Blogging, blogging, blogging!

15 11 2012

This week I started a new book. It’s written by one of my favourite authors, Elizabeth George. She has decided to delve into the reading world of young adults. Naturally I bought this book and encouraged my daughter to read it (knowing that I could read it too). The book is called ” the Edge of Nowhere”

Becca, the main character, has this thing where she can hear people’s thoughts – snippets of them. She “overhears” her step-dad talking about a murder. Her mom packed them up and they are on the run. Becca’s mom arranged for Becca to stay with one of her friends on Whidbey Island. Becca has just left her mom, stepped on the ferry that will take her to her new home.

Reading Becca say goodbye to her mother made me think of when I was in grade 11 and on my way to spend three months in a small town north of Quebec City. Becca was mostly afraid and a little tiny bit excited to leave her mom. I felt the exact same way. I was afraid because I was headed to a small town where I would only be able to communicate in French (barely anyone spoke English there). I had to attend high school and take classes in French. The only French I had taken was in grade 10 and 11. I didn’t know if I would like my exchange family, I didn’t know if I would make friends, I didn’t know how badly I would miss my family and friends. When I boarded the plan to Montreal, I felt as nervous and anxious as Becca did when she stepped onto the ferry. Like Becca I was slightly excited at the thought of this new adventure. I was excited to learn French, eat poutine and make new friends (preferably ones who spoke English – which happened as there were three of us from Alberta in the school in Roberville). Turned out to be an excellent experience. Two years ago when I was in Quebec City with the school, my exchange student, Guylaine, met me there. It was fun to hang out with her again, twenty years or so later.

What about you? What book are you reading? What is your connection to the book? Remember to write more about your connection than your book. Provide me with lots of details about your connection. Make me learn something about you.

Have fun! I am excited to see what you are going to write!

Love, Mrs. H





Wintery blog …

8 11 2012

 It is a blustery, wintry, blogging day. It’s time for you to think about another connection to the book you are reading.

This week I started a new book. It’s written by one of my favourite authors, Elizabeth George. She has decided to delve into the reading world of young adults. Naturally I bought this book and encouraged my daughter to read it (knowing that I could read it too). The book is called ” the Edge of Nowhere”. Becca, the main character, has this thing where she can hear people’s thoughts – snippets of them. She “overhears” her step-dad talking about a murder. Her mom packed them up and they are on the run. Becca’s mom arranged for Becca to stay with one of her friends on Whidbey Island. Becca has just left her mom, stepped on the ferry that will take her to her new home.

Reading Becca say goodbye to her mother made me think of when I was in grade 11 and on my way to spend three months in a small town north of Quebec City. Becca was mostly afraid and a little tiny bit excited to leave her mom. I felt the exact same way. I was afraid because I was headed to a small town where I would only be able to communicate in French (barely anyone spoke English there). I had to attend high school and take classes in French. The only French I had taken was in grade 10 and 11. I didn’t know if I would like my exchange family, I didn’t know if I would make friends, I didn’t know how badly I would miss my family and friends. When I boarded the plan to Montreal, I felt as nervous and anxious as Becca did when she stepped onto the ferry. Like Becca I was slightly excited at the thought of this new adventure. I was excited to learn French, eat poutine and make new friends (preferably ones who spoke English – which happened as there were three of us from Alberta in the school in Roberville). Turned out to be an excellent experience. Two years ago when I was in Quebec City with the school, my exchange student, Guylaine, met me there. It was fun to hang out with her again, twenty years or so later.

What about you? What book are you reading? What is your connection to the book? Remember to write more about your connection than your book. Provide me with lots of details about your connection. Make me learn something about you.

Can’t wait to read what you have to write! Stay warm & dry this snowy weekend.

 Love, Mrs. H





A few questions for you …..

11 10 2012

Hello Blogging Buddies!!! Are you ready to start your reading response??

For this first, summative, reading response I’d like you to answer the following questions:

1. Which book are you reading right now? Who is the  author?

2. Why did you pick this book?

3. Do you like it? Why or why not?

4. Where do you like to read?

5. Do you do anything else while reading – for example – listen to music, eat?

6. Write about a connection your have to your novel OR Use two of the following sentence starters and finish it:

I like/dislike the character (insert name here) because …

I like/dislike this writing because

The character I most admire is … because …

This part is very realistic/unrealistic because …

This story teaches …

I wish that …

I can’t believe …

I wonder …, a possible answer is …

Before you begin .. read through my answers, maybe they’ll help. Here I go ….this week I’m still reading…  “Shadow of Night” by Deborah Harkness. I picked up this book because I thoroughly enjoyed the first one and I wanted to see what was going to happen to the characters as they attempted to go back in time. Surprisingly, I do like it. It’s about witches, vampires, daemons but not in a “Twighlight” sort of way. This is written more f rom a historical, adult fiction perspective.  I really like the history part of the story. I enjoy reading in my living room, or my front room. If it’s warm I enjoy reading with an ice-filled glass of pepsi, if it’s cold replace Pepsi with piping hot Silver Cloud Tea and perhaps a chocolate covered shortbread cookie or two.

I’ve chosen to answer two of the above questions: The character I admire most is Diana. She has bravely gone back to the year 1590, donned all their clothes, learned their “English” all to find out where she came from. When she has setbacks she looks for other solutions to her problems. She is a strong, intelligent, independent woman. I dislike the character named Kit because he betrayed Diana and her husband Matthew. He is driven by money and sold his information to the highest bidder – the enemy. This clashes with my own core values.

Now … your turn! I’m excited to see what you come up with. Remember to answer all 6 questions. You can number them if that makes it easier for you. Have a terrific weekend!

Love, Mrs. H





Welcome!! I’m so excited to blog with you!!

