Blog Posts

The First Blade of Sweetgrass

Picture books and novels by Indigenous authors ABOUT Indigenous people are some of my favorite books to share with students all year long.  The First Blade of Sweetgrass: A Native American Story by Suzanne Greenlaw, citizen of the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians and her husband, Gabriel Frey, citizen of the Passamaquoddy Nation, is one… Continue reading The First Blade of Sweetgrass

Blog Posts

I Do Not Like Yolanda

After a week of displaying welcome back to school and other feel good titles on my picture book easel, I put out I Do Not Like Yolanda by Zoey Abbott.  I just let it sit there, unread, staring out into the classroom watching students.  Each day I would head toward the easel, which also has… Continue reading I Do Not Like Yolanda

Blog Posts

We Are Still Here! Native American Truths Everyone Should Know

We have been reading and loving books by Traci Sorell all year; in fact, we are HUGE Traci Sorell fans.  I was so excited to share her newest book, We Are Still Here; Native American Truths Everyone Should Know, with my students in the month of May. The story takes place on Indigenous Peoples’ Day. … Continue reading We Are Still Here! Native American Truths Everyone Should Know

Blog Posts

Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer

Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer,  written by Traci Sorell and illustrated by Natasha Donovan, is a treasure!  My fourth graders are HUGE Traci Sorell fans and they were so excited when this book arrived in our classroom. The story of Mary Golda Ross is one that will resonate with… Continue reading Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer

Blog Posts

Reinventing the Reading Journal: Part II

Finding a teammate to share in this work, someone who has similar philosophies and work ethic, someone who understands children and appreciates how amazing they are, someone who knows you, warts and all, is a rare find indeed.  A teammate helps to make an already wonderful life as a teacher even more incredible. I have… Continue reading Reinventing the Reading Journal: Part II

Blog Posts

At the Mountain’s Base

For some time now, I have been collecting books written by own voice authors, particularly those books written by Indigenous people.  My collection is growing and these books play a vital role in all aspects of my curriculum and in the classroom community.  The students are beginning to recognize works by specific authors by examining… Continue reading At the Mountain’s Base

Blog Posts

Birdsong

Birdsong, by Julie Flett is a beautiful tale of multigenerational friendship and life changes told through the eyes of a child.  The illustrations, also by Flett, enable the reader to feel the tenderness between the characters and to experience their journey of friendship and art, together, through the seasons.   Julie Flett is a Cree Métis… Continue reading Birdsong

Blog Posts

Donut the Destroyer by Sara Graley and Stef Purenins

I love helping students assemble their first book bag in the fall and this year was no different. Well, it was a little different, but I still loved it!   Prior to assembling the book bags, I surveyed students, observed students, and read with students to get to know them as readers in September of… Continue reading Donut the Destroyer by Sara Graley and Stef Purenins

Blog Posts

Celebrating Literature in a Virtual Environment-Part 2

It IS possible to celebrate books virtually and to spread book love without physically being present with a student.  We could not believe the excitement that students exhibited when presented with the Charlotte’s Web checklist for our virtual book celebration.  The students eagerly and enthusiastically chose their topics for exploration and begin the process of… Continue reading Celebrating Literature in a Virtual Environment-Part 2

Blog Posts

Shakespeare for students: Engage!

  Each year, in September,  I introduce the works of William Shakespeare to my fourth graders with William Shakespeare and the Globe by Aliki and Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare for Children, edited by Edith Nesbit.     Selections from these books enable me to build background for students about Shakespeare.  Students are fascinated by the… Continue reading Shakespeare for students: Engage!

Blog Posts, Read Aloud

The Ladybug Race

Enjoy a read aloud of, The Ladybug Race, written and illustrated by Amy Nielander and published by Pomegrante Kids, a division of Pomegranate Communications, Inc.  This amazing wordless picture book tells the story of ladybugs racing to cross a finish line first, but wait, there is a bigger lesson here than who is the fastest...what… Continue reading The Ladybug Race

Blog Posts

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy is a must read for 2020.  It is a story of friendship, relationships and life lessons for people of all ages.  These unlikely characters discuss life, forgiveness, and the journey we all take on this earth.  The characters have hopes and dreams, fears… Continue reading The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy

Blog Posts

We Are Grateful–Otsaliheliga

“Otsaliheliga,” We are grateful!  I am grateful for this wonderful book about a journey through the seasons with a Cherokee family by Traci Sorell and illustrated by Frané Lessac.  Sorell, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, describes in detail how a Cherokee family moves through the year and the seasons, calling attention to everything they… Continue reading We Are Grateful–Otsaliheliga

Blog Posts

You Hold Me Up

At the beginning of the school year, every teacher focuses on establishing a classroom community and developing relationships among the members of the classroom.  Cultivating and maintaining a positive classroom community takes dedication, time and care. You Hold Me Up , by Monique Gray Smith and illustrated by Danielle Daniel is a book that will… Continue reading You Hold Me Up

Blog Posts

The Book Hog by Greg Pizzoli

I am a book hog, are you a book hog?  This was the question posed to students as we began Greg Pizzoli’s new book, The Book Hog.  Students quickly recognized the colors on the cover and the illustrations as being very similar to The Watermelon Seed, also by Pizzoli, and they were excited to dive… Continue reading The Book Hog by Greg Pizzoli

Blog Posts

Endling, The Last

As the summer winds down and a new year begins, I think back to how the summer of 2019 began with a virtual book club!  After meeting author, Katherine Applegate,at An Unlikely Story bookstore and hearing her speak about all of her books, including her new fantasy series Endling, students were excited to get their… Continue reading Endling, The Last