Monday April 16th 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share at least one reading photo of the week.

What better than a room full of readers? Everyday it looks like this during Reading Workshop. Pure reading joy.

#classroombookaday titles allowed us to meet some extraordinary friends.

This week we explored stories from around the globe and had some big discussions about the importance of education and not taking basic resources for granted.

Classroom Highlights 

We have been building our understanding of fractions in math.

In the Art and Discovery studio we have been designing our imaginary child friendly homes. We will begin building next week.

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.

Books I loved:

Backyard Fairies by Phoebe Wahl

How I wish this book had existed when my daughter was younger. She was convinced fairies lived in our back garden. This book would have helped her to believe even more fiercely. Gorgeous illustrations.

Come Home Already! by Jory John and Benji Davies

We all need alone time. But do we need it in large, large doses? And isn’t having our friends around kind of the best? Duck tries to cope when Bear heads out alone on a fishing expedition.

Forever or a Day by Susan Jacoby

A beautiful wandering through a conversation about time.

Wanted! Ralfy Rabbit, Book Burglar by Emily Mackenzie

I completely empathize with this little book burglar. Books are addictive!

I Got It! by David Wiesner

Nearly wordless. Mere moments in a baseball game.

I Am the Boss of this Chair by Carolyn Crimi and illustrated by Marisa Morea

Hmm, a new kitten on the scene? Looks like Oswald Minklehoff Honey Bunny III is going to have to establish some very clear boundaries about his favourite chair! Perfect for little ones who may be preparing for a new sibling.

Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker by Shelley Johannes 

Beatrice does her best work upside down. There are lots of reasons for some important thinking in this book – friendship woes, new teacher expectations, fashion decisions to stay true to your ninja nature, etc. Loved this one and it is being devoured by the readers in my room.

The Wild Robot Escapes (The Wild Robot, #2) by Peter Brown

I loved this adventure as much as the first. Roz is such a memorable character. She is determined to return to Brightbill on her wild island. Is it possible?

Up next? I am reading The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor

Reading Progress updates:

2018 Chapter Book Challenge: 17/60 complete

2018 Transitional Chapter books: 8/40 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 85/300 books read

Progress on challenge: 1 book behind schedule

#MustReadin2018: 9/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 8/40 titles

Diverse Books in 2018: 13/40 books read

Monday April 2nd, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share at least one reading photo of the week. As I have been on Spring Break, I have no student photos to share. Instead, here is my gorgeous morning view as I read and had coffee at the place we rented in San Francisco.

And a little more bleak – an empty shelf in the library on Alcatraz.

#classroombookaday titles allowed us to explore endangered animals and human actions both positive and alarming.

Classroom Highlights 

I do have to share some amazing photos of our school wide day of play on the last day of school before the break. The theme in my room was building. But often I found that the books called to little builders and the theme became reading. 🙂

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.

Books I loved:

Dear Girl, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Paris Rosenthal illustrated by Holly Hatam

If you have read this book, then you know. It is a must own, must gift, must share title. If you haven’t read it yet . . . go! Find a copy!

I Am Enough by Grace Byers with pictures by Keturah A. Bobo

Beautiful message. Full of joy. Just loved the illustrations. Another title that would make a wonderful gift book.

The Digger and the Flower by Joseph Keufler

A testament to the power and beauty of nature. A sweet little book about an unexpected friendship.

Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and June Jo Lee with illustrations by Man One

Such an interesting story of how Roy Choi and a friend opened a food truck serving Korean tacos and their rise to popularity. The illustrations are so unique.

Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessie Sima

Oh little Harriet, what a girl you are! Everyday costume wearing Harriet has quite the adventure when she heads to the shops with her dads in search of party hats.

Little Fires Everywhere  by Celeste Ng

I so rarely read adult novels but I kept seeing this title everywhere. I was quickly pulled into the many layered story lines.

The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Yes! This title was every bit as compelling as The War That Saved my Life. Sometimes sequels are immensely satisfying. This is absolutely the case here. Ada is a character I will never forget.

The Key to Everything by Pat Schmatz

I got my hands on an ARC of this book and was excited as I had really loved Schmatz’s Bluefish. This one was not so memorable. I enjoyed parts of it but it just didn’t come together.

Good Dog by Dan Gemeinhart

I am just going to say it – this is one strange book. Which is not a bad thing. In fact, it is quite a good thing. Not at all what I was expecting and quite like nothing I have ever read. High energy, fast paced and wonderfully endearing.

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate 

Wow. Just, wow.

Daisy Dreamer and the Totally True Imaginary Friend  by Holly Anna 

There are so many titles about imaginary friends and magical elements to real life events in the transitional chapter book market. I think this is a book my students will enjoy and will likely get the next few in the series.

Up next? I am pages away from finishing The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown

Reading Progress updates:

2018 Chapter Book Challenge: 15/60 complete

2018 Transitional Chapter books: 8/40 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 76/300 books read

Progress on challenge: 3 books ahead

#MustReadin2018: 9/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 8/40 titles

Diverse Books in 2018: 13/40 books read

Monday March 12th, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share at least one reading photo of the week. Does it get any better than Dogman? For this little reader, nope, it really doesn’t.

Our #classroombookaday titles were all about celebrating Kevin Henkes!

Classroom Highlights 

We have been exploring the question: How did living things begin? by reading this wonderful book.

We were then inspired to create a mural of the beginning of life in the ocean 1.7 to 2 billion years ago. We will continue learning this week.

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.

Books I loved:

Swimming with Seals written by Maggie de Vries and illustrated by Janice Kun

There is such a story here. This book resonates deeply as I think about all of the students I have taught who have been raised by grandparents. For all of the complicated reasons that this book hints at and then some. I teared up in the bookstore. Beautiful illustrations. A very personal story for de Vries – be sure to read the author’s note.

Florette by Anna Walker

If you love growing plants or simply wish you could, this book is a teeny bit of paradise. What happens when you need to leave your garden behind when you come to the city? Maybe, just maybe, there is a way to find green.

Kate, Who Tamed the Wind by Liz Garton Scanlon with illustrations by Lee White

Katie is kind of brilliant. That wheelbarrow full of trees over time makes a huge difference on a windy hill for a solitary man.

There’s a Bug on My Arm that Won’t Let Go by David Mackintosh

Wacky and wonderful.

Petra by Marianna Coppo

Petra is a little rock with big vision. Super cute.

They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki

Wow. The colours here. Poetic and lovely. I understand the early Caldecott buzz.

Don’t Throw It to Mo! written by David A Adler and illustrated by Sam Ricks

Love these little titles for beginning readers. Mo is pretty adorable.

King & Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats (King & Kayla, #1) written by Dori Hillestad Butler with illustrations by Nancy Meyers

I am SO excited about this mystery series! Many of my students couldn’t wait to read this one. Dog lovers and mystery lovers will tear through these pages of this early chapter book title.

Dory Fantasmagory: Head in the Clouds by Abby Hanlon

I might have just made a special trip to the book store for this one and then read it that very night. Oh Dory, how I adore you! In this book, Dory has a loose tooth and you can just imagine her tooth fairy hopes and dreams.

Counting Sheep (Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet #2) by Jacqueline Kelly

I was pleasantly surprised to discover this historical fiction transitional chapter book series featuring Calpurnia Tate from the novel I loved. Well written and totally engaging. I can’t wait to share this one with my students and plan to purchase the other titles in the series.

Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess by Shari Green

A Schneider Family Book award winner – this is what drew me to this MG verse novel. I started and didn’t stop reading until the final page. This book is so very special. Macy discovers the power of stories as she has to reimagine her own during a personal time of change. Full of lovely things – books, gardens, wise women and delicious cookies.

We are Okay by Nina LaCour (YA)

Sad and powerful. Absolutely beautifully written.

Up next: I am still reading The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley as I picked up a lot of other titles this week and started reading . . .

Reading Progress updates:

2018 Chapter Book Challenge: 10/60 complete

2018 Transitional Chapter books: 7/40 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 65/300 books read

Progress on challenge: 8 books ahead

#MustReadin2018: 6/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 7/40 titles

Diverse Books in 2018: 8/40 books read

Monday March 5th, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share at least one reading photo of the week. This week I have a few to celebrate.

This reader is checking out a student written book that is part of our collection. Writers and readers go hand in hand 🙂

I know Mock Caldecott is a special thing in our room when last year’s students pop in to find out who our winners were and then stay to read the books!

Here are my fairy tale fans all sitting at the same table reading the same series! Pretty cute!

Our #classroombookaday titles, as always, have been inspirational.

Art, words and discussions were incredible after these titles.

Again – the impact of these books is evident in comments and writing.

One child was very moved by the book Red: A Crayon’s Story. She writes:

“I really like this theme because it really pours our feelings out. It’s like you have a big bucket on your head and the theme walks to your head and your feelings swish around and you start to be emotional and I love that. The book is telling you to express yourself and be your own person or colour. Cause that’s what makes us unique.”

 

I haven’t posted in a while – some good excuses include – heading to Bellingham (on a very snowy Friday) to attend the Western Washington’s Children Literature Conference.

Amazing authors and illustrators included Kevin Henkes, Sophie BlackallPam Muñoz Ryan and Benjamin Alire Sáenz. They are all wearing tiaras here – for a you kind of had to be there – kind of a reason.

We also attended nErD Camp Bellingham on Sunday and it was a pleasure to spend the day with so many educators, librarians and literary wonders. We always love hanging out with nErD camp Bellingham founder Adam Shaffer.

Classroom Highlights 

There has been art with Maggie in the Art and Discovery studio.

Science with UBC students during UBC reading week. Students shared science and we shared favourite books of course!

Lots and lots of math thinking as we explore multiplication and division concepts.

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.

Books I loved:

There’s a lot of them . . . some not yet released so mark your calendars!

Hello Hello  by Brendan Wenzel (available March 20th, 2018)

Beyond wonderful. This title features numerous animals connected by sometimes simple and sometimes surprising common features. The author’s note explains that many of these creatures are in trouble and need human awareness and action to remove them from the endangered and critically threatened lists. Ideal for young young readers as well as school age children. Highly recommended.

Watch this amazing trailer – you’re going to want this book!


Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World written by Susan Hood and illustrated by 13 extraordinary female illustrators

I fell in love with this book at the mere concept. It’s nonfiction perfection – inspired poetry, additional information and incredible illustrations by some of my favourite illustrators out there. Hood chose her subjects – often girls and young women – that might not yet be known or are not all know well in order to introduce readers to inspiring role models. Well known girls and young women like Ruby Bridges and Malala Yousafzai are also included.

Who Says Women Can’t Be Computer Programmers?: The Story of Ada Lovelace written by Tanya Lee Stone and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman

The same author illustrator team that brought us Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? is back! If you know this book, you are already sold!

Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13 written by Helaine Becker and illustrated by Dow Phumiruk (released in June 2018)

Another inspiring woman who young readers will want to know more about. Add this one to your biography collections. Katherine Johnson is the mathematician who ensured that the Apollo 13 returned safely to Earth. Such a story! Written in an engaging style ideal for Elementary readers.

Yo Soy Muslim: A Father’s Letter to His Daughter written by Mark Gonzales and illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini

A beautifully written letter from father to daughter, this book celebrates culture, identity and family roots. A celebration of diversity and self. Just gorgeous.

Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets: A Muslim Book of Shapes written by Hena Khan and illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini (released April 2018)

A must have for library and classroom collections – perfect title to complement our studies of shapes found in the world. Another beautifully illustrated title by Amini. This book is absolutely stunning. A celebration of both shapes and traditions. So pleased to include it in my classroom library.

The Boy and the Blue Moon written by Sara O’Leary and illustrated by Ashley Crowley

Blue like you haven’t quite imagined. Text and illustrations are the perfect complement. One part magic, another part imagination, a big splash of whimsy all seeped and soaked in the bluest of blues.

George the Hero Hound by Jeffrey Ebbeler (coming March 20, 2018)

Sometimes a farm comes with a dog. George knows his way around the farm but is under appreciated until he does something heroic. Charming and amusing.

The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds

Celebrates the magical and beautiful way words can collide and come together.

Lulu and the Dog from the Sea by Hilary McKay 

I love this entire series of Lulu books. Perfect for the Grade 2 to 4 classroom. Lulu’s patience and persistence is admirable and readers will be rooting for this dog from the sea!

Solo by Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess (Young Adult)

This truly is a story of rock and roll, fathers and sons, addictions and recoveries, loves and loss. A beautifully executed novel in verse.

Knock Out by K.A. Holt

House Arrest – this book’s companion novel- is a book I haven’t stopped raving about. Both titles are written in powerful and personal verse. I couldn’t put either one down. This is the story of little Levi – just a baby in House Arrest – now growing up and ready to have his own story. But when you have always been the one to protect, how do you find your way and engage with the world in big and brave ways?

Up next:The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Reading Progress updates:

2018 Chapter Book Challenge: 8/60 complete

2018 Transitional Chapter books: 4/40 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 51/300 books read

Progress on challenge: on track

#MustReadin2018: 6/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 7/40 titles

Diverse Books in 2018: 7/40 books read

Monday February 12th, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share at least one reading photo of the week. This was all about little sister reading. One little sister read to a baby sister while big sister (in my class) worked with Mom during Student Led conferences. Some amazing book love!

Our #classroombookaday titles for two weeks. Week 1 included books all about books and the things you find when you open them up!

This past week, we explored art, colour and inspiration! Such a fun week!

Classroom Highlights 

So much has been about celebrating picture books in our Mock Caldecott unit! Partners explored each Mock Caldecott contender and rated books using “kid friendly” versions of Caldecott criteria.

Then it was time to complete some inspired art, “fan art” we called it.

Then we voted! Such serious, important work! Unfortunately, we had a number of students away ill and decided that we would hold off with our final results until everyone was back and had a chance to vote. So our Mock Caldecott results will be announced after the actual award winners are shared.

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.

