Year End Update: #MustReadin2016

In January, I had 30 titles on my #MustReadin2016 list and the best of reading intentions. Learning from other years, I also had a healthy realistic attitude. I knew that life and distractions would get in the way of reading some of these books.

#MustReadin2016

Making a list like this is about being enthused about a year of reading ahead. It is also about building community. 28 other bloggers joined me in making #MustReadin2016 lists of their own. Many people remained connected all year, posting (purely optional always) updates. Of course, in reading other lists and other reading philosophies, our own lists grew. Not a bad problem to have!

MustReadin2016challenge

My plan was to try and read at least 20, maybe even 25 titles on this list and be proud to have read most of a list I remain excited about. And . . . I did it! 25 books read! And more importantly, enjoyed!

I have posted updates all year so will include just a few words about the last books on this list that I finished.

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

Every time I talk about this book I wonder the same thing: How can a story about a robot be so tender? Peter Brown includes frequent illustrations which only helps to engage more readers. I want my own copy to include in my class collection. If I teach a younger grade in the future, I would read this aloud in a heart beat.

wildrobotcover

The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner

I was thrilled to see this in January’s Scholastic flyer because as soon as I read this book I knew it HAD to go into my collection. A must have in any middle grade classroom.

SeventhWish_r6-2-199x300

Red: The true story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff

I love spending time in Liesl Shurtliff‘s fairy tale world! Was excited to finally read Red’s story.

Red

The Odds of Getting Even  by Sheila Turnage

I just keep getting more attached to these characters! Tupelo Landing seems like a great place to be – lots of drama and mystery but also good friends, tasty and creative diner food and lots to laugh about.

The Odds of Getting Even by Sheila Turnage

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Oh, the drama, the mystery, the magic. This is a book that truly does pull you in which considering the subject matter, becomes quite creepy. I read the final pages in a public place just to feel safer and connected to reality.

The Raven King

As I did last year, I want to highlight some favourite characters I met during this year of reading.

But first to honour some characters I was thrilled to meet again in sequels: Blue and Gansey in The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater, Ryan Dean West in Standoff by Andrew Smith, Mo and Dale from The Odds of Getting Even by Sheila Turnage and Red from Red: The true story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff.

If you haven’t read the following titles, I highly recommend each of them so that you can meet . . .

Perry T. Cook from All Rise for the Honorable Perry T Cook by Leslie Connor. Perry is a noble guy. His quest to learn about himself and to uncover the stories of the people in his “family” is not to be missed.

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T Cook by Leslie Connor

Timothy from House Arrest by K.A. Holt is one of the most vulnerable, honest and brave characters I have ever read.

House Arrest by K.A. Holt

Every character in Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys. This book has not let me go.

Salt to the sea

Want to know more about #MustReadin2016? Read here This post also includes links to all of the bloggers who wrote Must Read in 2016 lists.

Thinking about joining us for 2017? Please do! Make a list and read some, none or all of the titles on it. Reading is amazing but reading plans are pretty wonderful too! Just reading all of the lists is a great reason to pour a big cup of coffee and do some book dreaming!

We will be sharing lists beginning January 5th 2017! Please join in using the twitter hashtag #mustreadin2017 or by leaving me a comment on this blog and I will add your list.

Here is the image URL code for #Mustreadin2017: (image below) https://thereisabookforthat.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/mustreadin2017.jpg

mustreadin2017

Happy reading! Happy planning. Happy celebrating.

 

Monday December 19th, 2016

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. This week I have two! Since I will be without students for a bit, I thought I should share an extra one.

This photo was taken about 20 minutes before school began on the last day before the break. Story time led by a Grade 6 student from next door. This scene brings me a lot of joy.

Monday December 19th, 2016

Could this face be any more serious? Which is wonderfully ironic as he had just told me:

“Oh I am just so happy. I finally learned how to speak Cave Man.”

Seriously, this kid! Made my whole day.

Monday December 19th, 2016

And one more self-portrait as I still haven’t recovered from how talented my students happen to be.

Monday December 19th, 2016

We have continued to explore themes for our #classroombookaday titles. This week we read some of my favourite holiday/winter themed books.

Monday December 19th, 2016

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:

I shared the twenty 2016 titles I think a Grade 4 & 5 library must have here

Twenty 2016 titles your Grade 4 and 5 classroom library must have! There's a Book for That

Celebration: A special morning read aloud It’s taken a term and my new school is feeling like home!

Books I enjoyed:

 Penguin Problems by Jory John and Lane Smith

A quietly comical tale of pessimism and getting back on track. Well at least mostly . . .

penguin-problem

The Cranky Ballerina by Elise Gravel

We all just need to find our thing. Charming.

the-cranky-ballerina

The Bossier Baby by Marla Frazee

What happens when baby number two comes on the scene? This. Exactly this.

the-bossier-baby

How This Book was Made written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Adam Rex

Incredibly clever and thoroughly informative. Learn all about book publishing while being completely entertained.

how-this-book-was-made

The Artist and Me written by Shane Peacock and illustrated by Sophie Casson

A serious story of how Van Gogh was perceived and treated in a small French town. This book just made me so sad. Would need to be unpacked with kids.

the-artist-and-me

Best in Snow by April Pulley Sayre

I am so happy I read this on a very snowy day – it made it all the more magical. And magical it is!

best-in-snow

Cleopatra in Space:Target Practice by Mike Maihack

I know this series is going to be very popular in my classroom when I introduce it in the new year. A graphic tale full of adventure, action and Cleopatra!

cleopatra-in-space

Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff

Full of delicious magic, sweet honey, the complications of friendship and the stories that weave all around us, this is part adventure, part fairy tale and part testament to the connections we have to each other over a lifetime. A special story, Ms. Shurtliff!

Red

Reading Progress updates:

2016 Chapter Book Challenge: 63/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 334/400 books read

Progress on challenge: 51 books behind! Still can’t break that 50 mark!

#MustReadin2016: 23/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 45/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 47/50 books read

Up next? Gertie’s Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley

 

Twenty 2016 titles your Grade 4 and 5 classroom library must have!

An early intermediate library is such fun to build. Students are ready for longer chapter books with more complex and compelling story lines but they still adore silly and engaging stories that some early graphics and picture books might offer them. Picture books can be clever and witty and nonfiction can be managed quite independently. So many possibilities!

What twenty titles from 2016 do I think are must have books in a Grade 4 & 5 classroom library?

Twenty 2016 titles your Grade 4 and 5 classroom library must have! There's a Book for That

This book love is inspired by my students’ reading passions and my own reading journey as I source books for them.

Listed alphabetically by author:

Leave Me Alone by Vera Brosgol

Kids this age are beginning to understand that alone time is precious and sometimes hard to achieve. This is wonderfully humorous!

Twenty 2016 titles your Grade 4 and 5 classroom library must have! There's a Book for That

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

How a story about a robot can be so tender, I don’t know. Heavily illustrated which makes it wonderfully rich. Themes of compassion, kindness and connection.

Twenty 2016 titles your Grade 4 and 5 classroom library must have! There's a Book for That

Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin

Achy and real. This book will squeeze you heart. A beautiful, teary emotional ride. But full of hope, not sad. At least not too much sad. The hope wins.

Counting Thyme Twenty 2016 titles your Grade 4 and 5 classroom library must have! There's a Book for That

Giant Squid written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Eric Rohmann

Such a book. I love the images, the rhythm of the text and the mystery of the still not known that is conveyed.

 Giant Squid Twenty 2016 titles your Grade 4 and 5 classroom library must have! There's a Book for That

When Green Becomes Tomatoes Poems for All Seasons by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Julie Morstad

Just pure poetry perfection.

When Green Becomes Tomatoes Twenty 2016 titles your Grade 4 and 5 classroom library must have! There's a Book for That

Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart

Some kind of everything in this book. Fantastic, engaging, emotional, full of heart, full of adventure. This is the read aloud I am starting with in January.

Some Kind of Courage Monday Twenty 2016 titles your Grade 4 and 5 classroom library must have! There's a Book for That

Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke

This book! Ben Hatke is a super hero in my classroom. This will become the “it” book in the room. Prepare to never see it again except when a child holds it wailing, “When does the next one come out?” (Fall of 2017) Relatable and fantastical all at once.

Twenty 2016 titles your Grade 4 and 5 classroom library must have! There's a Book for That

Ada’s Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay written by Susan Hood and illustrated by Sally Wern Comport

There are so many reasons to share this story with children. It is a story of hope, of change, of perseverance, of the power of music and the beauty of community. A story of transformation.

Twenty 2016 titles your Grade 4 and 5 classroom library must have! There's a Book for That

Animals by the Numbers by Steve Jenkins

A book to explore endlessly. Infographics are an incredible source of information. Use this book to teach how to access this information correctly.

Twenty 2016 titles your Grade 4 and 5 classroom library must have! There's a Book for That

Pink is for Blobfish: Discovering the World’s Perfectly Pink Animals written by Jess Keating with illustrations by David DeGrand

This title features a number of “pink” creatures from around the world and shares some of the wild and wacky facts about each one. Every page also includes specific information under these headings: Name, Species name, Size, Diet, Habitat, Predators and threats. 

