Sunday, November 26, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 11/27/2017

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!
Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 

Last Week's Book Adventures:
I finished Rhyme Schemer and Solo and Ronit and Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin. Woo hoo! I also read a new picture book I heard about at NCTE, When A Bully Is The President and the Zen Pencils book for kids. I've been telling everyone I know about Zen Pencils because it is awesome! 

Reviewed Last Week:
Click on any picture above to go read my review/post.

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
I'm excited to focus on reading Braving the Wild and Aru Shah and the End of Time this week!

This Week's Reviews:
Check back throughout the week to read these reviews/posts. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers, 
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you. 
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!

Friday, November 24, 2017

What Do You Do With a Chance?

Title: What Do You Do With a Chance? 
Author: Kobi Yamada  
Illustrator: Mae Besom 
Publisher: Compendium Inc 
Publication Date: January, 2018
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: This is a story of a child who isn't sure what to make of a chance encounter-then discovers that when you say yes to new experiences, amazing things can happen. 
What I Think: I'm a fan of having a growth mindset and discussing what it means to have a growth mindset...but that doesn't mean living a growth mindset is easy. Doing something new and taking a risk is actually really hard. In fact, I don't think we talk enough about how difficult it actually is. I love how What Do You Do With A Chance? gives readers the opportunity to think about how hard it is. 

I blogged recently about using my voice to speak up and how hard it was because it's important to see how hard it is. I hope people recognize when they have a chance and that they take advantage of any chances that come their way, but I completely understand how hard it is. 

As a mentor text, I would use this book as an opportunity to brainstorm ideas for personal narratives with kids. Sometimes we don't see how important our experiences are in writing. If students can see how their memories are valued, it helps them see themselves as writers. But also, we don't always want to write about a struggle or how it felt. And guess what? Most often, writing honestly about struggle makes the most interesting stories. 

Snatch of Text: "Then I thought, 'Maybe I don't have to be brave all the time. Maybe I just need to be brave for a little while at the right time.' 
Writing Prompt: Write about at time in your life when you took a chance. How did it go? How did it feel? What did you learn from the experience?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Enticing Hard-To-Reach Writers Blog Tour and Giveaway


     "Do you want to go for a walk?" Ruth stood over me, standing close, an urgency in her voice, like the time was now. 
     "Sure." I stood, making sure my things were settled and followed her outside.
     We were at a Choice Literacy retreat, surrounded by forests with trails and a glistening lake. Ruth and I wandered down a path and into the woods, getting to know each other the further we went. 

     Just this weekend, I walked with Ruth at the NCTE annual convention but this time our feet traveled over the rain-soaked sidewalks of St. Louis. We know each other well now so our conversations are less getting-to-know and more what-do-you-think, what-if, and how-about-this? 

     Even though the kinds of questions we ask each other have changed, the urgency is still there. Ruth is a determined woman and that's one of the many qualities I love about her. She sets the bar high for herself and others and she gets things done. 
     Because Ruth is who she is, this book is a beautiful tribute but also a call to action. She shares how hard the work is, how possible it is, and how necessary it is. Weaving personal stories and professional experiences together in her new book Enticing Hard-To-Reach Writers, Ruth invites us to walk alongside her on this journey of teaching writing. Don't worry, she'll guide the way.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

"We are all changing. This is life - constant change. 
The intent is to move toward better versions of ourselves." (p. 29-30)

"Humans are wired as storytellers. Our brains use story to make sense of the world. Unfortunately, the stories children tell themselves are too often inaccurate." (p. 32)

"Our classrooms may be the last place where healing is possible for some students. Writing workshop may be the only opportunity for their voices to be heard." (p. 34)

"When teachers write, we stop creating assignments and begin cultivating a community. Writers thrive when surrounded by people who write. I know this, so I surround myself with writers. I love to talk with writers about writing. I can't believe how different we all are: I write to a word count, but my friend Tam says she'd never do that; I write at home, but my friend Jen writes at Starbucks; I keep a physical notebook full of sketches and lists and maps and notes, but my friend Franki keeps most of her thinking electronically." (p. 48)
(Hey! I think that's me! I'm Jen and I loooooove writing at Starbucks!)

"When we unlock the writing process of ourselves, 
we become prepared to guide students as they do the same." (p. 49)

"It's a misconception to believe that there are writers and nonwriters, 
that some people can write and others can't.
Everyone can learn to write.
Everyone can put words on the page.
And everyone struggles with wanting to not-write." (p. 57) 

"Writing workshop is the best vehicle for students to become the kind of people who are positive world changers." (p. 67)

Links

Be sure to visit all the stops on the blog tour!
11/13 - Clare & Tammy - Assessment in Perspective 
11/15 - Michelle Nero - Literacy Zone 
11/17 - Leigh Anne Eck - A Day In The Life 
11/20-  Mary Helen Gensch - Book Savors 
11/22 - Jen Vincent - Teach Mentor Texts 
11/27 - Julie Johnson - Raising Readers and Writers


Sunday, November 19, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 11/20/2017

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!
Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 

Last Week's Book Adventures:
I'm so behind on my reading! So behind! There's just a lot going on and I was doing sooooo good at getting writing in. I did read more of Rhyme Schemer and Solo but I'm still not finished. I did read Hi, Jack! by Mac Barnett with illustrations by Greg Pizzoli and I had mixed feelings about it. I also started reading Roshani Chokshi's Aru Shah and The End of Time it's completely gorgeous so far. The voice is fabulous.

