Monday May 22nd, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a  reading photo of the week.  Or two 🙂

These two are pointing out that we just have the first six titles in this series and . . . don’t I feel like doing a little book shopping? Because there are more titles . . . Hint. Hint. How can I resist?

#IMWAYR

Kids and books are everywhere during buddy reading!

#IMWAYR

#classroombookaday photo We have been travelling the world learning about biomes, ecosystems, evolution, endangered animals, etc. Love nonfiction books!

#IMWAYR

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

IMWAYR 2015

Books I enjoyed:

The Red Bicycle: The Extraordinary Story of One Ordinary Bicycle written by Jude Isabella and illustrated by Simone Shin

This Citizen Kid title would make an excellent read aloud in the classroom. One very special bicycle makes its way from North America to West Africa.

Melvis and Elvis written by Dennis Lee and illustrated by Jeremy Tankard

My children were raised on Dennis Lee! I love sharing his work in the classroom too and this title will find a spot next to all of our other Dennis Lee titles in the poetry section on our shelves. Lots of silly here!

The Case of the Stinky Stench written by Josh Funk and illustrated by Brendan Kearney

Another full out fridge adventure. Some suspicious stenches accompany Josh Funk’s delightful rhyming text. Another winner!

My Canada: An Illustrated Atlas by Katherine Dearlove and illustrated by Lori Joy Smith

Can’t wait to share this one in my classroom. Perfect title for students to navigate.

Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly

This might be my favourite title so far by Kelly. Four main characters and some delightful supporting roles (love Virgil’s Lola). Unique characters here. Individual. Lonely. Determined. A highly, highly recommended middle grade read.

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 26/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 129/365 books read

Progress on challenge: 11 books behind schedule

#MustReadin2017: 15/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 21/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 20/50 books read

Up next? I have a few titles on the go including Blooming at the Texas Sunrise Motel by Kimberly Willis Holt and See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng

Monday May 15th, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week.  It’s been a few weeks since I have posted so here are a few . . .

A student brushing up on the original fairy tale as she begins the story of Rump by Liesl Shurtliff

Some serious Scaredy Squirrel fans read together during buddy reading!

Here are a few #classroombookaday photos to share

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

IMWAYR 2015

Books I enjoyed:

Town is by the Sea written by Joanne Schwartz and illustrated by Sydney Smith

I am not sure if it is humanly possible to illustrate this book more beautifully. I almost couldn’t breathe looking at these pages. The story is lyrical and full of vivid images. The beauty of the seaside is a sharp contrast to the reality of the daily life in a mining town.

The Fog written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Kenard Pak

Well. Where to begin with this book? There is so much that is clever and charming but there are heavier themes to explore for each reader to discover. I can’t wait to kid test this one and see what the reactions will be. Very worth getting your hands on this title!

Caring for Your Lion written by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Troy Cummings

A wonderful mentor text for the primary grades. Often the text and the pictures don’t completely match and this is hilarious and scary all at the same time as we follow the step by step instructions of how to look after a mail order lion. I shared this with a group of Grade 1 students who were thrilled to share what animal they might like to order in the mail!

The Good for Nothing Button by Charise Mericle Harper

Another wonderful Elephant & Piggie recommended title. I loved this book and then I read this post by Travis Jonker and loved it more. (If fidget spinners have taken over your school – read the link for a smile)

Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt by Ben Clanton

We LOVE Super Narwhal in my classroom! Love, love, love. It is the perfect blend of amusing, informative and just plain cute.

A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold 

I read this in one sitting. An ideal read aloud for a Grade 2 or 3 classroom. There is so much here. Bat, his family and a little orphaned skunk make up a cast of characters that you must meet.

Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham

This book is flying through my Grade 4/5 classroom. Friendship issues, fitting in, sibling stressors and growing up. The perfect middle school title. A graphic novel.

Moon Shadow by Erin Downing

Some fantastic elements that middle grade readers will love. For me personally, too much magic. But I can see young readers devouring this book. Recommended for Grade 6 and older because of the romance themes and nasty friendship dynamics.

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

This YA novel is hard to put down. Fabiola Toussaint joins her aunt and female cousins in Detroit. Newly arrived from Haiti without her mother who has been detained by immigration, Fabiola has much to navigate in this new world full of dangers and threats and uncertain security. Highly recommended.

