Friday, March 31, 2017

Love Is

Title: Love Is 
Author: Diane Adams  
Illustrator: Claire Keane 
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: January 24th, 2017 
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: Perfect for Valentine's Day—or any tender moment—this story of a girl and a duckling who share a touching year together will melt hearts old and young. In this tenderly funny book, girl and duckling grow in their understanding of what it is to care for each other, discovering that love is as much about letting go as it is about holding tight. Children and parents together will adore this fond exploration of growing up while learning about the joys of love offered and love returned. 
What I Think: I'm in love with Love Is! This is such a super sweet book. It's a book that captures the tender love between a child and her pet. This book is a perfect mentor text for looking at how words and illustrations work together.  But it's also a great mentor text for practicing visualizing and looking at how an author shows instead of tells. I love making the connection between reading and writing for students. When we write, we use good reading strategies like visualizing to help us understand what we are reading but at the same time, we can examine what craft moves the author made in order to help us visualize. Adding this level of thinking helps students more deeply understand how the act of writing impacts our readers. Even young writers can start to realize the author makes specific choices when he or she writes and this text is a great way to bring about this discussion.
     The specific snatch of text I chose would be one page I might even read before showing students. I would ask them to visualize and imagine and I might even think aloud my connection to the main character. As a mom, I remember having to wake up to feed my babies in the middle of the night and more recently, I had to wake up to feed our puppy in the middle of the night. The illustration captures the feeling perfectly so building up the suspense would get kids thinking and visualizing and then they could compare what they were thinking to what the illustrator drew.
Snatch of Text:  
"Love is noisy midnight feedings,
shoe box right beside the bed."
Writing Prompt: What impact do the illustrations have on the story? How do the illustrations and the text work together? Can you write about a time in your life when you loved something and had to let it go?

Thursday, March 30, 2017

My Thoughts on How Education Can Change the World

Sometimes being an educator keeps me up at night.

And that leads to me creating a middle-of-the-night video that shares my thoughts on education because I'm so fired up I can't sleep. 


Teachers have the power 
to change the world
because we are charged 
with changing the lives of children.

I believe every teacher has to show kids they see them and they have to inspire them. And the easiest way to do that is to get them fired up to be consumers and creators. That's why I blog at Teach Mentor Texts and Story Exploratory to share ideas for how we can all be consumer and creators. With everything I share, I hope someone is inspired in some way.


I'm over doing things how they have always been done when we know better. 

I'd love to generate more discussion about how education can change the world. 

Here are some things you can do to join in:

  • Watch this amazingly powerful speech from Chris Emdin. It helped me solidify some of my own thoughts. (Thanks to Kathy Burnette for sharing it with me.)
  • Create your response to the question: How can education change the world? Link or share it in the comments below.
  • Share this post and my video. We need more people in this conversation! Please invite others to think about this and join in. 
Thanks for listening! I see you. You inspire me. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 03/27/2017

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. 

Announcements: 
Winner of A Boy Called Bat 
by Elana K. Arnold
courtesy of Walden Pond Press:
Leanne - @SiCoMom!

Last Week's Book Adventures:
Last week I read a lot more of Yaqui Delgado but I'm not quite done yet. I'll keep working on that this week. I did get to book talk it to 7th and 8th graders and they liked the title alone...of course. We were hit with some sickness in our house last week plus it was the week before break so that's about all of the reading I got in last week!

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
This week it's finally spring break! I'm planning on finishing Yaqui Delgado and Here We Are. I also have Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson to read and I'd love to read it over break. I also have some reading to do for class and I really hope I make time to get that done this week otherwise I'll be mad at myself!

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, March 19, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 03/20/2017

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 don't know what was up with last week but I felt like I slogged through it and was barely keeping up with everything I had to do. I discovered the book Present Over Perfect and it's waiting for me at the library so maybe it was a good thing I felt like I was doing too much because the title of the book really jumped out at me and I felt like I really needed it. I can tell you for sure that ever since yoga came into my life I'm much more present and aware of all the wonderful things I get to experience in my life and I try and revel in them as much as I can. But I'm still not so great at saying no, especially when I want to do and be part of everything.

This week I spent time reading Here We Are and thinking about what it means to be a feminist and I also have been reading Meg Medina's Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass. With the kids, I read Charlie and Mouse and Barkus. Can I just say that my kids enjoyed both of them. Peanut especially giggled and giggled giggled with Charlie and Mouse and then really wanted and so needed a bedtime banana! Love it! Laurel Snyder is brilliant.

