Student Blogging Challenge Week 4

Welcome to Week 4 of the Student Blogging Challenge!  This week you have a “freebie” and can write about anything you’d like.  Photos with attribution are encouraged.  

Perhaps some of you will write about Guys and Dolls.  GREAT JOB by everyone in the cast!  I am so proud of you!  I wish I could post a photo, but I don’t want to break the copyright law.Be seeing you

Here’s the link to Challenge #3. Previous posts on our class blog have links to Challenges 1 and 2. Please make sure you have completed at least one challenge. Check out the blogs of your schoolmates who have been noticed in the challenges! Check out your friends’ blogs. Read the list of kids around the globe who are participating in the challenge and visit one of their blogs. Leave a grammatically correct, thoughtful comment with a question and a link to your blog so that you can continue the conversation. Add a Student Blogging Challenge Widget to your sidebar.

Let me know when you have 100 visitors.  That is our third blogging goal this year.  When we reach our goal, we’ll plan our third blogging party!

Photo Credit: Olivander via Compfight cc

Under the Blood Red Sun webquest

The novel, Under the Blood Red Sun by Graham Salisbury, introduced us to people, places and things with which we had very limited knowledge.  Through reading the book, we learned a bit more about: the attack on Pearl Harbor, World War II, Hawaii, Japanese culture, pigeon racing, and baseball in 1941.  Today we will increase our knowledge base even more as we delve into these areas via a webquest. 

Please answer these questions as a comment on this post.  This counts as a homework grade for all my kids, but we’d love to hear from people around the world, too.  Perhaps we’ll hear from someone who lived through World War II, or who lives in Japan or Hawaii. 


Photo Credit: thx563 via Compfight cc

Japanese Wallpaper

1. What song does Grampa sing on page 79? Listen to the song. Do you agree with Tomi’s description of it as the slowest song in history? What other record does the song hold? What does the song ask for Japan?

2. Grampa speaks Japanese frequently.  What does your name look and sound like in Japanese?

Photo Credit: janthepea via Compfight cc
Hawaii Kauai I - The myth is there

3. Mose and Rico are Portugese; Charlie is Hawaiian; Tomi and his family are Japanese; Billy is haole.  Hawaii is a melting pot.  Read this short history of Hawaii.   Briefly explain how Hawaii developed such a diverse population.  What other interesting piece of information did you read?

4. Mose and Rico plan to do their science project on volcanoes.  Watch this brief video from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.  What did you learn? 

5. Check out the stats from the 1941 baseball season.  Which of Tomi’s favorite players won some type of accolade that year?  Who played in the World Series?  Who won?

6. Write a three sentence review of Under the Blood Red Sun.   Did you like it?  Why or why not.

Please come in….

Book Talk Cafe on PhotoPeach

Welcome to our first Book Talk Cafe!

As we become lifelong readers, we realize that we may often be in situations where someone asks us, “Have you read any good books lately?”  This question may arise at a dinner party, a book club, or when out to dinner with friends.  We decided to turn our classroom into a cafe so that we could practice the niceties of conversation and dining in one fell swoop.  Thanks to all our terrific parents who sent us some goodies!  We enjoyed donuts, cookies, fruit, assorted chips, candy, chocolate milk and soda.   Everyone fed their bodies with snacks and brains with conversation as we discussed books we read this month and practiced our etiquette while dining.

Here are some favorite tomes:

  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
  • Caught (book 5 of The Missing series) by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  • Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt (one of Mrs. Donofrio’s favorite authors)
  • A Long Walk to Water  by Linda Sue Park
  • Through My Eyes: A Quarterback’s Journey by Tim Tebow
  • The Red Pyramid, The Maze of Bones, and The Last Hero all by Rick Riordan
  • The Big Miss (biography of Tiger Woods) by Hank Haney
  • Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading by Tommy Greenwald
  • The Notebook, Message in a Bottle, and Safe Haven allby Nicholas Sparks
  • The Magician’s Elephant  by Kate DiCamillo
  • Tomorrow Girls: Behind the Gate by Eva Gray
  • The Last Natural by Bryce Harper
  • Secrets, Lies, and Algebra by Wendy Lichtman
  • The Romeo and Juliet Code by Phoebe Stone
  • Wonder by R.J. Polacio
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • The River by Gary Paulsen
  • Lone Survivor by Marcus Lutrell
  • A Father First by Dwayne Wade
  • Coming Back Stronger by Drew Brees
  • Poppy by Avi
  • Rumble Fish by S.E. Hinton
  • The Fire by James Patterson
  • Friday Night LIghts by H.G. Baissinger
  • Forest of Secrets (part of the Warrior Cat series) by Erin Hunter
  • Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass
  • Middle School Get Me Out of Here by James Patterson
  • When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit  by Judith Kerr
  • Diary of  a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinny