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 25/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 123/365 books read

Progress on challenge: 10 books behind schedule

#MustReadin2017: 14/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 18/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 18/50 books read

Up next? I have a few titles on the go including Blooming at the Texas Sunrise Motel by Kimberly Willis Holt

Monday April 24th, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. Typically, I have more than one to share!

I love happening upon keen readers perched all over the room.

Monday April 24th, 2017

I am the #1 Reader spotter. I find them no matter where they hide!

Monday April 24th, 2017

Buddy reading spots

Monday April 24th, 2017

Lots of #classroombookaday photos to share. Can you see a theme in each collection?

Monday April 24th, 2017 Monday April 24th, 2017

Monday April 24th, 2017

Monday April 24th, 2017

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

IMWAYR 2015

Books I enjoyed:

Out of Wonder Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley and Marjorie Wentworth illustrations by Ekua Holmes

Here, I am speechless about this book. I can’t wait to begin reading poems from it aloud to my students. It will be inspiring more words. More poetry. More imagining. BUY this book! Your classroom or library need to have this title.

This is How We Do it: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from around the World by Matt Lamothe I featured this title here.

Piper Green and the Fairy Tree: Going Places by Ellen Potter with illustrations by Qin Leng

This series is so popular with a few of my students. It has appeal for independent readers from a really broad age range. I had Grade 2s who loved this series. Now I have Grade 4s who love these books. This fourth title is a lot of fun. I love Piper’s bold conviction.

Princess Cora and the Crocodile written by Laura Amy Schlitz with illustrations by Brian Floca

I am pretty certain that most pet lists do not include crocodiles. This one turns out to be pretty amusing and wonderfully, hilariously heroic.

Terror at Bottle Creek by Watt Key 

An incredible adventure story that will have you on the edge of your seat. A Gulf Coast Hurricane creates conditions absolutely terrifying for 13 year old Cort and his two neighbours he is trying to keep safe.

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson 

Jade is a black student on scholarship at a mostly white private school. She questions the supports and opportunities offered to her as she struggles to figure out what she wants in her future. This title explores so many relationships: family, friendships, mentor/mentee, student/teacher. Jade’s voice is one that will weave questions into your head that will remain there for some time. Loved all of the things this book made me think about.

Matylda Bright and Tender by Holly M. McGhee 

This little book is all kinds of tender indeed. It holds you up through the heartbreaking and consoles you through all the hard. A beautiful middle grade read about friendship and grief and all the many ways to hope.

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 21/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 112/365 books read

Progress on challenge: On schedule!

#MustReadin2017: 13/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 18/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 16/50 books read

Up next? I am reading a bunch of things including Moon Shadow by Erin Downing

Monday April 3rd, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. Typically, I have more than one to share! 🙂

Here are students making lists of books they want to read after I book talked some titles.

Monday April 3rd, 2017

Two boys lost in their books. I love the recently book talked titles with a huge list of names above them. Many students want to read these novels!

Monday April 3rd, 2017

A Ben Hatke story being shared during buddy reading.

Monday April 3rd, 2017

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

IMWAYR 2015

On the blog:

The Slice of Life posts wound down. 31 days of published pieces!

Gentle: Slice of Life #31 Choose to be gentle as we teach

It’s that Good: Slice of Life #30 A reading classroom

Stand Up and Sing! Pete Seeger’s biography for nonfiction Wednesday

No Surprises: Slice of Life #28 Back to school after 2 weeks away

60% Chance of Rain: Slice of Life 27 Hoping for sun

Books I enjoyed:

Hoot and Honk Just Can’t Sleep written and illustrated by Leslie Helakoski

An adorable title all about being true to your nature and happiest where you belong.

Farmer Duck written by Martin Waddell and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

The 25th anniversary edition of this classic tale! All of the farm animals help hard working Duck when the farmer persists in his lazy ways.

Milo and Georgie written by Bree Galbraith and illustrated by Josée Bisaillon

Milo and Georgie move with their Mom for her new job. Each approaches the move and all things new in very different ways. Georgie embraces the thrill of discovering a new place and all of the details of her neighbourhood. Milo vows to never have fun again and stations himself firmly inside his house. A wonderful story about what it’s like to have to deal with a move as a child.

