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
As soon as one of my sixth grade book clubs finished The Boy in the Back of the Class by Onjali Q Rauf, they immediately took to the internet to find other books by the same author. When they found The Star Outside My Window, they begged me to order it right away! Student Thoughts:… Continue reading The Star Outside My Window by Onjali Q. Rauf
Before we left school due to COVID, one of my sixth grade book clubs had just finished a book that they wanted to blog about. If you are a fan of the Among the Hidden series, you will love the new Greystone Secrets series by Margaret Peterson Haddix. The first book, entitled The Strangers, will… Continue reading The Strangers by Margaret Peterson Haddix
I always look forward to creating my summer book stack and this year felt even more special. Perhaps it is due to the fact that it was a very strange ending to the school year without any of the usual traditions. Or perhaps it is because although it must have seemed like there was plenty… Continue reading Four stacks and a glorious summer ahead!
A Teacher's Thoughts: I just finished the oddest school year in my 25 years of teaching and that’s saying a lot. My students and I made heart shapes with our fingers toward the camera and promised to say “See you soon” instead of goodbye. Then I pressed, “End meeting for all” and my school year… Continue reading Noise and Summer Reading
One of the last demonstration lessons I wrote before we left school in mid-March was a cross-text synthesizing lesson with this lovely poetry book, Can I Touch Your Hair? by Irene Latham & Charles Waters. While I can't find my hard copy in the sea of books I have brought home with me, I bought… Continue reading Can I Touch Your Hair?
*I would like to use this post to thank all the authors and publishers who have stepped up and allowed teachers to read their books online during this unprecedented time...We appreciate you! Teacher's Story: I leave school on a Friday, having started the first few chapters of Eventown, by Corey Ann Haydu. On Saturday, I discover that… Continue reading Eventown by Corey Ann Haydu
Some Places More Than Others by Renée Watson An advance copy of this book made it into my hands from our local independent bookstore last spring. I immediately loved it! Always on the lookout for a book that fits the complexity we hope for our upper elementary readers without being too mature for them, Some… Continue reading Some Places More Than Others by Renée Watson
Styx came to us like magic—the really, really powerful kind. There was no grand puff of smoke or anything, but he appeared as if from nowhere, right in our very own woods. The Season of Styx Malone begins with brothers Caleb and Bobby Gene inadvertently trading their baby sister for a bag of fireworks which… Continue reading The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon
Addie finds herself caught between science and magic, family and nature, and grief and hope. - The Light in The Lake Teacher Thoughts: The Light in the Lake was the perfect book to bridge our social issue and fantasy units of study in reader's workshop. Even my most reluctant readers could not put down this… Continue reading The Light in The Lake by Sarah R Baughman
Worry Moves On is the second book in Liz Haske's "Worry Series" following When Worry Takes Hold. As pictured on the cover, Sophia is that kid who loves school and can't wait to do it all again the next day. Unfortunately when Worry arrives, the once-confident Sophia crumples and doesn't feel sure of what she… Continue reading Worry Moves On by Liz Haske
"The entire world is full of hearts searching for a place to call home. But refugees are different, because they don't just look for a home. They look for peace too. And because of that, they possess the most special hearts anyone could ever have." … Continue reading The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Rauf
I loved that the kids grew to love each other and to think they are family" ~ 6th Grade Student The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman is a story that pulls at your heart strings and has you rooting for the characters to triumph at the same time. Set in India, two young girls, Viji… Continue reading The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman
This story starts with a wish and ends in a crime. The wish isn't granted, and the crime is never punished. Life is like that sometimes. But that isn't always a bad thing... -Keith Calabrese A Drop of Hope is a book that my sixth graders describe as "a very different kind of mystery," with… Continue reading A Drop of Hope by Keith Calabrese
Teacher Thoughts: The first time I read The Undefeated, I knew I’d be using it for multiple purposes in my classroom. Author Kwame Alexander wrote the poem that became this beautiful picture book after the birth of his daughter. He wrote it to remind her to never give up and was inspired by the words… Continue reading The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander
Every once in a while a book comes along that students and teachers alike can not put down. The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise is one of those books. The pages are filled with quirky characters, an interesting setting and one of a kind adventures that leave readers at the edge of their seats. I read… Continue reading The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart