Monday May 14th, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share at least one reading photo of the week. Here are a few.

Nonfiction sharing circles to generate excitement about nonfiction reading!

Quiet moments during Reading Workshop.

This little Dory Fantasmagory fan can’t put this series down!

How I love independent reading time!

I need to play catch up with sharing #classroombookaday titles Here are the books we have been reading. See if you can guess each weekly theme.

Classroom Highlights 

Making mini homes in the Art and Discovery studio. These are just incredible!

Drawing our creations.

Nonfiction fact detectives.

Making nature art in the garden with fallen materials.

Gorgeous flower gardens painted for Mother’s Day cards.

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:

I Walk with Vanessa: A Story about a Simple Act of Kindness by Kerascoët

This book is a must own, must share title. One of the loveliest titles to talk about what it is to stand up and stand with someone who has been bullied. Wordless and absolutely wonderful.

Yak and Dove written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Esmé Shapiro

I love the quirkiness of Maclear’s books – this one still has some eccentric elements but it is a wonderful collection of three friendship stories.

 One Family by George Shannon with illustrations by Blanca Gomez

One family might be so many things.

Albie Newton written by Josh Funk with illustrations by Ester Garay

Josh Funk introduces us to little Albie Newton, boy genius. Little Albie has concocted quite the plan to make some new friends. Will his classroom survive a day of his tinkering and imagining? Told in Funk’s signature rhyming style.

I’ve Got Feet!: Fantastical Feet of the Animal World by Julie Murphy with illustrations by Hannah Tolson

The perfect story time nonfiction read aloud for younger listeners. The unique feet animals have and how they use them.

Alfie: (The Turtle That Disappeared) by Thyra Heder

Kind of brilliant. Tells a pet story like none I have ever read.

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor

Middle grade perfection. Connor just keeps getting better and better. I dare you not to want to root for Mason Buttle as every kind of grief soaked kind of bad luck gets thrown at him. This story has so many layers. Would be a fantastic read aloud in a middle grade classroom. (Grade 5 and up)

A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi

This young adult novel does not shy away from any of the harrowing details that are part of a refugee’s journey. Follow Tareq and his family as he leaves Syria in search of safety and hope.

Escape from Aleppo by N.H. Senzai 

I learned so much about the Syrian crisis in this book about Nadia and her desperate search to become reunited with her family as her city is being bombed. This is a middle grade read.

Up next? Think I will be picking up an adult novel – every so often, it happens!

Reading Progress updates:

2018 Chapter Book Challenge: 20/60 complete

2018 Transitional Chapter books: 8/40 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 95/300 books read

Progress on challenge: 14 books behind schedule

#MustReadin2018: 12/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 9/40 titles

Diverse Books in 2018: 16/40 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 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

Monday January 8th, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I didn’t share a #IMWAYR post over the holidays as I was busy blogging many of my year end lists:

Nonfiction Favourites of 2017 : 10 favourites

Year End Update: #MustReadin2017

Favourites of 2017: My 17 top picks

My Must Read Novels of 2018: 30 titles I want to be sure not to miss

More information about the #MustReadin2018 challenge. Please join us!

This post will include a handful of photos from the last weeks of December in the classroom and a selection of titles I read in the last few weeks.

Each week I share at least one reading photo of the week. Here are a few.

We have a bit of a Katie Woo obsession going on in our room. I just purchase about 20 new titles so that everyone can have a few on the go!

Many students in the classroom love wearing noise cancelling headphones. We have five sets and they are always in use.

Can you spot the reader? Next to the plants, behind the book . . .

Our #classroombookaday titles in the final weeks of December were all about winter and snow with some fairy tales and other tales mixed in.

Classroom Highlights 

Our beloved daytime engineer Parm is moving to another school. The children wrote him heartfelt letters. We will all miss him a LOT.

During our last few weeks, the primary classes participated in Winter Stations with small groups moving through our rooms for various activities. In my room we did an art activity and when students finished, they quietly found a spot on the carpet and read. It was pure reading joy.

All of the Winter trees we finished were used to decorate the gym for the Winter concert.