 

Bad Guys: Episode 2 Mission Unpluckable by Aaron Blabey

We can’t get enough Bad Guys! Loved meeting Legs in this episode.

Bad Guys: Episode 3 The Furball Strikes Again by Aaron Blabey

This may be the biggest adventure yet. Lots of hilarious drama!

Like Carrot Juice on a Cupcake by Julie Sternberg and illustrated by Matthew Cordell

All kinds of difficult friendship dynamics are explored here. Love this series. Wish this third title wasn’t the last.

The Scourge by Jennifer A. Nielsen

A true adventure story. This middle grade novel will keep readers on the edge of their seat. Weevil and Ani are very likeable characters and it is easy to cheer for them. Mystery, adventure and interesting character dynamics. Can see my students becoming addicted to this title after just a few chapters.

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 18/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 100/365 books read

Progress on challenge: 9 books ahead of schedule!

#MustReadin2017: 10/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 17/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 13/50 books read

Up next? I am reading Terror at Bottle Creek by Watt Key

Monday March 27th, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. As we were off this past few weeks, I have a photo of a bookstore visit to the incredible Munro’s Books  in Victoria B.C. Here is part of the picture book display.

Monday March 27th, 2017

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

IMWAYR 2015

With Spring Break and being away for a few days I missed last week’s IMWAYR so this post captures 2 weeks of reading.

On the blog:

Continued Slice of Life posts mean daily posting:

Missing Primary: Slice of Life #26 I love Grade 4 and 5 but I miss the little ones

Shopping: Slice of Life #25 I am not a good shopper

So far: Slice of Life #24 So far from a year ago

Rain: Slice of Life #23 Caught in a deluge

Quiet Things: Slice of Life #22 The quiet things I love

Chapter book Challenges: Slice of Life #21 How we support students moving into chapter books

Writing cheats: Slice of Life #20 Words still eluding me

Missing words: Slice of Life #19 Writing steals my reading time

Simply easier: Slice of Life #18 Preparing to write about teaching before? Maybe soon

Slightly Awkward: Slice of Life #17 Thinking about the work that change in our practice involves

Mud: Slice of Life #16 Nothing to write about

For nonfiction Wednesday, Nic Bishop’s newest: Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Penguin Day – A Family Story

Capturing play: Slice of Life #15 The importance of play

Sometimes Guilt: Slice of Life #14 Sometimes, thinking back to leaving my previous school  brings guilt.

The little girl I should have taught: Slice of Life #13 Thinking about a child who should have been in my class

Books I enjoyed:

Triangle by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

Love the way these two partner up to make us smile and wonder and shake our heads. Little bits of sneaky. Lots of funny. And always, the stunning artwork from Klassen.

A Walk in the Forest by Maria Dek

Oh this book. Visually it is absolutely stunning. If this doesn’t make you want to wander through the woods and use every sense . . .

Shy by Deborah Freedman

Underneath a very sweet story is permission to be just who you are.

Rain by Sam Usher

Gorgeous rain. The pages seem slightly drowned. The images feel like they are full of puddles. And a lovely little story about a boy and his Grandpa.

A Unicorn Named Sparkle by Amy Young

More than an “I want a pet” story. This is “I want a unicorn story” With big expectations come big disappointments. And then, big love.

Life on Mars by Jon Agee

Not really about Mars. More about set up and surprises and wanting something to be so. Really liked this one.

Dear Dragon written by Josh Funk and illustrated by Rodolfo Montalvo

Charming and full of all kinds of classroom possibilities. Writing to a pen pal becomes even more exciting when you begin to share more and more about yourself. What happens when the chance to meet in “person” happens? Told in rhyming letters, there is a lot to this little picture book.

Egg by Kevin Henkes

I have a thing about picture books where the egg plays a starring role. This one is especially wonderful.

Squirrels Leap, Squirrels Sleep written by April Pulley Sayre and illustrated by Steve Jenkins 

For years, I have made it clear that I do not like squirrels. At all. They steal my daffodil bulbs. They have tried to burrow into my house. They make feeding birds a battle. So, I wasn’t sure about how I would feel about a title devoted to these creatures. Must admit, I kind of loved it and I learned a lot. But, I still do not like squirrels.