27 09 2012

Howdy New Bloggers … and welcome to your first reading response! Are you ready to begin? This week I’d like you to think about a connection you have to your book. Remember that your connection CANNOT  simple – the character has a husband, I have a husband. 

I will always provide you with an example of what I am looking for. Try to follow it using your own experiences. Are you ready??? Here I go ….

Just this week I’ve started a new book. It is called “Shadow of Night” by Deborah Harkness. It’s the second in the “A Discovery of Witches” series. Diana (a witch) and Matthew (a vampire & her husband) have transported themselves from 21st Century America  to the year 1590 in Great Britain, in order to find a magic manuscript. Diana is trying to get used to the different clothing, money system, way of speaking and way of writing of England. She is having a hard time in this strange “new” world.

Ready for my connection? Here it is: When I moved to Canada from Holland, at the age of 9, I too had to take some time to adjust to “Canadian” ways. Although our clothing was the same, the money (in my 9 year old Dutch girl opinion) was huge and colorful. We arrived in Canada on August 20th, 1978. I started grade four in early September. The only English words I knew were ” I love you.” I could not talk with my classmates the first day of school. My teacher spoke a few Dutch words. It was extremely hard to communicate. It was difficult to make friends, it was tiring and tough to learn new ways to do things. In Holland we ate all our meals with a knife and fork. The first time I went to McDonalds, shortly after we arrived, we sat in the restaurant eating hamburgers with a knife and fork. I wondered why people were glancing our way. It was challenging to learn another language. Eventually I picked up the “Canadian” way to eat hamburgers, speak English and made new friends. I’m sure Diana will experience the same thing.

Now it’s your turn. Remember that this first reading response will be formative, meaning that I will grade your assignment and provide feedback to help you on your next reading response, which will be summative. Please tell me the name of the book you’ve been reading, who the author is and a brief summary of what it is about. Notice that in my response the summary of the book is much shorter than the connection I had. Yours should be the same.

I’m really looking forward to reading what you have to say! Have a terrific weekend!!

Love, Mrs. H





Last response of the year :)

1 06 2012

 Good morning! Are you ready to write your last reading response of grade 7???

You may choose to complete this response in any way you like: sentence starters, a connection or identifying themes through illustrations.

This week I read a book by my very favourite author, Anne Perry. She did not dissapoint. The book is called “Dorchester Terrace”.

 This picture represents true grit, a hard work ethic. Thomas Pitt, one of the main characters in this series, works extremely hard in his position of commander of the Special Branch in England. He does whatever is needed to be done to find whomever is responsible for the crime that has been committed. His father was a gameskeeper who instilled his work ethic when he was a young boy.

I look forward to reading what you have to write!

Love, Mrs. H





Reading response in May

10 05 2012

Good morning, welcome to another blogging Friday.  This week I read “Guilty Wives” by James Patterson. It was a combination mystery and action novel, which I really enjoyed. In fact, it was difficult to put down. Four women go to Monte Carlo to wake up one morning to police storming their boat and arresting them for the murder of the French president and his body guard. Turns out the women’s husbands set them up, but you don’t find that out until the very end of the book. Happily, I sort of figured that out about 3/4 of the way through the book.

This week I would like you to choose 3 of the 8 prompts below to complete. Below the prompts you will find my response for this week.

I like/dislike the character (insert name here) because …

I like/dislike this writing because

The character I most admire is … because …

This part is very realistic/unrealistic because …

This story teaches …

I wish that …

I can’t believe …

I wonder …, a possible answer is …

The character I most admire is Abbie, the main character in the book. I admire her because she sticks to what she believes is right. She is offered a lighter sentence if she confesses to “her” part in the murder. Her three friends accept the offer but Abbie holds out because she strongly feels that she cannot confess to what she did not do. As a result of her decision, she suffers in prison for almost a year. I admire that under all the pressure and torture she receives because of her decision, she sticks to doing what is right.

I wonder how James Patterson and David Ellis came up with this story?  A possible answer is that they liked the idea of a character being set up by someone else and thought if they liked this idea, others might enjoy reading about it. I wonder why they co-wrote this book? James Patterson is a successful, well know author of both teen and adult fiction. A possible answer is that he is helping out a lesser known author.

I wish that the story didn’t end when it did. I would have enjoyed reading an epilogue that described how Abbie was doing in the near future. I often find that in stories .. I remember excitedly reading the epilogue to the last of the Harry Potter books and being very happy to read that Harry & Ginny got married as did Hermione and Ron.

Your turn .. remember to choose three of the 8 prompts. Your response may not simply be a one sentence response. Aim for at least 3 or 4 sentences per prompt. Happy writing! Love, Mrs. H





Individuals …

29 03 2012

Okey Dokey Artichokies …. welcome to another Blogging Friday! Today we are focusing on the individual, therefore you have choice as to how you are going to do your reading response. You can: 

  • write about a connection   OR
  • list 2 themes, find a picture to represent each theme (the picture MUST NOT have the theme word on it!) and write a brief blurb explaining why the picture represents the theme   OR
  • Choose 3 sentence starters and finish them.

Here I go: This week I’m reading “The House of Silk” by Anthony Horowitz. This is a Sherlock Holmes novel.  

I’ve chosen to do 3 sentence starters.

1. The setting makes me feel sad because it’s sad that the boys have no where to live.

2. I notice that the author likes to write like he talks.

3. My favourite part so far is the beginning.

Hopefully you noticed that this is a TERRIBLE reading response. It does not show any effort, it does not provide thoughtful or mature opinions, it is not detailed at all and the word choice is clearly unimpressive. What mark out of 12 would you give me (the rubric is on my teacher page)? Please put your response in your own blog, along with a sentence or two as to why you gave it that mark.

 Happy blogging!  I’m looking forward to reading what you have to write,

Love, Mrs. H