Vordak The Incomprehensible: How to Grow Up and Rule the World

Vordak the Incomprehensible: How to Grow Up and Rule the World

Vordak the Incomprehensible: How to Grow Up and Rule the World by Scott Seegert is a book that every teacher of 5th-9th grades should get immediately! I originally bought this because I was looking for comical books for my reluctant  and below grade level readers. Unfortunately, this is not the book for them….yet. The vocabulary load is pretty heavy (Lexile above 1100) and there are many references to superhero/villian relationships that might confuse less able readers. However, ambitious students who have spent countless hours watching cartoons might be able to handle it. (Think a more verbose version of Dr. Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb)

The book is more a (hilarious) manual than a story. Vordak the Incomprehensible is an aging super villian and has written this guide to help teach young supervillian wanna be’s how to be almost as awesome as him. (Although he shares that no one can be quite as awesome as he is.) The humor plays out in his comical renderings of his childhood, how to pick the right supervillian name and outfit, finding the right lair, and how to surround yourself with the right people (just to name a few). The humor is also enhanced when the reader clearly discovers that Vordak’s plans are always foiled by the superheros a la Wile E. Coyote style. I found myself giggling aloud throughout the entire book…which is always a plus with me. 🙂 It also made me glad that I had already bought the sequel Vordak the Incomprehensible: Rule the School.

Click on the link below to see a book trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oDzMpEgL_E

You can also find out more about the great new book by visiting the website www.vordak.com.

While I think this book will probably appeal mostly to boys, I certainly enjoyed it…the possibilities are limitless!

Out With the Old, In With the New

Since the new year is upon me, I’ve taken stock of many things in my life. I’ve set personal and reading goals and then decided to set a goal for my classroom. My classroom library has been organized the same way for 4 years. I’ve liked it that way. It’s worked for me. However, many of the literacy books I read say that when students help organize the classroom library, they become more invested in using it. So, I decided to step out of my comfort zone today and let my students help me rearrange our classroom library. I have over 700 titles (mostly purchased myself or with Bonus Points from Scholastic) so I knew this might take a while. We discussed the merits of having the library organized by Lexile and by genre. We thought genre was the way to go, so we dug in and started. First we had to get all the bins off the shelf and get all the books out and displayed. We then perused all the books deciding on what would go where. We began to notice a pattern of several books by the same authors. So the students suggested we have some author sets. We also noticed groups like easy readers, early chapter books, etc. So we began to sort and label. (See below)

This was just one table of books.
Another table of books!

As we worked through the afternoon, we had discussions about what Newberry Award books were. We discovered that I already had several in our library. We discussed what historical fiction was, fantasy, and many others. Students were generally interested in knowing the exact components of each genre. I think they may have learned a thing or two. 🙂 I heard several students talking to each other during this project. The comment I heard most often was, “I want to read that book next.” Yeah!! After everything is put back together our bookshelf will be new and improved AND my students will be proud of the part they played in making that happen. And if it helped them add a few books to their “to be read” pile, that’s even better!