Books I loved:

How to Be an Elephant: Growing up in the African Wild by Katherine Roy

Oh this book! I learned so much about elephants and was completely in love with he illustrations. Would love to see this title get some love when awards are announced tomorrow.

Earth Verse: Haiku from the Ground Up by Sally M Walker and William Grill

Interesting poems, beautiful art and detailed back matter make this title an earth science gold mine!

The Blue Songbird by Vern Kousky

In search of your song, where will you travel and where will you arrive?

My Wounded Island by Jacques Pasquet and Marion Arbona 

How are rising sea levels interpreted by a young girl on an Arctic Island? This is a powerful title.

Polly Diamond and the Magic Book by Alice Kuipers

This title isn’t published until May – it’s the first in a series I definitely want to feature in our classroom library! Be on the look out!

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling 

Aven Green is some kind of amazing. Born without arms and adopted by encouraging, loving parents as a toddler, Aven seems fearless. But life is a constant challenge as you face your own fears and help your friends confront their own. An important read.

 

The Way to Bea by Kat Yeh

Middle grade perfection. This title is all about navigation and coming out the other side. Friendships. Identity. Individuality. Facing fears. Following your heart and your instincts. Taking risks. LOVED all of the characters!

Up next? I am reading Solo by Kwame Alexander

Reading Progress updates:

2018 Chapter Book Challenge: 6/60 complete

2018 Transitional Chapter books: 3/40 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 34/300 books read

Progress on challenge: on track

#MustReadin2018: 4/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 3/40 titles

Diverse Books in 2018: 4/40 books read

Monday January 29th, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share at least one reading photo of the week. Don’t you just love this little reader in his Pjs (pyjama day) surrounded by Toon comics?

Our #classroombookaday titles were our second week of #MockCaldecott titles

Now we are ready for more in depth discussion and analysis

Classroom Highlights 

We loved having our Let’s Talk Science volunteers come in to talk changing states of matter with us. We learned what sublimation means by exploring dry ice.

In math, we have been investigating multiplication. This table explored 24 and made arrays and matching equations.

I love the classroom when it is full of readers – little buddies from the K class came to read!

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.

Books I enjoyed:

Marigold & Daisy by Andrea Zuill

A charming little read about new sibling envy. These snails are adorably hilarious.

Watersong by Tim McCanna with illustrations by Richard Smythe

This is onomatopoeia at its best! Vivid illustrations accompany these gorgeous sounds.

There’s a Snake in my School written by David Walliams and illustrated by Tony Ross

When it’s pet day . . . This snake is a whole lot of fun for everyone. Well maybe not for that grumpy headmistress!

Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years written by Stacy McAnulty and illustrated by David Litchfield

Earth tells its story = perfect to answer and inspire questions for curious kids!

A List of Cages by Robin Roe

This is definitely YA. Heartbreaking. I adored both main characters. One of those titles you just can’t put down. Friendship, care and compassion alongside some pretty horrific cruelty and abuse.

Up next? I am reading Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

Reading Progress updates:

2018 Chapter Book Challenge: 4/60 complete

2018 Transitional Chapter books: 2/40 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 25/300 books read

Progress on challenge: 3 books ahead of schedule

#MustReadin2018: 2/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 1/40 titles

Diverse Books in 2018: 2/40 books read

 

Monday January 22nd, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share at least one reading photo of the week. My camera was on the wrong setting this week and photos unfortunately are too blurry to share.

Our #classroombookaday titles for the past 2 weeks have been all about Caldecott titles. We read some past winners.

Now we’ve started reading our 2018 #MockCaldecott titles! So excited.

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.

Books I enjoyed:

Don’t Forget Dexter by Lindsay Ward

Dexter, the dinosaur is left behind by his boy, Jack. What if they are never reunited? A fantastic title for teaching voice and perspective. An engaging read aloud for primary students.

Claymates by Dev Petty and Lauren Eldridge

Two balls of clay and endless potential. Hilarious and wonderfully charming.

Love by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Loren Long

Wow. Smitten.

Bruce’s Big Move by Ryan T. Higgins

Bruce remains my favourite grumpy guy. Again, Higgins delivers!

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser

A family to fall in love with. You will be rooting for the Vanderbeekers from the first pages. Delightful middle grade read.

The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater

A YA nonfiction title. I had coffee with a friend today and recommended this book to her. We ended up talking for a long time about the story and all that I learned. A must read for everyone teen and up.

Up next? A List of Cages by Robin Roe

Reading Progress updates:

2018 Chapter Book Challenge: 3/60 complete

2018 Transitional Chapter books: 2/40 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 17/300 books read

Progress on challenge: on track

#MustReadin2018: 2/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 0/40 titles

Diverse Books in 2018: 1/40 books read