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
Halfway through the school year, I conferred with a reader who had reached a hurdle in his reading life. During independent reading time, I noticed that engagement was drifting away. His eyes were wandering, his head was down, or a conversation unrelated to reading had been sparked. After a few days of observations and redirection,… Continue reading Representation Matters
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
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
2019 - Summer Stack Shelfies Around this time last year, we created a productive mess all over Room 104. Our summer reading anchor charts were pinned to the naked bulletin board, a sea of monthly "Shelfies" stretched across the floor, and readers were buzzing about books. Fourth graders were hard at work crafting Best Books… Continue reading Then & Now: Crafting Summer Reading Plans
The month of May began with lots of book mail. As always, my TBR list seems to be never ending. Though temporary, gone are the days of roaming bookstores to soak in that new book smell. Libraries are closed until further notice. Kindle reading is not my jam, and I struggle to make it through… Continue reading Virtual Indie Bookstore Crawl Leads to Summer Reading Stack!
Our world looks and feels different right now. Teaching and learning structures look and feel different right now. In this time of extreme uncertainty and countless cancellations, I can say the following with confidence: Reading is not cancelled!" Teachers and authors have banded together, all over the internet, to make sure students are reading, writing… Continue reading #ReadingIsNotCancelled
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!
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!
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
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
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
Math is all around us, and Bethany Barton takes us on an out of this world adventure in order to prove it! This adorable alien friend reveals how math pops up in space, when baking and even when reading and playing music! A space alien? What do YOU know about math?--bethany barton According to Brown… Continue reading I’m Trying to Love Math by Bethany Barton
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
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