Reviewed Last Week:
**Don't miss the giveaway!**
I shared our Family Reading Night celebration here at Teach Mentor Texts.
Click on any picture above to go read my review/post.

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
I'm sure we'll be rereading Charlie and Mouse this week and eating more bananas and I'm also planning to keep reading Yaqui Delgado and Here We Are. 

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 Family Reading Night 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. 

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This week I'm celebrating family reading night!

*throws confetti*


Last week, our K-2 grade level center hosted the annual family reading night. I still have to pinch myself because I looooooove that I get to be part of it now that I work in the district.

Last year, we acted out the book How To Read a Story by Kate Messner and then students went off to read with guest readers in classrooms. This year, we started with book talks in the gym. Each child had a handout with the book covers of all the books and a crayon. As I book talked the books in English and Spanish, they circled or checked off the books they were excited about reading. The hope was to celebrate lots of books and that kids would then have a list of books to take to the library and check out. After the book talks, families went to read in classrooms with guest readers. 

I'm still pinching myself. It was such a great night. I know my kids had fun and it seemed like everyone else was having fun too. Readers were animated, students were captivated, families were spending time together and the school was buzzing with bookish energy. What more could you ask for? 

What are you celebrating this week?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Mighty, Mighty, Construction Site

Title: Mighty, Mighty, Construction Site
Author: Sherri Duskey Rinker   
Illustrator: Tom Lichtenheld 
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: February 14th, 2017
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book  
GoodReads Summary: At last—here from the team behind the beloved international bestseller comes a companion to Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site. All of our favorite trucks are back on the construction site—this time with a focus on team-building, friendship, and working together to make a big task seem small! Down in the big construction site, the crew faces their biggest job yet, and will need the help of new construction friends to get it done. Working as a team, there's nothing they can't do! The millions of fans of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site are in for a mighty good time! 
What I Think: Reading Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site reminded me of when my boys were little and we would always be on the lookout for trucks or buses or trains. Peanut had a board book that had pictures of all sorts of different types of trucks. We'd be driving to the mall and I'd call out, "Cherry picker!" or "Front loader!" It got to the point that I would do it even when he wasn't in the car. Those were fun days. Now, I have a close friend who's son is four and loves trucks so I get to share fun truck books like Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site with him. 
     I absolutely adore this book. I love that it rhymes. I love that it has bright, bold colors but is still sweet. I love that it's got such a positive, collaborative tone to it. As a mentor text, I could see using this at the beginning of the school year in a kindergarten or 1st grade class to build community. It's also an opportunity to talk about rhyme. 
Snatch of Text:  
"They wipe their faces,
greet the sun, 
load up, fuel up,
rev up...run!"

"Down in the big constrution site,
five trucks wake to morning light.
It's time to S-T-R-E-T-C-H, roll out of bed,
and gear up for the day ahead!"
Writing Prompt: Write your own narration to any vehicle you see from day to day. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Boy Called Bat Blog Tour and Giveaway


I'm thrilled to be a stop on the blog tour for A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold! You can read my review of A Boy Called Bat where I share a snatch of text and my thoughts on how you might use A Boy Called Bat as a mentor text. You can also find an Educator's Resource here that gives more information and shares ideas for you can use with students.
Today, as part of the blog tour, I'd like to reiterate that Bat completely stole my heart. As I think about him now, I smile because he's such a complete character to me and I can imagine him even after having read the book over a month ago. I connected with Bat and how he feels about his skunk kit Thor in the story. Reading Bat's story helped me reflect on how special it is to have a pet in my life. 
At the beginning of last school year, a friend shared a picture of a sweet little adorable puppy who was adoptable from one of our local rescue shelters. I fell in love immediately. Luckily, I had been trying to convince my husband we needed a dog for the last ten years or so. I mean, I would show him pictures of puppies and every time I wrote a persuasive essay with students, I would write mine all about why we really needed a dog. Finally, our youngest son was five and in kindergarten and this sweet little pup was in my Facebook feed and my husband didn't really have much of a choice, he had to say it was okay for me to go and meet her. 
So I did. One Thursday night in November, I went and met our sweet little pup. She was so little and so cute. I fell in love right away and then the rest of the family came to meet her. After that it all went really fast! We told them we wanted to take her home, we signed lots of papers, and then we went to pick her up that weekend. Suddenly, we were a family with a little puppy in the backseat and we were taking her home. 
 
It's not easy taking care of a puppy! We had a lot to learn and she had a lot to learn. It wasn't easy but we got her into puppy classes right away and we took her to puppy play time so she could socialize and then we started taking her to the dog park too. 

