Monday October 9th, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

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

Loved reading aloud this title on Friday as I had a little walking skeleton dressed for the occasion!

Monday October 9th, 2017

Our #classroombookaday titles focussed on story telling and becoming writers. So glad I chose to share these titles so early in the year. Some highlights from our learning included:

  • The middle is where all of the good stuff happens.
  • Tell more!
  • Write the stories around you.
  • Illustrations also tell stories. Pictures have important details.
  • Everyone loves to share stories!

After reading Ralph Tells a Story we were inspired to make a list of story ideas in our writer’s notebooks. I can’t wait to read about overflowing bathtubs, funny families and big and little adventures!

Monday October 9th, 2017Classroom Highlights 

In this recent post Dear Blog Readers,  I explained how I will be sharing more of what is happening in our classroom each week. Some highlights:

On Wednesday and Thursday evening we hosted Goal Setting Conferences with parents and students. It was really lovely to meet families (including older and little siblings) and participate in meaningful conversations about learning, happiness and engagement. I loved this drawing left behind by one little brother. It reminded me to listen with big ears!

Monday October 9th, 2017

Kindergarten students have so much to share. I love to pop in to the K classrooms on my prep to see what is happening. One little author/illustrator read me her animal book. 🙂

Monday October 9th, 2017

One of my students wants to be a poet. She shared her notebook with me this week. During Choices time one afternoon, she was working on her writing. She turned to a new page and exclaimed, “I love when a blank page turns into a story.” Her supportive Mom had taken her to the public library this week and helped her to sign out some poetry titles!

Monday October 9th, 2017

We have been writing to the people in our school community. I love this letter to our school engineer:

“Parm Thank you for everything. Our light is broken Parm. Can you fix it please and pretty?”

Here are our wipe off math mats patiently waiting for us to return from music and recess so we can continue practicing decomposing numbers to add.

Monday October 9th, 2017Little mathematicians at work! Overheard: “Let’s try that one again. I think we’ve almost got it.” Math is social! When we work together our learning multiplies.Monday October 9th, 2017Students are now taking the lead solving math riddles. This student is crossing out numbers on the 100s chart that have been eliminated by specific clues. Her classmates are so attentive!

Monday October 9th, 2017

After choral counting, we notice so many patterns! My job? To record all of the thinking that is shared.

Monday October 9th, 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.

Books I enjoyed:

After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back up Again by Dan Santat

Kind of impossible to talk about this book without giving anything away. I will just say this. I read a LOT of picture books. I often find books that touch an emotional nerve or inspire a sense of awe or make me laugh out loud. I am amazed at the calibre of titles that continue to be published. But I don’t often find myself completely surprised. This book surprised me. The ending caught me off guard and I loved it!

La La La: A Story of Hope written by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Jaime Kim

Well, wow. This book – with only these three little repeated utterances: La, La, La and some more than expected and then some illustrations – pulls off an experience that is pretty incredible. I read a bit of criticism in the reviews about this being a challenging title to share as a read aloud. I think in a room with an adult who knows his/her readers and where there is space for wondering and talk, this book would be amazing. I need to get my own copy and prove it very soon.

La La La- A Story of Hope 2

The Wish Tree written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Chris Turnham

In search of a wish tree . . . There is much here about unwavering belief, hope and kindness. A magical experience.

Hooray for Books! by Brian Won

I am not quite sure what could be better than a book about book love. Such a celebration!

Hooray for Books!

Imagine by John Lennon with illustrations by Jean Jullien

A gorgeous picture book of the famous song by John Lennon. I will be sharing this as November 11th approaches. An important book to inspire conversations about peace.

Animal Camouflage: Search and Find by Sarah Dennis and Sam Hutchinson

Can’t wait to put this title out for some of our Soft Start mornings. I know students will pour over it as they learn about continents and various animals. Just beautiful.

Mighty Jack and the Goblin King by Ben Hatke

I was so excited to finally have the chance to read this book and I couldn’t put it down. It was full of surprises and the ending just about knocked me over. I now feel like my students who read Mighty Jack last year and then whined all year about the second in the series not yet being published. Consider this my first whine: WHEN is Book 3 coming?

Zinnia and the Bees by Danielle Davis

Wonderfully quirky, gentle and true. The unbelievable becomes believable in this middle grade novel about a girl who literally has a bee hive in her hair. Not a bee hive hair style. A hive of bees who take up residence. Really. She also has a missing brother. A there, but not really, mother. A boy named Birch waiting to be her friend. And . . . those bees. Loved this book!

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 52/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 231/365 books read

Progress on challenge: 49 books behind schedule.  Under 50 this week!

#MustReadin2017: 24/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 29/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 33/50 books read

Up next? I have a lot of transitional chapter books on the go as I get ready to book talk more titles for my classroom!

Wrapped up in shades of black and grey

It is November and that means it is Picture Book Month!

Here in B.C. we have been experiencing some dark, rainy days. Daylight savings means we just found an extra hour of light in the morning but our afternoons disappear into evening black far too soon. Yet darkness is not all about doom and gloom. It also means cozy, long stretches to read or bustle about inside. Darkness can pull us together for seasons of celebration and special events or provide us with solitude for introspection and calm. Bright is beautiful but so is dark. Whether we seek out the mystery and unexpected or the opportunity to settle into the quiet.