Squirrels Leap, Squirrels Sleep

Feathers and Hair, What Animals Wear written by Jennifer Ward and illustrated by Jing Jing Tsong

This is a must experience it yourself nonfiction title. Really incredible illustrations. Would be a beautiful addition to any school or classroom library.

Completely Clementine by Sara Pennypacker

I have been putting off reading the final Clementine title because I didn’t want to say goodbye. We found Clementine as an audio book years ago when my children were smaller and went on to read all of the titles. In fact, I have read all but 2 titles aloud to my children. At 14, they weren’t going to sit through this one but I am excited to share it with students who I know have been Clementine fans.

Feathers  by Jacqueline Woodson 

A story of hope.Of family. Of observations. What a lovely read.

Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart 

Dramatic and hard to put down. There were parts of this story I found absolutely creepy. Kids who love action driven books will love this story. I am a big fan of Gemeinhart. This is not my favourite of his three so far published titles. But definitely an action packed read.

Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan 

Holly Goldberg Sloan has a way of showcasing characters in stories that we don’t always see together. This is what I loved about Counting by 7s – the diversity of characters who were in each other’s lives. In Short, it is all about friendships between generations. It’s also about a play and all of the wonderful behind the scenes preparations. I fell in love with the characters here. A must read middle grade novel!

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 17/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 94/365 books read

Progress on challenge: 11 books ahead of schedule!

#MustReadin2017: 8/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 17/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 13/50 books read

Up next? I am reading The Scourge by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Monday March 13th, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. Or two, or three . . . 

Friday afternoon reading peace.

Monday March 13th, 2017

This is kind of my all time favourite photo right now! These two are celebrating Spring Break reading choices. Reading is the thing!

Monday March 13th, 2017

More Spring Break reading plans

Monday March 13th, 2017

#classroombookaday titles

Monday March 13th, 2017

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

IMWAYR 2015

On the blog:

It’s Slice of Life Season so many posts (and not quite as much reading):

Reading Workshop Truths: Slice of Life #12 12 truths of Reading Workshop

Inspiration sources: Slice of Life #11 On Spring Break, where will I find writing inspiration?

The Buddy Reading Phenomenon: Slice of Life #10 Buddy reading is about so much more than reading

Finding Community: Slice of Life #9 Feeling at home in my new school

But I’ve got this: Slice of Life #8 I want my room to be where life long readers are made

Kid collecting: Slice of Life #7 My morning walk involves a kid or two

Room 202: Slice of Life #6 Wondering why my new classroom feels so much like home

Books I enjoyed:

Bloom by Deborah Diesen and illustrated by Mary Lundquist

A beautiful book about seasons and time and growing. A perfect gardening book. Also a perfect parent child connection book.

Liam Takes a Stand by Troy Wilson and illustrated by Josh Holinaty

Sibling rivalry can sometimes be way over the top. What if you’re the littlest brother? This book will make you smile. And kind of thirsty.

Noisy Night by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Brian Biggs

Lots of noise in this very tall apartment building? Who is making it? A fun story time read aloud. Warning: it might get loud!

The Fabulous Friend Machine by Nick Bland

Oh yes – clever commentary on our social media world.

A Year of Borrowed Men by Michelle Barker and illustrated by Renné Benoit

During the war, three French Prisoner’s of War are sent to work on Gerda’s farm in Germany. Told from a child’s perspective, this book is a very human look at hard times in European history. Full of tender and sweet moments and the harsh realities of suspicion sand cruelties of war.

The Dance of the Violin by Kathy Stinson and illustrated by Dušan Petričić

A story of young violinist Joshua Bell. He wants to compete in an important competition. Can he convey the movement he hears as he plays? Or will nerves win out? Incredibly illustrated.

The Great Antonio by Elise Gravel

This Toon tale made me a little sad. A biography of sorts of The Great Antonio, the true story of Antonio Barichievich, Montreal strong man. All the things he could do! Gravel doesn’t shy away from featuring Antonio’s eccentric and troubled later life.

Upside Down Magic by Sarah Mylnowski, Lauren Myracle and Emily Jenkins

I had a group of students reading this book for Book Club and it was the only title I hadn’t read. I quite enjoyed this story of a special Upside Down Magic classroom for a group of children who can’t seem to learn or execute magic in more normal ways. Well developed and sensitive characters elevate this young middle grade novel beyond a simple fantasy story.

