Saturday, April 30, 2016

Guest Blogging!!

Ramona Recommends

Hi everyone! To wrap up National Poetry month, I'm guest blogging over at Ramona Recommends. Courtney invited me to share some of my favorite poetry books and topics. Hop on over to her blog and check out my post!

Here's a sneak peak of a few books, I'll be sharing... 
Have a great weekend,

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Books that Stick With You

The #SixtyBook challenge has really made me more energized about reading. I even upped my reading goal this weekend to 100 books in 2016! I'm learning that I'm definitely a goal oriented reader. I also feel like having the support and (seemingly) endless suggestions of my #BookJourney crew, has also been a huge inspiration and support system to my renewed reading habits. I have been moving from one amazing book to another. I can't say that I've really read any "bad" books, however, some books just stick with you.

Here are few memorable books and the pages that have "stuck" with me... 

What books have stuck with you in 2016?
Happy Reading,

Follow me on Good Reads to keep up with my reading and reviews! 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Friday Fun: Wanted Posters!

We've been focusing on roles characters can play within novels. Last Friday, we targeted the villains of our historical fiction novels. Students worked in book clubs to create WANTED posters featuring their novel's "villain" or antagonist. They made sure others knew their crimes and of course offered a suitable reward. My teaching partner and I were shocked how much care and effort students put into their posters... I'd say this Book Club Friday was a success! #FriYAY

You can grab Polka Dot and Pencils' FREE Wanted Poster Template {here}.

Here's a quick glimpse at our Friday Fun! 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Readers Make Plans

During the past few weeks, my students and I have been meeting to get in our informal reading conferences. Students are loving their historical fiction books but I've noticed a big problem in my classroom.... Students aren't sure what they want to read next! What?! Students were either having trouble narrowing down choices or completely blank with what to read next.
A 5th grade reader using Good Reads help fill in TBR Lists.

So, TBR mini-lesson to the rescue! We discussed how good readers usually have a list of "To Be Read" books that helps them decide what they want to read next so they are prepared. Readers make plans! We discussed how good readers do some planning. We visited Good Reads, Amazon, and author websites to help us scope out some books to put on our TBR Lists. Some students even went through my book bins and read book blurbs of favorite genres or authors.

I also shared my own TBR List with my students. 
You can get it for free on TPT {here}.

Currently, on deck for reading... 

I'm making great progress on my TBR List as part of the #SixtyBook challenge. I've been reading picture books, fiction, and even a graphic novel. Here's a quick update on my year in reading so far... 

 Picture books I've read.

 Books with diverse characters! These books each have a great main character you can't help but fall in love with! 

 Books full of magic and wonder...

 Books that I found "unputtdownable." Boys especially will be able to relate these main characters. Kwame Alexander and Lisa Graff are true masters of author's craft! 

Reads that were fun and seriously addicting! 

What are your reading plans?
How do you help students choose what to read next?

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Why Teachers Need a Reading Community, Too!

As teachers, we want to our kids to feel connected to reading and books and each other. But 'ften we forget about ourselves. We neglect our own reading lives for the sake of others.

Until recently, I thought I was an avid reader. I'm always reading and share books with my students. I'm part of several book groups on Social Media including the #WeCantPutBooksDown crew and loyal follower of The Nerdy Book Club. Yet, my reading life was still missing something.

As I became part of my first book club since circa 2008, I realize now I was missing my tribe. I was alone out there reading and sharing books. But like Brain in Hatchet, I was sending out all my thoughts and ideas out into a dark woods. I'd get feedback and share but I wasn't part of something bigger, something better until #GetBooked.

Just look at all our buzz surrounding Kwame Alexander's upcoming novel Booked....

Although, I've been part of many reading groups and book clubs. I know these people are my tribe. I can't thank Stacey, Beth, Scott, Kristen, Jimmy, and Nicole for making my reading life a little a lot brighter! I've always loved reading but now I'm ECSTATIC about reading! I get pumped when I see Voxer messages or our #GetBooked tag on Twitter. I'm surrounded by so many great and wonderful readers. I fit in. I'm out of my reading rut.

Its hard to put into words the feeling you feel when we find a group of people that share your passion and love for reading. You feel like you fit in and that your ideas matter. I know as a teacher, I'm always putting my students first. This time, they suffered because I was not my best reader. I needed my tribe to find my voice.

Why do reading communities matter?

1. They give us an outlet for sharing and collaborating.

2. They create friendships and a support network for before, during, or after reading.

3. Reading communities help us make plans for what to read next and set a purpose for reading.

4. Provide you with some energy and renewed enthusiasm for reading.

5. Model real life reading habits and practices to your students.

6. You know you have a place to rant, rave, or cry depending on the novel.

7. Book talks and excitement surrounding reading.

8. Helps you find your voice. {Thank you Voxer!}

9. Communities make us feel connected to the books, each other & the world.

10. You feel like your thoughts and ideas matter. #AllYouNeedIsLove

Happy Reading,