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Showing posts from June, 2017

Author Spotlight: Abby Cooper

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Hello, readers! We hope you are gearing up for a fabulous holiday weekend! I know mine will be filled with yummy grilled food, time outdoors and … packing. Womp, womp. Yep, packing. We are moving into a rental while we search for the perfect house in the country OR the perfect land in the country to build on. (I’m hoping for the latter to come true … )  In between eating, playing and packing, I am sure I’ll get some pages read in the many books I have going right now. One of them being … Bubbles by Abby Cooper! I am about 2/3 of the way through it and, all I can say is, if you LOVED Sticks and Stones, you will LOVE Bubbles! Promise! In anticipation of Abby’s sophomore release, she agreed to an interview for Teachers Who Read. We hope you enjoy learning a little more about one of our favorite authors!! J   1.    Tell us a little about yourself: Hi! I'm   Abby   Cooper, and I live in Minnesota. I'm the author of Sticks & Stones and Bubbles. Before I was

How Joining a Book Club Transformed My Classroom

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I’ve made fierce enemies and even fiercer friends in book clubs. And while I consider them an integral part of my personal and professional life it wasn’t until my recent experience in a National Writing Project book club that I considered the implications for my classroom. Book clubs are not about assigning kids jobs or grades. They’re about allowing kids to discuss their thoughts and feelings. I read Disruptive Thinking by Kylene Beers and Bob Probst at the end of this year and rushed to incorporate the B ook, H ead, H eart framework. I realized this is what I had been missing. I don’t want the focus to be about the meaning of a word or a picture of the setting. While those things certainly have their place, the students’ need to authentically discuss their thoughts and feelings supersede any grade they could earn. Book clubs aren’t about me. Even though I have passionate opinions about the books, I hold my tongue when a student doesn’t fall in love with Stella &a

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

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Happy Monday, Friends! Whether you are participating in summer #bookaday, setting summer reading goals or simply reading whatever strikes your fancy at the moment, we hope you are enjoying every drop of summer and reading until your reader-heart is full. We would love to know what you are currently enjoying! Share in the comments below! 

Review: Things That Surprise You by Jen Maschari

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Goodreads summary:  Emily Murphy is about to enter middle school. She’s sort of excited… though not nearly as much as her best friend Hazel, who is ready for everything to be new. Emily wishes she and Hazel could just continue on as they always have, being the biggest fans ever of the Unicorn Chronicles, making up dance moves, and getting their regular order at The Slice.   But things are changing. At home, Emily and her mom are learning to move on after her parents’ divorce. Hardest of all, her beloved sister Mina has been in a treatment facility to deal with her anorexia. Emily is eager to have her back, but anxious about her sister getting sick again. Hazel is changing too. She has new friends from the field hockey team, is starting to wear makeup, and have crushes on boys. Emily is trying to keep up, but she keeps doing and saying the wrong thing. She want to be the perfect new Emily. But who is that really? Things That Surprise You   is a beautifully layered novel about

Summer Slide and BrainQuest

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If you are a teacher you are more than aware of the summer slide and how detrimental it can be to incoming students, but one thing I have noticed in working with publishers this summer is that a lot of parents and kids don't even know about what we call the "summer slide." That is worrisome to me.  One of the absolute BEST and biggest ways to beat the summer slide is through my favorite way of course:  There's a big statistic right there. The importance of reading and how much students do enjoy it over the summertime...  BUT...of course, there's always a but....  Let's say that reading isn't the only thing you're fearful of "sliding" in, what about math? What if you're like I was and just want to get ahead of the game before you start the next school year??? I don't know about you, but as a child I loved learning (probably why I became a teacher) so much that my mom always made a point to get t

Considering Class Read Alouds

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I’m 19 days and 19 books into summer. One of the first things I think about in planning for the upcoming school year is my why.  Not what I want my results to be. Or how I’m going to get there. Or even what I want students to learn. It’s why I structure my classroom the way I do. Why do I carve out time for silent reading? Every. Single. Day. Why do I let my students choose what they read and write about ?   Why do I read aloud poems, and picture books, and short stories, and novels? And show speeches, and commercials, and TED Talks and clips from Game of Thrones? It’s because I value being a reader and writer and I want my students to have authentic experiences in my classroom. One of the foundations of my reading and writing community is our read alouds .  Throughout the years, I’ve found some go-to books to start our year, including:: • Thunder Dog • Nine, Ten • Wonder I love these three books because they’re about differences. All of them lead to power

IMWAYR- 6/19/17

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Who Would Win? Recommendation

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Who Wins? I wanted to share with you today a little bit about this amazing resource, Who Wins?  by Clay Swartz illustrated by Tom Booth. In this book they have cut up the pages so that you can randomly select any of the historical figures listed to "compete" against the other historical figure. They have provided you with more than 100,000 possible combinations, which means most of the match ups are going to be completely hypothetical, but it provides great talking points, as well as research material.  The winner is entirely up to YOU, the reader. The author has provided you with interesting facts, short biographies, and they even rank them in 6 different categories: wealth, fitness, wisdom, bravery, artistry, leadership, and intelligence. All of the stats given are completely subjective, so you as the reader are able to interpret the data in any way you want and then justify your decision of the winner based on the facts given.  Ways to use in the classro

Review - Three Pennies by Melanie Crowder

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I don't know what it is about orphans, but give me a story where the main character is an orphan and I am immediately sucked in. Perhaps it was growing up with Mary Lennox from The Secret Garden or Sara Crewe from A Little Princess. We can't forget about The Boxcar Children either.   Then came Harry Potter and Liesel Meminger from The Book Thief. And, of course, classics like Oliver Twist and Huck Finn. All books with memorable orphans that overcome their difficult circumstances. However, the orphan that probably hooked me for life was Anne Shirley. There is no orphan more endearing than Anne (in my opinion). I could return to Avonlea with Anne any time, she is one of my favorite fictional characters. I love reading (or watching on the screen) and getting to know these young characters that overcome such hardship in the early years of their lives. It's inspirational and makes me feel like I can overcome anything I may be up against.   Recently I met

Author Spotlight: Karina Glaser

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Let's start things off with introductions, what is your name and where are you from?  My name is Karina Yan Glaser, and I was born in Chicago, moved to Los Angeles when I was in first grade, and moved to New York City for college. I still live in New York City now, in a neighborhood called Harlem. My parents are originally from China, and I was the first person from both sides of my family to be born in the United States. Tell us about your most recent book. The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street  is a story about five kids who are trying to convince their third floor neighbor and landlord to renew their apartment lease five days before Christmas. They resort to all types of bribes, good deeds, and blackmail in order to convince their landlord to let them stay in their home! When did you decide you wanted to be an author?  I wrote my first book when I was in first grade. My dad brought it to his office and made photocopies, and I signed copies for my family. It was