I received many lovely notes and cards before the winter break. Children offer so much with their words.

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:

Professional Crocodile by Giovanna Zoboli

This is one of the most clever wordless titles I have come across  – ever!

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers

A sneak peek at a love letter to his new son about this living on the planet we call home by the brilliant Oliver Jeffers.

Rot, the Cutest in the World! by Ben Clanton

Yep, this is the cutest potato in the world. No contest. A delightful little read.

The Princess in Black and the Mysterious Playdate (The Princess in Black #5) by Shannon  and Dean Hale

If you teach a primary classroom, Princess in Black is where it’s at! This title will be devoured by a number of little readers in my room.

Princess Posey and the First Grade Parade (Princess Posey, #1) by Stephanie Greene

Another lovely transitional chapter book series – this one honours the fears involved in growing independence as we move up the grades.

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Gripping. If you can – I suggest reading this book in one sitting. It’s in verse, so very possible.

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Timely. Relevant. Captivating.

Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan

A fairy tale retelling like you would never have imagined. Set in New York City during the 1920s, this is Snow White like you have never seen.

Up next? I am almost finished The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser

My reading goals have shifted a little this year. As I have not met my Goodreads goal for two years in a row, I am trying to anticipate how I can do a lot of reading but still allow for the busy aspects of other parts of my life. Checking in here regularly helps keep me motivated.

Reading Progress updates:

2018 Chapter Book Challenge: 1/60 complete

2018 Transitional Chapter books: 1/40 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 5/300 books read

Progress on challenge: on track

#MustReadin2018: 0/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 0/40 titles

Diverse Books in 2018: 0/40 books read

Monday December 11th, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Sharing reading and learning from the past 2 weeks.

Each week I share at least one reading photo of the week. I love this photo of Ms. B who works in my classroom (and her helpful page turning assistant) reading a book to a group of avid listeners.

Proud Mama and new reader of the chapter book series Heidi Hecklebeck. These moments 🙂

Our #classroombookaday titles last week were all about persistence and working to solve a problem.

This week we highlighted sibling relationships.

I loved reading student writing about these books.

Again, we noticed the importance of persistence!

Classroom Highlights 

My Monday posts now also contain some sharing from our week in the classroom.

We did counting collections this week and used lots of spaces and containers to count a myriad of things: seashells, buttons, bread ties, bottle caps, etc.

As we have explored addition and subtraction equations with unknown numbers we have used numerous materials including Cuisenairre rods, unifex cubes and number charts to help us visualize and represent problems.

We did lots of learning in these past two weeks and lots of playful explorations with our classmates. So much creativity is expressed through play.

In case you missed it – I have compiled my list of gift book recommendations for 2017: 25 amazing titles! Read about them here.

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:

The Boy and the Whale by Mordicai Gerstein

One boy. One whale tangled in a fishing net. Should the boy disobey his father and risk potential danger to save the whale? Such a story.

Sleep Tight Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winter written by Eugenie Doyle and illustrated by Becca Stadtlander

Such interesting details and routines are involved in putting a farm to bed for the winter. A family works together to complete each important chore.

Fox’s Garden by Princesse Camcam

A breathtaking wordless title.

You’re All Kinds of Wonderful by Nancy Tillman

A celebration of finding our gifts and honouring what is unique about each of us.

Give Bees a Chance by Bethany Barton

What a fun way to learn about bees! Follow along as a reluctant bee enthusiast becomes convinced of the wonder and importance of bees. Entertaining and informative! A must have for school and classroom libraries.

Things to Do by Elaine Magliaro and illustrated by Catia Chien

Read to celebrate the wonder of the world. Use as a mentor text for poetry writing. This book will be read again and again. So excited it is now part of our classroom collection.

Chasing Augustus by Kimberly Newton Fusco

I adored Fusco’s earlier middle grade novel Beholding Bee and have now met another memorable character in Rosie. After her Dad has a stroke, Rosie finds herself living with a grandfather ill prepared for a granddaughter. She also finds herself without her loveable dog Augustus. Determined to find him and bring him home, Rosie battles the world.

Up next? I am reading The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by Laura Shovan