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 12/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 73/365 books read

Progress on challenge: 3 books ahead of schedule!

#MustReadin2017: 6/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 13/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 11/50 books read

Up next? I am reading Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart 

Monday March 6th, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. 

Last week I was here – Western Washington’s Children’s Literature Conference with Rita Williams-Garcia, Laurie Halse Anderson, Christian Robinson and Matt Phelan so I didn’t post. I just lived in literary love land. It was pretty darn amazing. I came home with bags of signed books and a head full of inspiring words.

Monday March 6th, 2017

So two weeks of literacy snapshots from my classroom are here:

When UBC (University of British Columbia) students come to teach us science for three days, you should also ask them to read aloud The Book with No Pictures. Hilarious!

Monday March 6th, 2017

Loved that I had both big kids (from UBC) and little kids (my 4s and 5s) reading during quiet reading time.Monday March 6th, 2017

Sarah Lean sent us some books – this is a group of readers showing her their excitement!Monday March 6th, 2017

Finally, the Grade 1/2 teacher has agreed to be our buddy reading class! Our first session was all that I knew it would be.

Monday March 6th, 2017 Monday March 6th, 2017 Monday March 6th, 2017

And because I can’t resist – here are my students doing their version of slam poetry – which is basically alternating poem lines in a loud dramatic fashion. They are rocking a Silverstein poem. Kind of hilarious.

Monday March 6th, 2017

#classroombookaday titles

Monday March 6th, 2017

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

IMWAYR 2015

On the blog:

It’s Slice of Life Season so there’s a lot here:

Advice on the Fly: Slice of Life #5 2 minutes to give teaching advice? What would you say?

Elevated Love Notes: Slice of Life #4 A letter from a student that knocked me over.

Proof: Slice of Life #3 A necessary post to help me process some stuff I don’t like observing

Listening During the In-Between: Slice of Life #2 The precious things we hear when there is time to listen.

Doubts: Slice of Life #1 Because you might as well start off a month of writing being sure you can’t do it . . .

Books I enjoyed:

Bob, Not Bob! written by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick and illustrated by Matthew Cordell

When we are sick, we clearly need our Mom most of all. This may not be possible to make perfectly clear. Lots of tissues and blowing of noses here. Funny!

bob-not-bob

Antoinette written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Christian Robinson

Antoinette is pretty charming.

antoinette

School’s First Day of School written by Adam Rex and illustrated by Christian Robinson

Finally, I got my hands on a copy of this book. A beautifully tender first day book told from the school’s perspective.

schools-first-day-of-school

A Family is a Family is a Family written by Sara O’Leary and illustrated by Qin Leng

Oh how I LOVE this book. Families all look amazingly and wonderfully different. This book celebrates this perfectly.

Groundwood Logos Spine

Preaching to the Chickens The Story of young John Lewis written by Jabari Asim and illustrated by E.B. Lewis

Gorgeous paintings by Lewis accompany an inspiring story of John Lewis in his childhood.

preaching-to-the-chickens

Before Morning written by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beth Krommes

Wow. This book is all about leaving and returning to a cozy home on a winter’s day. Just absolutely beautiful and poetic.

before-morning

A River by Marc Martin

Take a journey along a river through your imagination. The colours here are just incredible.

a-river-by-marc-martin

My Beautiful Birds by Suzanne Del Rizzo

This will be another title about a refugee family’s experience that I will be sharing with my students. One little boy must leave his home and his birds behind as he and his family seek safety in a camp.

my-beautiful-birds

When we Were Alone written by David A. Robertson and illustrated by Julie Flett

An important story of family and remembering. A grandmother tells her granddaughter about her residential school experience. Beautiful art by Flett.

when-we-were-alone

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones

This is one funny book.But it’s also sweet and full of grief and change. Fantastically illustrated letters tell the story of a girl and the chickens she has inherited. She needs lots of help and advice along the way.

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 11/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 65/365 books read

Progress on challenge: 2 books ahead of schedule!

#MustReadin2017: 6/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 13/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 11/50 books read

Up next? I am reading Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan