Making Magic in the Classroom

Inspiration comes in the strangest places.  Mine came in Vegas while shopping for a gift for my son.  After looking at a lot of $30 t-shirts that I was NOT about to buy for a kid that ends up wearing every meal, I was desperate.  Desperate!  I began asking everyone for ideas, and finally on the last evening someone suggested Houdini's Magic Shop in the Venetian.  As I was in need of something fast, I  asked the store clerk for help.  He brought out a whole bunch of magic tricks, and BAM!  I forgot I was buying for my son. (Seriously.)

©Arpad Nagy-Bagely/Dollar Photo Club=
I remembered my class's favorite read aloud last year was  Dorko the Magnificent by Andrea Beaty Amulet.  (If you haven't read it, get a copy right away!)  My class LOVED it - and I planned to read it again this year.  As I was watching the magician do these tricks (Levitating pencils!  Pulling lights out of your ear!), I just thought, "This is the bling that was missing from my room last year!"  My room was just missing the FUN.  I don't mean "fun", because we did a lot of crafts and kids loved interactive notebooks, but FUN - that joy and excitement from school.  I am determined to make my class a place where kids are thrilled to be there - where they never know when something cool will happen!

Now, the magician promised me the tricks are super easy, because coordination is not high in the Mezni household.  (I bought my son a trick card deck and he has been working on it for days.)  I plan to start the year off with Dorko the Magnificent and wow them by levitating their pencils (and the book, of course.)  Dorko will captivate students in 4th and 5th grade.  I know many people start with Wonder or Ivan, but give Dorko a shot.

Robbie Dorko wants to be a famous magician, but he is terrible - and infamous around his town for his performances at the school's annual talent show.  His grandma ends up moving in with them and taking over his room.  His grandma is a real character - personality plus!  The kids love her because she is so cranky.  Eventually Robbie realizes that his grandma was a traveling magician, and the reader has to infer a lot about her because she doesn't talk about her past - ever.  I won't do spoilers, but the end is a real tear jerker.  This is the book for you if you are looking for a high interest book with great literary devices.  And a few magic tricks won't hurt.

How do you plan to make this year magical?

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