Blog Posts

Welcome to Our Reading Community

I'd like you to think for a moment about what we might share with other kids and teachers about our reading community. What makes our reading community special? "We do Meet Someone New Monday." -N On Mondays, my students are introduced to someone who has contributed to the world in their own unique way. By… Continue reading Welcome to Our Reading Community

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Coming Soon: September 2021 Releases!

Last week, author Meg Medina shared a link to an article on Twitter--Why Adults Should Read Middle Grade Books: The value in returning to these books as adults is in reminding ourselves what it’s like to be a kid, to gain a different perspective on the world, and to expand our understanding of different experiences… Continue reading Coming Soon: September 2021 Releases!

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Jump At The Sun: The True Life Tale of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston

Check out #MeetSomeoneNewMonday on social media. Join us! Jump At The Sun: The True Life Tale of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston is a captivating picture book biography that you'll want on your shelf. The lyrical text paired with the vibrant illustrations brought joy to our fourth grade classroom. I'll let the young readers say… Continue reading Jump At The Sun: The True Life Tale of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston

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Rock-Climbing Champion, Ashima Shiraishi, Teaches Kids About Problem Solving!

Amongst all that feels lost, I am holding onto the magical read aloud moments that still exist. In our quick-paced hybrid model, I am trying to find space where reveling in stories is a possibility. One of those places is our community meetings. Meet Someone New Monday allowed us to introduce ourselves to Ashima Shiraishi,… Continue reading Rock-Climbing Champion, Ashima Shiraishi, Teaches Kids About Problem Solving!

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Equality’s Call: The Story of Voting Rights in America

In our hybrid teaching world, the elementary school day kicks off with a twenty-minute community meeting. Half of the class sits in their plexi glass stations, and the other half arrives smiling via Google Meet. At first, it felt strange and overwhelming. How will we spend this time? What might we do to simultaneously engage… Continue reading Equality’s Call: The Story of Voting Rights in America

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#KidsNeedMentors Leads 4th Graders to Out of Place by Jennifer Blecher

The 2019-2020 school year was filled with a vision for our participation in #KidsNeedMentors -- virtual writing coaching from Jennifer Blecher, a school visit, and snuggling Out of Place into our ambitious read aloud stack. What we did accomplish: Touring Jen's writing space & meeting her dog on FaceTime.Mailing her our finished narrative writing pieces.Drafting… Continue reading #KidsNeedMentors Leads 4th Graders to Out of Place by Jennifer Blecher

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Through The Eyes of a Fourth Grader: Ways to Make Sunshine by Renée Watson

When I learned that Ways to Make Sunshine by Renée Watson would be released on April 28th, I tried convincing myself that I could wait until the summer months to indulge. At the end of April, it arrived on my doorstep unexpectedly - a birthday surprise! In other words, it was readily available for virtual… Continue reading Through The Eyes of a Fourth Grader: Ways to Make Sunshine by Renée Watson

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Happy Birthday to The Crayon Man by Natascha Biebow!

What makes this book lovable? You'll be tickled pink by the author's descriptive language. You certainly won't feel blue as you enjoy the vibrant illustrations. You may be macaroni & cheesin' about the "How To" writing that highlights how modern-day crayons are made. Exactly one year ago today (March 19, 2019) The Crayon Man: The… Continue reading Happy Birthday to The Crayon Man by Natascha Biebow!

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Meet Cilla Lee-Jenkins!

Susan Tan sat among the #ownvoices panel at #nErDcampLI on November 2, 2019. I walked away knowing that I needed to dive into the Cilla Lee-Jenkins series. What I knew was that I would be introduced to a character inspired by Dr. Tan's own childhood: a young girl navigating her Chinese American family while exploring… Continue reading Meet Cilla Lee-Jenkins!

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The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read by Rita Lorraine Hubbard

This book, just published on January 7th, brought my class much joy. In fact, I received a chorus of "Thank You" when I had it in my hands upon students' arrival the morning of January 8th. Genuine gratitude for my trip to Wellesley Books made me that much more excited to open it up with… Continue reading The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read by Rita Lorraine Hubbard

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The Boy Who Grew A Forest: The True Story of Jadav Payeng by Sophia Gholz

Only by growing plants, the Earth will survive."--Jadav Payeng There are a variety of reasons why I chose to share this book with my class: I find picture book biographies captivating. Thank you to my friend and coach Susan Kennedy (@readingteachsu) for opening my eyes and heart to them.#MeetSomeoneNewMonday. On Mondays, my students are introduced… Continue reading The Boy Who Grew A Forest: The True Story of Jadav Payeng by Sophia Gholz

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Give and Take by Elly Swartz

You don't want to lose the things or people that leave imprints on your heart.--Elly Swartz Maggie: A twelve-year-old girl who describes herself as someone who cannot love in small doses. She has been missing Nana since Forgot-Me Day, hoping to adopt Izzie as her little sister for keeps, and longs for her trap-shooting team… Continue reading Give and Take by Elly Swartz

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Just Like Rube Goldberg: The Incredible True Story of the Man Behind the Machines by Sarah Aronson

This playful text, brought to life by Sarah Aronson & Robert Neubecker, was introduced in my classroom through what I like to call #MeetSomeoneNewMonday. Fourth graders were immediately reeled in by the cover: "Wow!""Look at how each letter is formed!""I wonder what those arrows and letters are for!" On Mondays, students will be introduced to… Continue reading Just Like Rube Goldberg: The Incredible True Story of the Man Behind the Machines by Sarah Aronson

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Malala: My Story of Standing Up for Girls’ Rights by Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick

Malala: My Story of Standing Up for Girls’ Rights happens to share its book birthday with the anniversary of Malala’s life changing event-- October 9th. In fact, Malala immediately hooks her audience by flashing back to that particular day, which haunts her memory.  “When I close my eyes, I can see my bedroom. The bed… Continue reading Malala: My Story of Standing Up for Girls’ Rights by Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick