. 

 

I read these books last year. How many of these have you read? Ask me about them! Ask me for a recommendation!

  • If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman
  • Four by Veronica Roth
  • Shimmer by Alyson Noël
  • Forget Me Not: From the Life of Willa Havisham by Coleen Murtagh Paratore
  • Almost Home by Joan Bauer
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green
  • The Fault in Our Stars  by John Green
  • Notes from an Accidental Band Geek by Erin Dionne
  • Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead (books 1-7)
  • Teardrop by Lauren Kate
  • The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place (Books 1-3) by Maryrose Wood
  • Things Hoped For  by Andrew Clements
  • What Jamie Saw by Carolyn Coman
  • Cloaked in Red by Vivian Vande Velde
  • Touching Spirit Bear and Ghost of Spirit Bear by Ben Michaelson
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • House of Hades by Rick Riordan (plus the other 3 books in the Heroes of Olympus series)
  • Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant, and Four  by Veronica Roth
  • Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  • Ranger's Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan
  • The Shadow Children  series by Margaret Peterson Haddix (7 total, starting with Among the Hidden)
  • The Missing series by Margaret Peterson Haddix (8 total)

 

Here are my reviews of some of these books:

The Ghost of Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelson (BL: 4.8 - AR Pts: 5.0): This is the sequel to Touching Spirit Bear. Cole learns that returning to high school might just be harder than surviving the Alaskan wilderness.  (I can't give too many details-- I don't want to spoil the ending to Touching Spirit Bear.)

Things Hoped For by Andrew Clements (BL: 4.7- AR Pts. 6.0): Seventeen-year-old Gwen, who has been living with her grandfather in Manhattan while she attends music school, joins with another music student to solve the mystery when her grandfather suddenly goes missing.  How will this affect her auditions for college?  Will her dreams be destroyed?

This book had several unfinished details that left me wanting to reach for the sequel. Unfortunately, I don't think there is one.  It is still a great book and any student with serious interests in music will understand Gwen's plight.

What Jamie Saw by Carolyn Coman (BL: 5.4 - AR Pts: 3.0): I was drawn to this book because of the first paragraph.  It draws you in immediately.  The book revolves around Jamie, a 3rd grader whose life is forever changed when he wakes up to find his mother's boyfriend throwing his baby sister across the room.  CAUTION: this book is obviously not for everyone. It was a quick read, but it seemed unfinished to me.

House of Hades by Rick Riordan (BL: 4.8 - AR Pts: 19.0): This is the fourth book in the Heroes of Olympus series, which is a spin-off from the Percy Jackson series.  I waited soooo long for this book because of the cliffhanger at the end of the 3rd book. Don't want to mention too much because I don't want to spoil any of the other books, but IT WAS AWESOME! Now I only have to wait another year for book 5. :(   I will say that I was puzzled by Bob the titan. He was not in any of the major books, but in one of the smaller books that I hadn't realized were crucial to the series.  After reading The Lost Hero (book 1) and before you read The Mark of Athena (book 3), you should pick up The Demigod Diaries and The Demigod Files.  They both contain mock interviews with some of the book characters and short stories that provide some flashbacks and also foreshadowing of events in the later novels yet to come.

Allegiant by Veronica Roth (BL:5.7-  AR pts. 17.0): This is the third and final book of the Divergent series.  The book passes back and forth from Tris's to Tobias's point-of-view.  Will they make it out of the city alive? OR will they be forced to abide by the laws of the new factionless society?  Does anything even exist on the outside?  They know that beyond their city lie a world that was in turmoil before their society was even formed-- is anyone left out there?  

Touching Spirit Bear  by Ben Mikaelson (BL: 5.3 - AR Pts: 9.0): I read this book twice to prepare for us reading it in class.  I read it originally two years ago and decided that it was a book that all 7th/8th graders need to read because of its message.  I can't divulge any other details; I don't want to give it away!!

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (BL: 5.1 - AR Pts: 18.0):  This was a hard book for me to get through because I knew how it was going to end, and I dreaded getting there. It takes place in Nazi Germany during WWII.  The main character in the book is Liesel.  This book is narrated by Death, who tells of the various times he sees Liesel as she is growing up. The book has some difficult content; not all students can handle reading about Nazis, concentration camp, and the atrocities faced by the Jews during this time period.  If you liked The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, The Diary of Anne Frank, or Number the Stars, I think you will like this book.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (BL: 5.3 - AR Pts: 15.0): This book was great! Honestly, I dreaded reading this book because I saw the movie,and normally, the movie completely ruins the book for me.  But not this time! The book (as always) was better than the movie because it had a lot more details and you get to know the characters better. The movie did manage to stay true to the book (if you've seen any of the Harry Potter movies, then you know that directors sometimes completely change key details to make the movie more exciting).  The book takes place in a futuristic North America called Panem.  The twelve districts choose two tributes each to fight to the death in a televised event called the Hunger Games.  If you enjoyed the movie, please read this book! I can't wait to read the second book: Catching Fire.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth (BL: 5.0 - AR Pts: 16.0): This is the second book of the Divergent series.  Tris and Four managed to stop the simulation and prevent the deaths of all the Abnegation faction. But now what? How will they stop Erudite from taking over? And what information did Abnegation have that they were willing to die to protect?  Why are they trying to round up the Divergents?  

Divergent by Veronica Roth (BL: 4.8 - AR Pts: 16.0): Every sixteen year old is faced with the same question: who do you choose? What do you value over everything else? Do you value others? Join Abnegation.  Is it love? Join Amity. Do you value honesty and truth? Join Candor. Is education most important? Choose Erudite. If you value bravery over all, become Dauntless.  Do you stay with your family in the faction you were born into, or do you strike out on a new path?  Choose wisely.

Ranger's Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan (BL: 7.0 - AR Pts: 12.0): Will is a castle ward, meaning he was orphaned as an infant and was placed in the castle's care.  He knows nothing of his past, except that his father was killed in the last war against the evil Morgorath. When it is time to choose where he will become an apprentice, he chooses Battleschool in order to avenge his father's death. However, short and scrawny Will is rejected.  What will happen if no one else accepts him? He doesn't want to be sent to the farms.  Find out what happens to Will and what part he must play in the next war against Morgorath.


Have you read the syllabus?  

Please make sure you have read the class syllabus and discipline plan.  Have you returned the signed form yet???