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
My brain is reeling with ideas from NCTE...I mean, I have so many ideas! Since it's Thanksgiving week I really hope I'll have time to sit and read Aru Shah and The End of Time but also to get back to Braving the Wilderness. I even hope I can finish up with Rhyme Schemer and Solo. Seriously, I can do it.

On a little bit different note, Peanut and I are going to be working on a Story Corps project so we're going to be listening to some interviews as we get ready to do our own. It's not really reading but it is consuming if you think of it as gathering information. Then we'll be creating when we do our own interviews. I'm super excited to help him see the power of story.

This Week's Reviews:
Check back throughout the week to read these reviews/posts. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers, 
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you. 
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 11/13/2017

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!
Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 

Last Week's Book Adventures:
Last week was amazing! Tuesday we celebrate Day on Writing (check out my Celebrate post to see pictures!) and then Peanut and I got to go see an advance screening of Wonder the movie (I shared a recap of this too!) I read more of Solo, Rhyme Schemer, and Braving the Wilderness.

Reviewed Last Week:

Click on any picture above to go read my review/post.

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
I plan to finish up Solo and Rhyme Schemer this week before I'm off to NCTE where I'll be busy soaking up all the amazing-ness that is NCTE. I can't wait!

This Week's Reviews:
Check back throughout the week to read these reviews/posts. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers, 
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you. 
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!

Let's Celebrate Day on Writing 2017!

It's time to CELEBRATE This Week with Ruth Ayres from Discover. Play. Build.  Every week Ruth invites us to share our celebrations from the week and link up at her blog. What a fun way to reflect on everything there is to be thankful for. 

*                  *                   *

This week I'm celebrating Day on Writing 2017!

*throws confetti*


On Tuesday, we celebrated our first ever Day on Writing at Carl Sandburg Middle School! It was such a blast. I had an amazing time spending the day with students and talking about writing. We kicked off the day with everyone watching this video and brainstorming ideas to write about in hoemroom.



Then students used sensory details to write about a memory that has shaped them with Maria Villareal, Director of Programs at 826CHI.  
 




We ended our day with a visit from Kwame Alexander and students sharing their writing with each other. We invited two of our students to introduce Kwame. I'm so proud of them for stepping out of their comfort zones! 

Kwame Alexander!!!!





It was so fun to be able to bring Day on Writing to our middle school. I'm already brainstorming ideas for next year!

What are you celebrating this week?

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Wonder The Movie!

Five years ago I fell in love with Wonder. As I read, I thought of people I would recommend it to...like my student Michelle and so many other students, teachers, librarians, and principals I worked with, friends and family. Everyone needed to read this book and I love that so many people still read it. 
And now...it's a movie! Peanut and I were able to go to an advance screening of Wonder the movie last night and it was awesome. They did such a great job. It was very true to the movie with some changes of course. I was crying right from the beginning but as much as I cried throughout, I also laughed. There were so many moments when Peanut and I were cracking up. I'm sure kids and adults will love this movie just as much as we did. We definitely recommend you go and see it on November 17th!
I have a little bonus information to share! I'd never been to an advance screening before and it just so happened that we didn't just get to see the movie early but after the movie Daveed Diggs who plays Mr. Brown, Auggie's teacher in the movie, was there to answer questions. Peanut and I have been listening to Hamilton together so it was cool to know Daveed from the original Hamilton cast but also from Wonder.

Peanut asked Daveed what was his favorite children's book when he was young and he said, The Velveteen Rabbit, Goodnight Moon and Where The Wild Things Are
But then he said he still likes to read children's books and said he really likes the Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! books! We got a kick out of that. I mean, how cool is it that Daveed Diggs reads the Pigeon books!?
And my final tidbit to share is that RJ Palacio, the author of Wonder is in the movie! We spotted her at the end, cheering at the assembly. (I hope that's not a spoiler for anyone...I think it's vague enough.) She looks just like she does in the pictures I shared in this post so be sure to see what she looks like before you watch the movie so you can spot her!

I'd love to give a huge thank you to Walden Pond Press for the opportunity to attend an advance screening of Wonder the movie! It was a night that neither of us will forget!

When you see the movie, I'd love to hear your thoughts!!!