All of the dark has got me thinking about picture book covers. I started a list to see if I could come up with a number of titles that come specially wrapped in blacks and greys. My list ran off the page and I realized that many of my favourite books reside here. Is it just me or is there a certain elegance to these titles?

When you need a break from the bright, pick up one of these beautiful books.

25 titles to swoon over.

Wrapped up in Shades of Black and Grey There's a Book for That

Listed alphabetically by author.

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

Flashlight by Lizi Boyd

Gleam and Glow written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Peter Sylvada

A Good Night Walk by Elisha Cooper

The Black Book of Colors written by Menana Cottin and illustrated by Rosana Faría

Nighttime Ninja written by Barbara DaCosta and illustrated by Ed Young

Willaboughy and the Moon by Greg Foley

The Night World by Mordicai Gerstein

The Rabbit Problem by Emily Gravett

Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears by Emily Gravett

I Know a Bear by Mariana Ruiz Johnson

This is not my Hat by Jon Klassen

In the Tree House written by Andrew Larsen and illustrated by Dušan Petričić 

Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith

Night Animals by Gianna Marino

Zero by Kathryn Otoshi

Our King has Horns! written by Richard Pevear and illustrated by Robert Rayevsky

Big Bad Bubble written by Adam Rubin and illustrated by Daniel Salmieri

The Dark written by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by Jon Klassen

Swan written by Laurel Synder and illustrated by Julie Morstad

Hoot Owl: Master of Disguise written by Sean Taylor and illustrated by Jean Jullien

Friends by Mies van Hout 

Happy by Mies van Hout

Surprise by Mies van Hout 

Ten Birds by Cybele Young

How I love sharing picture book lists during this month of picture book love!

Happy Picture Book Reading!

pb month logo

Monday March 30th, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. This photo was taken during Nonfiction Reading day in Reading Workshop. The adults in the room were circulating and listening as children read aloud from their nonfiction texts and posed questions about what they were reading. We are working at moving beyond commentary and connections to asking questions which extend our learning. Slowly but surely . . . I love the connection in this photo – it is so wonderful to have these few moments of one on one time with students. I try to bring in as many adults as possible during Reading Workshop time.

Monday March 30th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

This week has been about lots of literacy related things! We had Camp Read on Friday and I highlighted many of the amazing things we did here. Lots of reading and lots of yoga!

Monday March 30th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also got to go book shopping. Plan to share more about some of these books in the next few weeks.

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.


My favourite picture books of the week:

Marilyn’s Monster written by Michelle Knudsen and illustrated by Matt Phelan

What do you do when everyone gets a monster and yours never arrives? Marilyn grows impatient with the endless waiting. This book wormed its way into my heart. I left it at the bookstore but it seems to be calling me. I may have to go back for it.

Marilyn's Monster Monday March 30th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Room for Bear by Ciara Gavin 

Persistence. Persistence. Persistence. Sometimes finding where you are meant to be is starting with the who. Utterly sweet.

Room for Bear Monday March 30th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Where Bear? by Sophy Henn

Just where can this bear go to be “bearish and big”? Finding the perfect place is certainly not easy. Charming.

Where Bear? Monday March 30th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson

How does Kadir Nelson make pictures like this? Saturated in colour and signs of spring, this story reveals many things about the amazing power of seeds to grow – vegetable seeds, seeds of generosity . . . .

If You Plant a Seed  Monday March 30th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Hoot Owl: Master of Disguise written by Sean Taylor and illustrated by Jean Jullien

Oh this Hoot Owl is one big talker. Hilarious. This would be a perfect read aloud. I can see the children shouting and shaking their heads even now. Little Hoot Owl, wannabe big hunter eventually finds the perfect prey.

Hoot Owl Monday March 30th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

A Fish Named Glub written by Dan Bar-el and illustrated by Josee Bisaillon

There are small questions and there are big questions. When a small fish poses the big ones, many people find some important answers.

A Fish Named Glub Monday March 30th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Library Lion written by Michelle Knudsen and illustrated by Kevin Hawkes 

It turns out that this particular lion is perfectly suited to the library. Quiet, helpful and very, very needed. My students adored this title.

Library Lion Monday March 30th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall

It is so easy to judge when we are looking through the incorrect lens. A beautiful book about identity, acceptance, self-expression and what a waste of everyone’s time labels really are.

Red A Crayon's Story Monday March 30th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

In other reading, I finished:

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

I don’t have a quick summary of this book but yet I am not ready to write on and on to include all that I am thinking. I will just say this: How the heck did Jennifer Niven fill up my heart and leave me feeling so light while at the same time, leading me through sadness I did not want to wade into? Somehow, she did just that.

All the Bright Places Monday March 30th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 15/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 124/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 7/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 28/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 12/50 books read

Up next? I continue reading We Were Here by Matt de la Peña and will be starting Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero next. This week I also started rereading Drums Girls & Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick as it is our new title for my student book club. What a book this is!