Now Perdi is about 1 1/2 and she still needs a lot of attention but we have fun playing with her, practicing her tricks, and going on long walks. 
You know those bumper stickers that ask, "Who saved who?" We adopted Perdi but she has brought so much love into our lives and I can't imagine her not being part of our family. I'm especially happy that my kids get to grow up with a dog. 
I kind of think Bat and his love of his little skunk kit Thor helped him out as much as he helped to take care of Thor. 

I hope readers either get to live through Bat's story and know what it's like to take care of a pet and/or that they get to have a pet of their own connect with Bat's experience. Either way, readers will enjoy reading about Bat and his love for Thor. 

Do you have a special pet in your life?
I'd love to hear about him or her!

Also, be sure to enter the giveaway courtesy of Walden Pond Press!


Also, be sure to visit all the other blogs on the tour!
March 2 A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust - Beth Shaum

Sunday, March 12, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 03/13/2017

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. 

Announcement:
Winner of Mapping My Day
courtesy of Blue Slip Media:
Linda Baie!

Last Week's Book Adventures:
I'm so excited to share that I finally finished Brené Brown's book Rising Strong. Her work is brilliant. I also started Here We Are: Feminism For The Real World and Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina.

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
This week I'll be reading Here We Are: Feminism For The Real World and Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass. 

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, March 5, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 03/05/2017

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:
Woo hoo! This week I finished Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder. What a beautiful book. I'm still working on Rising Strong by BrenĂ© Brown. We also read more of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Little Bean and I started reading Dan Gutman's Miss Daisy is Crazy. 

Reviewed Last Week:
I celebrated World Read Aloud Day 2017 here at Teach Mentor Texts.
I celebrated conversations during catch at Story Exploratory.
Click on any picture above to go read my review/post.

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
I'm looking forwarding to finishing up Rising Strong and then starting the stories in We Are Here.

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!

Mapping My Day Review and Giveaway

Title: Mapping My Day
Author: Julie Dillemuth 

Illustrator: Laura Wood  
Publisher: Magination Press 
Publication Date: March, 2017 
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book
Summary: Follow Flora and her family as she takes us through her day with maps — from breakfast, to school, and even through a dog agility course!

Kids love maps! Learning to read and draw maps is a fun and natural way to develop spatial thinking skills — how we think about and understand the world around us and use concepts of space for problem solving.
What I Think: I remember digging up a plastic bag with shells in it in the woods near my house and thinking I had found buried treasure. I also remember waking up with the sun streaming into my window because my bedroom was on the east side of of our house. I loved reading Mapping My Day and remembering these little bits of memories from my childhood. I anticipate young readers will make lots of of connections to Flora in this story just as I did. But if not, I'm guessing they'll be captivated by her world and will get a little more curious about their own. Map creation and map reading skills are important even though we live in the day and age of technology and GPS. As a mentor text, I would read the book with students and ask them to create their own maps about their day. Just like Flora tells about her maps, I would invite students to write and explain about their maps. 
     I also love this book as a mentor text to get students started thinking about a topic for a personal narrative. They can think of a time when they were given directions and how useful they were in helping them navigate to their destination.  
Snatch of Text: 
"To find my treasure you need to know exactly how far to go from the biggest tree in the yard. Starting there, you walk seven steps east, then three steps southeast. 'X' marks the spot!"  
Writing Prompt: Write about a time in your life when you had to follow directions to get somewhere. Who gave you the directions? What do you remember about the directions? Were they easy to follow? Did they get you to your destination?
Additional Resources: The author, Julie Dillemuth, was mystified by maps until she figured out how to read them and make them, and it was a particularly difficult map that inspired her to become a spatial cognition geographer. She lives with her family and writes children's books in Santa Barbara, California, where the west coast faces south. Visit her at her website and check out the fun activity pages there.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Let's Celebrate World Read Aloud Day 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. 

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This week I'm celebrating World Read Aloud Day 2017!

*throws confetti*


This year we celebrated World Read Aloud Day at school and at home. I'm so proud to say that my entire district participated in WRAD this year. Every student from kindergarten through eighth grade in my district Skyped with an author and/or illustrator. Our middle school did a school-wide celebration where teachers read to every class and did silent reading at the end of the day. It was super fun to see how our celebration grew from last year to this year. 

At home, we used to have book parties with neighbors. This year, we went over to my cousin's house for a little book celebration. Little Bean wanted to read Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle so we made dessert dirt cups and I read to them. 


World Read Aloud Day is one of my favorite reading celebrations. 
Did you join in on the fun?
What are you celebrating this week?