Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Book Talk Tuesday - The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street

"Mean girls, ghosts, and terrifying ventriloquist dummies...I can't let them win." Tessa Woodward is battling all of these things in The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street by Lindsay Currie.

Tessa and her family have just moved to Chicago from Florida, and she is trying to adjust to her new house, new school, and the new climate. But it's hard to get comfortable when she notices lights flickering, strange sounds, and mysterious drawings appearing in her sketchbook. To make matters worse, Tessa thinks her little brother's ventriloquist dummy is always staring at her, and she notices it crying real tears! With new friends Andrew and Nina by her side, they decide something happened in Tessa's house, but what? Also, who is the ghost, and why has it chosen Tessa to haunt?

This middle grade ghost story is mysterious, spooky, and suspenseful! I loved the array of characters, ghost legends, and all the mentions of Chicago and its history. Next time I'm in the Windy City, I will definitely be visiting Graceland Cemetery! This book is a must-add to your classroom library! 🏙👻🏠

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Book Talk Tuesday - Greenglass House

Every Tuesday in my classroom, we do something called "Book Talk Tuesday."  After our bell ringer, I share a book or two that I have read with my students.  Sometimes I will give a brief summary of the book, sometimes I will show a book trailer, and sometimes I will read the first few pages or a chapter from a book.  After sharing my book, I open the floor for students to share books they have read.  I don't require students to share, but I find that once one student shares, more seem to follow.  There have been times where we spend the entire class period (42 minutes) talking about books!  Those days are my favorite!

I've decided to expand my Book Talk Tuesday from my classroom to our blog!  So this week, I would like to share with you Greenglass House by Kate Milford.

Milo is just starting his Christmas break, and can't wait for some much-needed quiet time. Milo's adopted family, The Pines, own Greenglass House, a smuggler's inn in Nagspeake on the side of a hill overlooking the harbor, and this time of year, they hardly have any visitors. Until one night, when their guest bell rings and rings and rings! All of a sudden, Greenglass House is bustling with people, and Milo can kiss his quiet break good-bye.

But when some of the guests' items go missing, Milo and the cook's daughter, Meddy, are on the case to find the items, along with the reason why all of these guests have come to Greenglass House in the first place.

If you or your students like mysteries, they will like Greenglass House. It is a bit lengthy (about 375) pages, but the author, Kate Milford, does a wonderful job of keeping it suspenseful. Plus, the book cover is gorgeous!

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Life in the Trenches

My 8th grade classes have been talking about World War I. They can’t believe the time and effort the countries have put into the making of their trenches. I told them my ten-year-old wants us to dig a hole and assemble her trampoline underground, and that seems darn near impossible. Anyways, after spending a few days talking about life in the trenches, we decided to have Trench Warfare in the classroom. Take some time to browse my 8th graders “day in the trench’. 


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Monday, March 7, 2016


Hello friends!  Welcome to the Hanson Hallway, a blog about our lives as parents, teachers, and coaches!  Starting this blog was a part of my New Year’s resolution, so better late than never at giving this a try!

Where did we get the name “The Hanson Hallway”?
My husband, Brian, and I are both teachers at a junior high in north-central Illinois.  Our classrooms are in the same hallway two doors down from each other, so we see each other every 40 minutes or so.  It is fun being able to pop into each other’s classrooms from time to time: I go to his room to help with technology; he comes to mine and tells silly jokes and sing goofy songs.  People always ask us, “How are you able to work together?  Don’t you get sick of each other?”  Surprisingly, no!  *On a side note, Brian’s sister is our district’s art teacher so she’s also in the hallway teaching art at the end of the day!   

As parents...
Brian and I have been married for four years; he has a ten-year-old daughter, and we have an almost three year old daughter and twenty-month old son.  Needless to say, they keep us very busy, and there isn’t much quiet time around our house.  We currently live on a farm (actually, the farm I grew up on), but only have two cats so far.  We are looking into getting a dog, sheep, goats, and chickens this summer.
As teachers...
Brian has been teaching for 19 years, and currently teaches 7th and 8th grade social studies.  Over the years, he has taught 3rd and 4th grade, and 6th and 8th grade ELA.  I have been teaching for 10 years, and currently teach 6th and 7th grade ELA.  Along with ELA, I have also taught math and technology.

As coaches…
Brian is the sophomore boys basketball coach at a local private high school, and I coach track and field at our junior high.  Sports is a large part of our lives.  We were both multi-sport athletes in high school, and we played sports in college, as well (Brian played basketball and I played softball).  We are HUGE Duke basketball fans, and love Chicago baseball (Brian is a White Sox fan and I’m a Cubs fan).  We have learned so much through sports, and we love being able to share our skills, knowledge, and life lessons.

What will you learn here?
  • Lessons and events from our classrooms
  • Book reviews and recommendations
  • Parenting successes and failures
  • Coaching strategies, skills and drills

You can follow us here or on social media: 
  • Brian: @bhanson72 (Twitter and Instagram)
  • Christina @hansonhallway (Twitter and Instagram).

We hope you stick around and start following us!


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