Twenty 2016 titles your Grade 4 and 5 classroom library must have! There's a Book for That

Tooth by Tooth: Comparing Fangs, Tusks, and Chompers written by Sara Levine and illustrated by T.S. Spookytooth

Learn about the different kinds of teeth you have in your mouth: incisors, canines and molars. Find out how other mammals use their teeth and why they are different sizes and shapes. How are human teeth similar and different compared to other mammals? How do the teeth of herbivores, omnivores and carnivores differ?

Tooth by Tooth Twenty 2016 titles your Grade 4 and 5 classroom library must have! There's a Book for That

Ida, Always written by Caron Levis and illustrated by Charles Santoso

Big emotions is a tiny book. Necessary for young readers. All about the challenging process of saying goodbye.

Ida, Always Twenty 2016 titles your Grade 4 and 5 classroom library must have! There's a Book for That

The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner

Who would think that ice fishing, Irish dancing, magical elements and heroin addiction could be combined to create a story that is impossible both to put down and then impossible to keep from immediately recommending? I have much gratitude to Kate Messner for writing this book.

Twenty 2016 titles your Grade 4 and 5 classroom library must have! There's a Book for That

Pax by Sara Pennypacker

Readers will fall hard for this story of Peter, Pax and Vola. Beautiful, emotional and raw. This would be a fantastic read aloud or an engaging read alone.

Twenty 2016 titles your Grade 4 and 5 classroom library must have! There's a Book for That

Dog Man by Dav Pilkey

Oh, the kid appeal! I chuckled through this and did a lot of head shaking. There is one scene that involves a pile of dog poop that I know I never would have thought of – thankfully! This book continues to be read and reread in my room. Kids LOVE the step by step drawing pages in the back.

Twenty 2016 titles your Grade 4 and 5 classroom library must have! There's a Book for That

CaveBoy Dave: More Scrawny than Brawny by Aaron Reynolds and Phil McAndrew

Highly appealing. A relatable underdog main character. Lots of poop. Again, the poop! Prehistoric creatures. Action. Adventure. Humour. And . . . a series! What more could kids want?

Twenty 2016 titles your Grade 4 and 5 classroom library must have! There's a Book for That

Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff

Because fairy tales can be incredible. Reimagined and retold can go wrong but Shurtliff always gets it right (add Rump and Jack to your collection too!)

Red Twenty 2016 titles your Grade 4 and 5 classroom library must have! There's a Book for That

The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanoes by Duncan Tonatiuh

A gorgeous book – Tonatiuh gives us an interpretation of the Mexican legend how the volcanoes Iztaccíhuatl and Popocatépetl came to be.

Twenty 2016 titles your Grade 4 and 5 classroom library must have! There's a Book for That

Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan

Ravi has just moved from India. Joe has been here for what seems forever. They share a few things in common – a relationship with a bully and the daily classroom and lunch room experiences of middle school. Alternately narrated by both characters, this book reminds us that it is challenging for all kids to fit in, to find your way and to be noticed for who you are.

Twenty 2016 titles your Grade 4 and 5 classroom library must have! There's a Book for That

The Thank You Book by Mo Willems

Willems is more than brilliant and doesn’t disappoint in any way in this last Elephant and Piggie title. Students this age have had Willems as a staple of their reading lives. This book is a must have. They will grieve that there will be no more Elephant & Piggie and then get back to celebrating all the ways Elephant & Piggie are part of who they are!

Twenty 2016 titles your Grade 4 and 5 classroom library must have! There's a Book for That

Intermediate libraries? They need a mix of everything!

Love books. Give your students lots of time to read. Let them choose books so they can read widely and obsessively. Read aloud daily. Share often. Gush and be ridiculously demonstrative with your book love!

Build your library.

Invest in your readers.

They matter.

Happy Reading!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Favourite Fairytale Retellings

It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, a meme created by The Broke and Bookish.

TTT

This week’s topic? Ten Fairytale Retellings I’ve Read/Want To Read

I decided to focus on books I have read and loved: 5 of my favourite picture books and 5 of my favourite MG/YA novels. I love fairytales and stories with nuances of fairytale elements. But, I am very particular. It is a pleasure to share what I consider to be some of the very best in this list.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Favourite Fairytale Retellings There's a Book for That

Picture Books:

The Cat, the Dog, Little Red, the Exploding Eggs, the Wolf, and Grandma written by Diane Fox and illustrated by Christyan Fox

Hilarious. Kind of like having a backseat driver “helping” tell a story. Annoying for the narrator. Amusing for the readers. Little Red Riding Hood like you have never before heard it.

