Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Turtle In Paradise- meeting #3

eating dinner- we only had 5 girls this time as one of our girls was sick :(
 Our third book Turtle In Paradise takes place in the 1930s in Key West.  The girls are all fans of Jennifer L. Holm's graphic novel series BABYMOUSE so it was interesting to us all to see her versatility as an author.  Although nothing like BABYMOUSE, it is a great little read and a fun adventure story.  It was really interesting for the girls to read about a young girl's adventure during the depression era, and many references to comic strips, foods, places, and products were foreign to them.  I found a website called HELP READERS LOVE READING written by an amazing teacher who is doing his part to make reading more interesting to his students.  It takes the book chapter by chapter and shows pictures of actual places, maps, comic strips, and even YouTube videos that show Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, Laurel and Hardy, The Three Stooges, and Shirley Temple.  

For our discussion, I brought my laptop to the host mama's house and using an HDMI cord, was able to show this website on the TV screen.  We wove our general discussion questions into the presentation/discussion.  He even gives question prompts on each page asking the girls things like "In chapter 14 she compares Pork Chop and Beans to Laurel and Hardy.  What does she mean with that comparison?"  I can't say enough about this site.  Its awesome! 
Help Readers Love Reading- Turtle in Paradise pages
watching Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire dancing
watching The Three Stooges

I'm always amazed at how much the girls remember from the books and their opinions about the story.  They are so savvy and think so much about the characters and their points of view.  I love the discussions with them.  

Instead of doing a craft this time, I thought it would be fun for the girls to do vintage inspired hairstyles using a headband.  I found this YouTube tutorial on how to stick your hair into an elastic headband to make it look like a messy updo.
Quick and Easy Vintage Hairstyle Headband tutorial

The girls watching the tutorial

Vintage inspired hairdos
so cute!

Because I like craft projects, I decided to make the headbands using fold over elastic and the following rosette tutorial.  But you could just as easily get some elastic headbands without embellishment and have just as much fun doing hairstyles.  

I used this tutorial to make the flowers for the headbands using old T-shirts:
T-shirt rosette tutorial
I thought this was a nice tie in to the book as well since the Depression era was all about stretching your dollar.  The original reduce, reuse, recycle.  

Fold over elastic is way more expensive and precut to 1 yd. lengths at Jo-Anns.  I got more for my money by ordering from Etsy.  
Shabby Rose Trim fold over elastic for headbands

For those who don't want to make rosettes but would like to trim out the headbands, they have affordable flowers available on ShabbyRoseTrim's store.

I've also noticed that a new trend in headbands is basically fold over elastic tied in a knot at one end.  Couldn't be easier to make that.  If you order your FOE from ShabbyRose, and cut and tie, you can recreate those for a lot less than the stores sell them for.

As always, at the end of the meeting, I gave the girls their bottle cap buttons for their lanyards.  
Here are the bottlecap images for Turtle in Paradise.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Official book club stamp!

One of the suggestions from A Mighty Girl's book club organizing guide was to consider buying two copies of each book (so Mom and Daughter can both read without sharing the same copy).  After finishing that selection, one copy could be donated to a classroom library, community group, etc.  My daughter has the most fabulous teacher (shout out to Ms. Anastasia, if you are reading this!) and we are going to donate a copy of each book to her classroom library.  I also lost a dear friend last month who was a school secretary at a local elementary school and I want to donate books in her name as well.  She was an incredible champion of children's literacy.  She organized reading volunteers to come in from the community and help the kids read, set up reading challenges with neighboring schools, and even lead a project to paint the school's library to look like a bejeweled castle.  Amazing.  When she passed, the family requested donations be made to the school library in her honor.  So now the Girls With Opinions book club will participate in this effort as well.  Because donations to school libraries are complicated (they need to be a special binding, outfitted with barcodes, etc.), school libraries don't often accept book donations.  However, there are many teachers at the school who have classroom libraries that could use some new material.  I asked the school librarian to suggest a teacher (of an appropriate grade level for our books) that might like a set.  This will benefit the children of Sinclair and allow us to donate our special books ;)

I spent far too much time looking on Etsy for the perfect stamp to mark the donated books as well as the ones that will remain in our collection.  I had about 20 contenders, but I kept coming back to Magnolia Letter Arts.  After I placed the order I learned the shop owner and her mom are both reading teachers.  So cool.  

I don't know about anyone else, but I was all about finding treasures/secrets/secret clubs as a kid.  I can imagine in my mind's eye how fun it will be for the kids who pick one of our books off the shelf, to find this stamp on the inside cover:

I will bring the stamp and a stamp pad to each meeting and the girls can stamp their books if they wish.  All our books donated to classroom libraries will be stamped.  Sinclair school classroom library donations will be stamped along with a message "donated in honor of Terisa Billingsley." 

I so wish I could share this idea with Terisa.  I know she would giggle like a school girl about how cute and fun it will be for the kids to find inside.