Monday August 31st, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. Now that it is summer, I am not surrounded every day with little readers so . . . I am choosing moments from the year not previously shared. I love this Henry and Mudge love!

From the classroom 2014/2015 archives:

Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

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

On the blog:

For Top Ten Tuesday: Titles that feature wonderful male/female friendships in MG literature

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: A Room Full of Nonfiction A mini tour of the nonfiction in my classroom

A Celebration post about #booklove starring The Good Little Book

Sunday Reflections: Literary Nest Building 101

Books I read and loved:

A Rock Can Be . . . by Laura Purdie Salas with illustrations by Violeta Dabija

I love this nonfiction series – lovely poetry, stunning illustrations and interesting and detailed back matter. A must have for classrooms and/or libraries.

A Rock Can Be Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

What this Story Needs is a Pig in a Wig by Emma J. Virján

Super silly. Super simple. Perfect for kids just learning to read – lots of repetition – a quality little book.

What this Story Needs is a Pig in a Wig Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

The Good Little Book written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Marian Arbona

I adore this book on many different levels. What a perfect book to get us thinking about heading back into classrooms! The end pages are incredible!

 The Good Little Book Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

To the Sea by Cale Atkinson

Love the tones in this sweet little book about friendship and being noticed.

To the Sea Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Ask Me written by Bernard Waber and illustrated by Suzy Lee

I actually hugged this book in the bookstore after I read it. A regular conversation between a father and his young daughter perfectly captures the energy and wonder of a particular time of childhood. Love this book! And the illustrations, wow!

Ask Me Bernard Waber Suzy Lee Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Boats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley

Yes, Josh Funk if you are reading this, this book made me teary. A book about the every day moving on process of grieving the loss of a loved one and wrapping yourself up in the love of those still with you. Just beautiful.

Boats for Papa Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Leo a Ghost Story written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Christian Robinson

Leo is a charmer. A ghost that needs to find out where he is appreciated.

Leo a Ghost Story Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Bug in a Vacuum by Mélanie Watt

So clever Ms. Watt! This is one thick picture book – full of the stages of grief (hilariously conveyed) and lots of humour. Just delightful. Can see using this with older grades and having students write about their own self-talk through the stages of grief attached to a particular event.

Bug in a Vacuum Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Blue on Blue written by Dianne White and illustrated by Beth Krommes

Rain, beautiful rain. This book celebrates the dark colours and images of a rain storm. The illustrations are incredible.

 Blue on Blue Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi

This is a wonderful title. Such creative twists on Little Red Riding Hood – crafted into quite a different tale. Love the shades and repetitive colours.

 The Tea Party in the Woods Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Leroy Ninker Saddles Up written by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen

I read this to myself and had to whisper certain lines aloud because I was certain they would be a treat to say. Yep! Wow Kate DiCamillo can write!

Leroy Ninker Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Survival Strategies of the Almost Brave by Jen White

An emotional middle grade novel about two sisters who need to take care of each other when their Dad leaves them at a gas station. I couldn’t put this book down.

Survival Strategies of the Almost Brave Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Death by Toilet Paper by Donna Gephart

From the title and the cover, one would think this is a light hearted novel. There is humour but it is full of emotions. In fact, I woke up early one morning worried about the character and had to finish the book to make sure all was okay. What do you do when you are twelve, you have lost your Dad and money is an issue? This title explores this reality in creative, but always authentic and sensitive ways. Fantastic characters and family dynamics.

Death  by Toilet Paper Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

I read this in one sitting and if I had time, I would have started on page one and read it all over again. So beautiful. So heartfelt. So human.

the house on mango street Monday August 31st, 2015 There's a Book for That

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 50/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 309/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 16/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 58/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 33/50 books read

Up next? I am still reading and LOVING  The Queen of Water by Laura Resau and then will begin Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles

Celebration: All things literacy

celebrate link up

I love ending each week thinking about all that I have to celebrate. Join Ruth Ayres who shares a Celebration Link up on her blog each week. Thank you to Ruth for the inspiration.

What am I celebrating this week? All things literacy. Some conversations. Some great books. Celebrations of writing. Thinking. Sharing. Listening. Creating.

Celebrating . . .

1. A Skype visit with Liesl Shurtliff – author of Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin (one of the best read alouds out there!)

 Celebration: All things Literacy There's a Book for That

This was an absolute highlight of our week! I shared our experience on our classroom blog here (including how we prepared). This was our first author Skype so it was especially exciting! Liesl was so charming and the kids cannot stop talking about the day!

Students shared with Liesl that they had just had a book of stories published as well and that we had even had a publishing party. (Thanks Writer’s Exchange!) Such fun to find out that Liesl had brownies at her publishing party too! All about the treats!

Here is one of the many pixies that we shared with Liesl during our Skype. All of them can be seen at the link I shared above.

 Celebration: All things Literacy There's a Book for That

2. Friday afternoon in my class was hot. The air circulation is terrible. And yet, my classroom looked like this:

 Celebration: All things Literacy There's a Book for That

Recipe for such engagement? I asked the students to think about what their dream house would look like if they could design it, have it built (or build it themselves) and then live in it? We split into two groups and spent 15 minutes sharing our ideas. Ms. Wilks, our Project Teacher and I recorded all that was said on chart paper. Kids got totally excited just listening to what other people suggested. A few examples:

  • Gummy worm walls that grow new candy when you pull it off
  • Trampoline floors
  • An aquarium full of dolphins to swim with
  • Water slides leading to an outdoor pool
  • Chalkboard walls to draw on

I quickly showed them the end pages in Chris Van Dusen‘s If I Built a House as some added inspiration. (Next week we will do a related project in Art) We then passed out writing books and told everyone to go draw, sketch, label and write. Some kids were so into it, they continued working through their Choices time.

In the middle of the brainstorming, one student who had been listening from his desk sailed a paper airplane over to us. Written on the back? Be Smart! He thought we were being absolutely ridiculous in our dreaming, “No house could have all of that!” I loved his message system! Not every activity is going to speak to everyone!

 Celebration: All things Literacy There's a Book for That

It was so interesting to examine all of the different ideas and how they were represented.

 Celebration: All things Literacy There's a Book for That

This little house designer showed me that she would have a book gnome (bottom right corner) that would get you any book you wanted for your book shelf. 🙂 A little reader with big book dreams like mine!

 Celebration: All things Literacy There's a Book for That

3. Last week we celebrated publishing a class book of stories.

 Celebration: All things Literacy There's a Book for That

To thank the amazing Writers’ Exchange for working with my class, I have been working on a blog post with the children’s words and photographs. We wanted it to be a sent along to surprise all of the staff and mentors who worked with us. It’s supposed to be a surprise but these photos are just too cute. So I’ve had to share one . . . or two . . .  or . . . four. . . via twitter. It has been joyous both taking and sharing these photos (text comes from individual writing from each child). I’m hoping to have the post finished in the next few days.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week!