The Cat, the Dog, Little Red, the Exploding Eggs, the Wolf, and GrandmaTop Ten Tuesday: Ten Favourite Fairytale Retellings There's a Book for That

The Princess and the Pig written by Jonathan Emmett and illustrated by Poly Bernatene

This lovely little read manages to link to many classic fairy tales while telling a great original story and poking fun at just about everything! A pig and a princess switch places and the happy ending is not what you might predict.

Princess and the Pig Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Favourite Fairytale Retellings There's a Book for That

Me and You by Anthony Browne

Browne tells simultaneous stories, letting us into the world of Goldilocks while at the same time we revisit the familiar story about the bears.  On the left, sepia images of the little girl, out on an errand with Mom and then suddenly, lost. Her story is wordless, told just through the images. On the right, we follow little bear and his Mummy and Daddy as they head out for a walk and then return home to find a stranger in their home. A version of the Goldilocks story that we are very familiar with. This story blurs the absolutes of fairy tale right and wrong and introduces a lovely element of empathy.

 Me and You Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Favourite Fairytale Retellings There's a Book for That

The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz and illustrated by Dan Santat

Certainly not the Three Little Pigs story we thought we knew! A fan of pig power? Girl power? Stories where the bullies don’t win? This book delivers! Kiya!

 The Three Ninja Pigs Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Favourite Fairytale Retellings There's a Book for That

The Very Smart Pea and the Princess-to-Be by Mini Grey

This book is told from the perspective of the pea! A pea, who plays quite an active role in the outcome of this tale . . .

 mini Grey Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Favourite Fairytale Retellings There's a Book for That

Novels:

Rump: The True Story of Rumplestiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff

Such an interesting twist on the fairytale we know. Loved reading this aloud to my class. Why is this book so special? The children loved the whole idea that this was the “back story” of a well known tale. They felt they were in on some secrets! And what characters! We were rooting for Rump. We loved Red and the Trolls and Nothing, the donkey! We all agreed that the King and the Miller were terrible. The pixies fascinated us. Children begged and pleaded for me to read this book at every possible free minute of out day.

 Rump Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Favourite Fairytale Retellings There's a Book for That

The Prince of the Pond by Donna Jo Napoli 

The story of the Frog Prince but told from the perspective of the pond and the frogs. The prince is now a frog and must adjust to pond life and to talking like a frog. It is more difficult than it seems. Certain sounds aren’t possible thus, The Frog Prince is De Fawg Pin. Learn a lot about frogs. And their life cycle. Meet Jade, Pin’s mate. Despise the hag. Root for the froglets! Read this aloud to a group of children and prepare for spit out your milk laughter. Chortles. Giggles. Guffawing. The first in a trilogy.

 The Prince and the Pond Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Favourite Fairytale Retellings There's a Book for That

Breadcrumbs written by Anne Ursu

Inspired by the classic story The Snow Queen with all kinds of modern everything. Yet magical fantasy that feels utterly timeless. Read this to my children who loved the mix between fairy tale and real life and all of the references to stories and books they knew. Beautiful as a read aloud – the words just come off the page, swirl around and we are immersed in the book.

Breadcrumbs Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Favourite Fairytale Retellings There's a Book for That

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

I became quickly hooked on all things Shannon Hale after reading this book and went on to read the complete Books of Bayern series. Fast paced. Lots of magic. Fantastic characters. The perfect book to get lost in.

 The Goose Girl

Cinder written by Marissa Meyer

Honestly, I was surprised by how addictive this story was for me. I thought it would be a light read but I was drawn in to the drama and intrigue despite suspecting some of the secrets unveiled late in the novel quite early on. Futuristic, fantasy/sci-fi with fairy tale elements and high drama.

 Cinder

What are your favourite fairytale retellings? 

Must Read in 2015: Summer Update

Summer reading is here! How have you been doing on your #MustReadin2015 list? Progress? Ready to dive back in this summer? it’s time to share!

Must Read 2015 logo

My #MustReadin2015 list has 24 titles on it and I have completed twelve. Exactly half and a summer of reading ahead! Numerous titles on my list are currently packed with me on a trip where I plan to read a lot! So I am hoping to complete two or three more titles from my list this week.

Sometimes I look at this list and worry that I won’t get to these titles but honestly, every time I complete a novel from this list I revisit my original reasons for including it back in December and am so glad these titles on my TBR list have that special Must Read status!

The novels I have read since our spring update:

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby 

There is reason for all of the raving about this YA title. The characters are so very unique – different, mysterious but so very appealing. The story is full of intrigue, suspense, mystery and magic. It is haunting and sad yet full of hope and transformation. It is one of those books that must be experienced and the less you read about it in advance, the better because each surprise, each “around the corner” is so delicious.

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby Must Read in 2015 Summer Update There's a Book for That

Jack by Liesl Shurtliff

We finished this book on the very last day of school. The best response, “This book was so perfect because it had more than one happy ending!” We loved how Jack tied to Rump in such unexpected ways. Another fantastic read aloud by Shurtliff! Can’t wait for Red!

Jack by Liesl Shurtliff Must Read in 2015 Summer Update There's a Book for That

The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern

Whoa Maggie. What a girl you are. Voice bellows from the pages. What a family. So much that is challenging. Not much that is perfect. So very endearing. A fantastic book about family.

The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern  Must Read in 2015 Summer Update There's a Book for That

Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly

Early on I wasn’t so sure about this novel. There was nasty middle grade interactions that made me absolutely cringe. Cruelty, insensitivity, racism. Miserable stuff. But midway through, I began to love the friendship developing between Apple and Evan. Evan is a kid I wish existed in every school – so many young people need him to help navigate the social world that can be so cruel. He approaches it with wise perspective and personal strength. He’s just plain smart and really right on so many levels. I look forward to more books from this debut author.

Blackbird Fly

The Shadowhand Convenant by Brian Farrey

I read this title aloud to my children. We read the first in the trilogy about a year ago and were completely captured by these unique characters in such a fresh fantasy story. This story continued to keep us guessing right until the last pages.

Shadowhand Covenant Monday May18th, 2015 There's a Book for That

If you have been participating in #MustReadin2015 and written an update post, please share using the #MustReadin2015 hashtag!

Want to know more about #MustReadin2015? Read here This post also includes links to all of the bloggers who wrote Must Read in 2015 lists.

And now for a confession and an apology.

Confession: I have messed up a little with these update dates. Originally, I had planned 3 updates and somehow, I looked at 2014’s schedule and got back to four updates. Call it over eager. Mostly, it is about busy and not checking carefully and actually creating more posts not less! So I apologize if you weren’t planning to update until September. I will still host an update as originally planned on September 3rd. As always, update posts are purely optional – it is fun to see how people are doing with their lists and what books they are loving. Join in if you would like 🙂

Apology: I can’t create a link up for leaving post links below as I am away and staying at a hotel with terrible internet access that keeps kicking me off. Thankfully I had prewritten most of this post earlier! Please leave links below in the comment section

Happy Reading to everyone! Crossing titles off a list or making choices as the mood hits – it’s all reading! Enjoy!

 

 

 

Monday June 29th, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. This photo is special to me because it is my students at 2:30 p.m. on the last day of school – doing what they do best – reading! (and eating twizzlers, a special treat from our Teacher Librarian, Ms. S)

Monday June 29th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Here are our favourite picture books (fiction edition) read aloud in the 2014/2015 school year – all of these made it into the favourite read aloud bin over the year.

Monday June 29th, 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

I read a lot of books that I really wanted to share with this group of students this week so not much new reading.

But some lovely reads were new to me:

Float by Daniel Miyares

Wordless and wonderful. Themes of discovery, persistence, problem solving and creative thinking. And simply beautiful.

Float Monday June 29th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Worst in Show written by William Bee and illustrated by Kate Hindley

Super silly. I have a thing for monsters so I found this book quite amusing.

 Worst in Show Monday June 29th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Soon written by Timothy Knapman and illustrated by Patrick Benson

Perfect for a story time with younger students. We love elephants in my classroom so this book is special.

 Soon Monday June 29th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Not my Girl written by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton and illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard

This was the fourth picture book dealing with residential school experiences that I read with my students.  I am so grateful that books like this exist to enable us to talk about this time in history and its impact on Aboriginal children and families with school age children. We did incredibly rich writing with this book.

Not-My-Girl Monday June 29th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Jack by Liesl Shurtliff

We finished this book on the very last day of school. The best response, “This book was so perfect because it had more than one happy ending!” We loved how Jack tied to Rump in such unexpected ways. Another fantastic read aloud by Shurtliff! We can’t wait for Red!

Jack by Liesl Shurtliff Monday June 29th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 30/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 224/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 12/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 47/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 23/50 books read

Up next? I am still reading Call Me By My Name by John Ed Bradley – and have this stack coming along with me for my week away – I may not get to all of them but hoping for at least 6 novels read!

Monday June 29th, 2015 There's a Book for That

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!