Videos from today’s Hugo Cabret

This morning, we watched videos featuring automatons. The first automaton is the inspiration that Brian Selznick used in his book.

Today, when we were reading The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Hugo and Isabelle went to the movies. They watched a newsreel, then The Clock Store, then The Million. Here are clips of the videos below:


Safety Last!

Tomorrow, we’re going to reach a part in Hugo Cabret that includes a reference to Harold Lloyd’s “Safety Last.” You can watch this silent movie, filmed in 1923, by clicking the link below.

We watched this today during our snack transition from reading to math. We are learning as a class how Ms. Houghton posts to our website so we can make our own posts too!


An exciting week so far!

It’s been quite a week for us! On Monday, we discovered A Sick Day for Amos McGee won the Caldecott, and we were expecting that Art and Max would win, Jasmin said. We watched the awards announcement live Monday morning in our classroom!

“We were expecting that Art and Max was going to win, but A Sick Day for Amos McGee won,” Leonel said.

Our mock Caldecott predictions were a mixed bag — we were right that Interrupting Chicken would win an Honor, but Art and Max received nothing.

That day, we reread Interrupting Chicken, Ryan said. Most students said it was as good the second time around, and for some of us, it was our first time.

Chalk came in second place, and we weren’t expecting it to win, we were really impressed because we didn’t think Chalk would come in second place, so we were very excited,” Ra’Seana said.

Another thing we certainly weren’t expecting, Cecilia said, was to hear from Bill Thomson.

Which brings us to Tuesday. We were content with how the Caldecotts turned out, and we had added a few new books to our classroom library — Interrupting Chicken, Dave the Potter, and Chalk.

When Ms. Houghton went to the staff workroom at second recess, however, she was surprised to discover a large envelope. “Bill Thomson” was on the return address. Ms. Houghton could have opened it then, but she waited for her students to return. She even asked Mr. Swartz if her students could go late to their math intervention with Ms. Kliskey, and he agreed.

“Bill Thomson gave us a note, and the whole class was really surprised. We reviewed the book Chalk, and Ms. Houghton cried because she was so excited,” Ra’Seana said.

“It was hand-written,” Esther said of the note.

There was a dinosaur drawn at the bottom, warning “Be careful what you draw,” Xavier said.

“I liked your handwriting, and it’s really neat,” Shi said. “I wish I could take the paper home to show my parents.”

Ms. Houghton said she didn’t think of copying the letter, and she will do so at lunch today.

Another document Ms. Houghton copied Wednesday morning was the Federal Way Mirror newspaper article featuring her class. What a huge surprise!

Ms. Houghton was contacted by Neal McNamara, the education reporter for the Mirror. He interviewed her by phone on Friday afternoon, while Mr. Swartz hung out in her classroom and tried on her safari hat.

“We’ve had a wonderful week,” Ms. Houghton said. “I can’t even begin to imagine what Thursday and Friday have in store for us.” Special thanks to Mr. Swartz for allowing Ms. Houghton’s class to explore literacy in innovative ways.



For immediate release:

This morning, at 9:47 AM, Ms. Houghton’s class announced its selection for this year’s Caldecott award. By a landslide, three-time Caldecott award veteran David Wiesner won for his hillarious book, Art and Max.

Two honor books were also selected, and they included Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein and Chalk by Bill Thomson.

“I think Art and Max was a really good book ’cause he paints Max and then he puts water on him and he turns invisible. Then, he paints him a lot of colors and then he looks like a rainbow,” Eddy said.

“I liked Chalk even though I didn’t hear it; I can still picture the book in my head. I like drawing a lot, and I’d like to have those things in real life, so I picked that book,” Ra’Seana said.

“I really liked Art and Max because it had a lot of colors in it,” Payton said. “Plus, I really liked the book because it has colors that people don’t have and wouldn’t usually use to make art.”

Anthea added, “I liked Interrupting Chicken because whenever his dad told him a story, he interrupted every single story. I liked it because at the end he tried to tell his dad a story and by the time he told it, his dad was already asleep.”

“I liked Chalk because whenever they found chalk and were drawing stuff, it kept becoming in real life,” Deandre said.

“I liked Chalk because when the boy made a dinosaur and they were scared and they figured a way to get him away,” Miriam explained. “The boy made a cloud that could make the dinosaur go away, and when the dinosaur went away, they never touched the chalk ever again.”

“I liked Chalk whenever the dinosaur came out because it scared all the kids and it looked funny,” Shi said.

“I liked Art and Max because it was funny because Max said that the other guy can paint him, but he like literally painted him,” Cecilia said.

Alexis said, “I liked Art and Max because when they painted him he was invisible, but then they painted him and he was so colorful.”

“I liked Chalk because the dinosaur came alive and the dinosaur scares them,” Thalia said.

“I liked Chalk because it’s like the dinosaur was holding the chalk and the dinosaur wanted them to draw it,” Esther said. “So they’d be like, dinosaur, yeah!”

“I liked Art and Max because it had a lot of color and it was funny because it was like he was an actual rainbow,” Kaybrien said.

Ms. Houghton said she was incredibly proud of her students’ work on literacy and reading so far this year.

“They read 11 books that were eligible for the Caldecott this year,” she said. “Plus, we’ve already read 16 previous Caldecott winners, and we’re in the middle of two other Caldecott winners. They’re excellent voters because they are well informed.”

Ms. Houghton’s parents have already purchased a copy of Art and Max for the classroom, and Ms. Houghton will order Interrupting Chicken and Chalk this afternoon.

TOMORROW! The official Caldecott winners will be announced, and Ms. Houghton will be at Wildwood early to see the awards given live at 7:45 AM.

Ms. Houghton’s class says, “Sincerely, Ms. Houghton’s class.”



Book Talk

Here’s this week’s book talk!

Additionally, I spoke about Dinosaur National Monument at the end of the video. Here are a few pictures of what the area actually looks like. It’s amazing!

Dinosaur National Monument and Green River

In front of the fossil wall.