As you can see, we have a diverse selection of books fueled by the interests of a diverse group of kids!  If you are looking for a summer read, you might find a good choice from our list.   Then you can get together with your friends for your own book talk cafe! 

If one of these titles interests you, leave a comment here, and I can direct you to the blog of the student who read that book.  Happy Reading!



Book Talk Cafe

Dear Students and Parents,

 Rather than collecting book reports this month, I will host a Book Talk Café.   One of my goals is to develop students who are lifelong readers.  As an adult, after I have read a book, I like to talk about it with others who may find it interesting.  I also like to hear about books that my friends have read.  Book Talk Café will involve learning about the art of conversation.

 Here are some ideas I might share in a conversation about books.    

Photo Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via Compfight cc Free Cup of Coffee and Flowers at Daybreak Creative Commons

  •  Title and author
  • Interesting information about the author, including other books he/she wrote
  • Genre
  • Where and when the book is set
  • Why I picked the book up in the first place
  • What I thought about the author’s writing
  • What characters I liked and didn’t like
  • What parts of the plot I thought were exciting
  • What parts of the plot I thought were unrealistic
  • What I learned from the story
  • Whether or not I liked this book and why

 You should think about how you would answer these questions for the book you read this month.

 It’s also nice to have something to eat while you are enjoying conversation with your friends.  Of course, eating with others has its own etiquette.  In addition to practicing the art of conversation, we will also practice good manners.   Dining in a pleasant atmosphere adds to the enjoyment of the food and conversation.   I will provide some decorations for our café, some simple refreshments, and a brief overview of appropriate manners for conversation and dining.  If any parents would be interested in supplementing our menu, we would all be appreciative.  Please let me know via your child, through email, or as a blog comment.

 Our Book Talk Café will take place on Thursday, March 21st

 Thank you so much!


~Mrs. Donofrio

Student Blogging Challenges

Hey, Kids!

Kudos to Franklin, John, Cogan, and Hannah for completing the Blogging Challenge for week 1.  You kids chose interesting people and thought up very intriguing questions.  I was impressed!  

In light of the novel we are reading this month, Under the Blood Red Sun,  and in response to the Blogging Challenge from week 1, here is a letter written by an unnamed sailor from Pearl Harbor.   Think about what we have read/learned about the attack so far, and read this letter. 

Memories of Attack on Pearl Harbor, Richard Hall, Page 2 of 2

Photo Credit: Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections via Compfight cc

What questions would you ask this soldier? 

Here is the link to Blogging Challenge Week 2.  You have lots of options, but one is to write about something you are passionate about.  I’ll be working on this challenge, too!  Deadline is next Sunday.  Make sure you check out some of the blogs from other students around the world who are participating as well.  Have fun!  I’m looking forward to reading your posts.

Parade Magazine ran their annual “What People Earn” issue this week.  They included a 27-year-old blogger who makes $18,000 a year.  That could be you! 

What do you think are the pros and cons of blogging for a living?

Blogging Challenges

Winners of First Annual Family Blogging Month Challenge

We instituted Family Blogging Month in February here at Hey, Kids!  Each week we entered the names of everyone whose family member or friend commented on his/her blog.  On Fridays in February, we drew the name of one lucky winner who received a few tasty treats and a No Homework Pass for language arts as well.  At the end of the month, we gave prizes to the students with the:

  •  Most Visitors (567)
  • Most Comments (200)
  • Farthest Visitor (Australia- multiple winners in this category.  We had to draw a name again.)

These lucky winners received the No Homework Pass, some treats, AND a No Uniform Pass to use at their discretion.

Right on the heels of February’s Family Blogging Month is the Student Blogging Challenge in March.  All my Kids should click on the link and write about this month’s challenge on their blogs.  We hope to make some stellar connections with new friends around the globe. 

What contests have you entered?  What prizes have you won?