April 5, 2018

#mustreadin2018 spring update

This is my #mustreadin2018 spring update.  I love participating in this reading challenge hosted by Carrie Gelson of There's a Book for That because it connects me with a community of readers and encourages me to read newly released books to share with my students.  Here is my #mustreadin2018 reading goals:

So far, I've read (or are currently reading) all of the newly released titles on my list plus some additional new titles.  I'll be back in September for another reading update.  Below are my lists of new picture books and chapters books that I've read in 2018 since January:

Picture Books I Read - #mustreadin2018

Look out - this is tear jerker!

So funny!!! Great for fans of Elephant & Piggie books.

The 1st graders built leprechaun traps after reading this book.

Beautiful book!

This is a definite 2018 Caldecott contender!

This new Mo Willems' book does not disappoint!

Fans of Rosie Revere will enjoy this one.

LOVED this book!  It makes a fun read aloud too.

Chapter Books I Read - #mustreadin2018

Stunning illustrations and kids LOVE the story read aloud! 

A must have for ELA teachers.  The prompts inspire creative writing and the responses make entertaining stories to read aloud.

Chapter Books I'm Currently in the Process of Reading - #mustreadin2018

March 1, 2018

Ideas to Celebrate Read Across America Week & Dr. Seuss

Happy Read Across America Week!  To honor Dr. Seuss’ contribution to children’s literature, my school celebrates his work and legacy each year during the week of his birthday on March 2nd.  Here are a few ideas for you to duplicate in your school to celebrate Read Across America and Dr. Seuss.  

Everyone enjoys Dr. Seuss’ books in my building; the young students, the older students, and even the adult teachers!  So we host a Dr. Seuss-themed spirit week.  Below are some fun ideas.  Pick five of them, assign them a day of the week (for example Monday is Fox is Socks day), promote them with your school community, and have fun dressing up that week!


Fox in Socks Day:  WEAR CRAZY SOCKS

Green Eggs and Ham Day:  WEAR THE COLOR GREEN

Cat in the Hat Day:  WEAR A HAT


One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish Day:  WEAR THE COLORS RED & BLUE

Thing 1 & Thing 2 Day:  DRESS THE SAME WITH A TWIN


Another way my school celebrates Read Across America Week is with an all-school D.E.A.R. time (Drop Everything And Read).  For 10 minutes, all students in each grade exit their classrooms with a book in hand, line the hallways, and simply read.  I’ve found that the younger students read aloud and that hallway is a little noisy.  The older students read silently and that hallway is very quiet.  What matters most is the all-school commitment to read.  Students, teachers, and the principal all participate.  It’s a very moving experience and a touching way to honor Read Across America Week. 

February 10, 2018

My #nf10for10 - Girl Power Nonfiction Books to Share with my Daughter

I’m thrilled to be joining the #nf10for10 fun again this year!  Many thanks to the wonderful hosts: Cathy Mere (Reflect and Refine), Mandy Robeck (Enjoy and Embrace Learning), and Julie Balen (Write at the Edge).  I enjoy the challenge of creating a meaningful list for myself and others, as well as reading all the wonderful lists posted by the community.  

My past #nf10for10 book collections are:

As a parent, I encourage my daughter to be kind, positive, creative, confident, determined, resilient, disciplined, hopeful and a dreamer.  These qualities are the toughest to teach; despite my education degrees and teaching experience.  My #nf10for10 is a list of girl power books to share with my daughter.  They highlight female role models with strong character traits.  I will read (and reread) these books to my daughter.  The women in these books accomplished great things, and so can my daughter.  The sky is the limit!

1. Miss Moore Thought Otherwise by Jan Pinborough
As a children’s librarian, I had to list this book first.  It’s the story of Anne Carroll Moore who started a children’s area in the New York Public Library in the early 1900s.  Previously, libraries were only for adults.  But Miss Moore believed children deserved a room within the library with  a colorful atmosphere, smaller furniture, story hours, and borrowing privileges to hundreds of children’s books.  

2. Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World by Susan Hood
This beautiful book highlights fourteen young women who sparked change in the world.  Each trailblazer's story is told through poetry with accompanying illustrations from various female artists.  This book goes beyond the typical women often highlighted in these types of books.  A few new activists who's stories were new to me are Mary Anning, Annette Kellerman, Jacqueline Nearne, Eileen Nearne, Frances Moore Lappe, and Angela Zhang.

3.  She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton
This book highlights thirteen noteworthy women who persevered in the face of adversity.  It shows readers (both boys and girls) that no matter what obstacles may be in their paths, they shouldn’t give up on their dreams.  Persistence is power!  Be on the look out for the sequel titled She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History out on March 6, 2018.

4. Keep Climbing, Girls by Beah E. Richards
This poetry book is an ode to girl power.  It’s about a young girl’s ambition to climb to the top of a tall tree (despite a boy’s upper hand in this world) in a bid for a girl’s equality.  The overall message is, “Keep climbing, girls, and let no one prevent you!”  

5.  I am Helen Keller by Brad Meltzer 
Helen Keller embodies so much of what parents hope for their own children, and what I dream for my own daughter.   She became the first deaf and blind person to graduate from college, and spent the rest of her life telling her story and helping others.  Her resilience to adversity and determination to overcome challenges is unmatched.

6. Amelia to Zora: Twenty Six Women Who Changed the World by Cynthia Cin-Lee
The book highlights 26 significant women and their contribution to the world.  There is one woman for every letter of the alphabet.  The women are diverse in nationality, profession, race, and religion.  I was familiar with many of the women (like Rachel Carson, Mother Teresa, Oprah), but I was also introduced to many new women (including Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, Dolores Huerta, Nawal El Sadaawi).  One thing they all have in common, words and actions to inspire and guide young girls.  

7. Here Come the Scouts! by Shana Corey
This book is about Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts.  At a time when girls were supposed to be prim and proper, Daisy (as she was called) loved the outdoors, adventure, and service to others.  One hundred years later, the Girl Scouts continues to teach girls they can do anything and make a difference.  

8. Women Who Launched the Computer Age by Laurie Calkhoven
This book tells the story of six brilliant women who programmed the first computer as a secret WWII project.  Their work laid the foundation for the technologies we have today and launched the computer age.

9. Mighty Jackie: The Strike Out Queen by Marissa Moss
When Jackie Mitchell was a young girl, her father told her she could be good at whatever she wanted, as long as she worked at it.  Jackie worked hard at baseball and could soon outplay boys in her neighborhood.  When she was seventeen, she had an opportunity to pitch for Yankees.  She made baseball history by striking out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.  She showed the world that a girl could throw as hard and a fast as boys.

10. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Ravioli and Frencesca Cavallo

This is a collection of short biographies of about 100 rebel girls.  The women are from various nationalities and professions with many that were new to me.  Their stories are inspirational and encourage girls to dream bigger, aim higher, and fight harder.  I love the that end pages are blank for young readers to joint rebel girls and add their own story and portrait.  Also check out the second book titled Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2.