Monday October 30th, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

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

9:01 a.m. This little reader doesn’t even bother to remove his jacket or backpack before he grabs a book first thing each morning.

Our #classroombookaday titles let us explore the natural world, wild life and how we interact with animals.

Classroom Highlights 

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

In case you missed it, our class interviewed Sara Levine and T.S. Spookytoothfor the cover reveal of Fossil by Fossil: Comparing Dinosaur Bones. Check it out here.

Loved the writing that #classroombookaday inspired

All of our self portraits are now complete and ready to be added to a school mural that asks What Does it Mean to Belong? We used Paige Britt‘s beautiful book to explore this theme.

In math, we enjoyed our first experience with counting collections. It’s all about the organizing and the representing on our own papers. Students worked very hard on this task and are excited to try more next week.

Hard at work researching insects and arachnids in preparation for the mini-books we are making.

This week we enjoyed a break from the rain and went outside often!

We played with shapes and shadows.

One afternoon, we made a leaf train and raced up and down it! This student explains.

We took math outside and counted our steps. We recorded each group of ten steps to count totals. We will use this data later 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 enjoyed:

A Day with Yayah written by Nicola I. Campbell and illustrated by Julie Flett.

Incredible title about learning between generations about our natural world. This book raises awareness about endangered Indigenous languages and includes a glossary of words with pronunciations. Local relevance (Interior Salish) Grandmother passes down her knowledge when a family goes to forage for mushrooms and herbs.

Lines by Suzy Lee

This book is beautifully brilliant. Wordless and full of complete surprises and incredible movements (exquisitely implied).

Nothing Rhymes with Orange by Adam Rex

Absolutely hilarious! Poor little orange is upstaged by everyone – including a famous philosopher. A book full of rhymes and voice and a lot of silly!

Lulu and the Duck in the Park by Hilary McKay

I adore this young chapter book series. This is the first in the series and ever so charming. Lulu’s love of animals gets her into all kind of (quite wonderful) predicaments.

Lola Levine and the Vacation Dream by Monica Brown 

Follow Lola and her family to Peru on their family vacation in this fifth title in the series. This is another series I am so pleased to have as part of our classroom library collection.

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 53/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 253/365 books read

Progress on challenge: 48 books behind schedule.

#MustReadin2017: 24/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 34/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2017: 37/50 books read

Up next? I am chapters from finishing Refugee by Alan Gratz. It is incredible but I am having nightmares. I am also reading The War I Finally Won aloud to my last year’s students two recesses a week. How we love this book! Next? Probably OCD Daniel by Wesley King.

Monday November 14th, 2016

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. We had a shortened week last week due to a Curriculum Day and Remembrance Day. I was also home sick for 2 days. So, I was only in the room with students for one day. Instead of a reading photo, I have a math photo – but some of our book shelves are in the background so it has reading ambiance.


We have continued to explore themes for our #classroombookaday titles. This theme was all about exploring fears.


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.


On the blog (slowly beginning to post more often although I only seem to be getting to a IMWAYR post every 2 weeks):

Celebration: There are Books for All of Us

A Slice of Life post: Tracking Truth

Celebration: Vague Musings

Books I enjoyed:

The Airport Book by Lisa Brown

I echo what so many others say – oh, if this book had only existed when my children were small. It has so much going on! Each page is full of details and yet a very lovely story of one family unfolds throughout.


Steamboat School by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by Ron Husband

Based on a true story of Reverend Meachum who ran a secret school in his church in St Louis Missouri until a new law passed that it was not legal to educate blacks. And so  . . .

Reverend John Berry Meachum decided to build a new school-a floating school in the Mississippi River, just outside the boundary of the unjust law. (from Goodreads)

What an important story of courage, persistence and the joy of education. Illustrations are incredible.


Almost a Full Moon by Hawksley Workman and illustrated by Jensine Eckwall

This is a picture book of Workman’s song coming to life. A midwinter gathering in the woods hosted by a small boy and his grandmother. Cozy and comfort


Lola Levine and the Ballet Scheme written by Monica Brown and illustrated by Angela Dominguez

What a fantastic series this is! If I return to teaching a primary classroom, this is a series I will want in my collection. When a new student Bella shows up in Lola’s classroom, the girls seem to be total opposites. Bella loves ballet. Lola is a dedicated soccer player. When conflict arises, the girls’ mothers hatch a “scheme” to help them learn about each other. Explores friendships and family in some wonderful ways.


Dream Jumper (Book One Nightmare Escape) by Greg Grunberg and Lucas Turnbloom

Can see this being a hit with kids. Hoping it isn’t going in the direction I think it’s going because that would be too predictable and too borrowed . . . One of those – I don’t really love it but students probably will titles.


Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan

Joe and Ravi seem to have very different lives. 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 to fit in, find your way and be noticed for who you are for all middle school kids. Joe and Ravi are particularly endearing.


Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

Whoa this book. Heavy. Seeped in drama, cruelty and history. It’s heavy – sits somewhere between a middle grade and young adult read. This is one of those titles that you don’t need to know a lot about to pick up – just that there is reason for all of the buzz. Absolutely gripping.


Making Friends with Billy Wong by Augusta Scattergood

Set in small town Paris Junction, Arkansas in 1952, this title has all of the ingredients for a gentle, comforting historical fiction title while still managing to explore some heavier themes. Azalea and Billy become friends one summer when Azalea is dropped off to support the grandmother she hardly knows as she recovers from an injury. We learn about Billy’s experience as a Chinese American in the segregated south. We watch as Azalea’s independence and character develop. There are some pretty wonderful relationships here – I particularly love the grandmother/granddaughter dynamic.


Just My Luck (Zack Delacruz 2) by Jeff Anderson

Oh the middle school years – so full of social complications as kids try to figure it all out. Zack is particularly charming and perfectly flawed. This book is full of humour, mistakes and some pretty terrific characters.


Be Light Like a Bird by Monika Schröder

Death is hard. Healing is complicated. Grief takes time. This title allows the reader to experience all of the complicated, the hard and the time through Wren and her mother’s experience after the death of Wren’s father. Wren is a pretty wonderful character – true to herself and beautifully honest. Highly, highly recommended.


Reading Progress updates:

2016 Chapter Book Challenge: 54/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 293/400 books read

#MustReadin2016: 22/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 37/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 40/50 books read

Up next? I am reading Falling Over Sideways by Jordan Sonnenblick